Social proof is a well-known psychological concept, but with the rise of social media and the significant influence of review websites, it is important to understand how the power of social proof can help you.

Social proof means we use other people to determine what is correct.

We copy behaviours of other people and follow the majority. This approach is not ungrounded: very often the best way to judge an appropriate behaviour is by looking at how others behave. It’s an evolutionary mechanism. However, it’s still a mental shortcut.

A Perfect World

In a perfect world, we may first look at how others behave, then process the information through your own knowledge and experience, and then produce an emotionally unaffected result.

In reality, people often stop at the first step, even when a decision is against their own best interest. This is prevalent when people are uncertain in a given situation.

The effect of social proof has been shown in situations where people copied the mistaken evaluations made by others, even though the correct answers were clear.

How Much Social Proof Do You Need?

The volume of social proof is very important. If is often the number of reviews that affect bookings, rather than the reviews themselves. Many patients can be overwhelmed by the fact that so many are happy, this enables them to follow the lead without looking closer.

Your patient similarity is also effective for social proof. It is important to show that many other people like you are happy patients.

Don’t spend time coming up with logical arguments, statistics, and competitor comparisons to prove that their service is the best one. Instead, use different kinds of social proof.

Expert Social Proof

Expertise isn’t necessary for social proof to work. However, we generally trust experts more, which is a logical thing to do. Therefore, credibility drivers make sense to also be applied when promoting your service.

You’ll often find practices include full CVs, published work, associations, awards and appearances, etc to build this credibility.

Even when little information is displayed on the homepage, these proof tools are included.

Celebrity Social Proof

Celebrity endorsements are still a huge thing, but we understand for most surgeons this is not a direct option, but there can be workarounds.

In some instances, celebrity or famous patients may be very grateful and a simple thank you on their social channels can be significantly amplified to extend your social reach.

Sports stars, media personalities or even socially active patients telling their stories. Just ask the golfer, Tiger Woods’ back surgeon (Dr Richard Guyer)

People see the number of likes a promotional post gets and assume it must be something people genuinely endorse.

User Social Proof

User social proof is also used on all quality home pages and channels. Promote skills, outcomes and achievements. Remember, it is the numbers more than the detail.

  • Review on Google,

  • Sharing positive Case Studies

  • Add Before and after Stories

Social proof works best when the proof is provided by the actions of a lot of other people that are similar to you.

“Wisdom of the Crowds” Social Proof

Throughout history, we have been told that the majority is right. Democracy is based on this notion. It underlines many of our beliefs and behaviours.

Advertisers tell us “a million people can’t be wrong”. That’s why it’s necessary to point out credibility drivers like the general popularity of your practice, how many patients have been treated or the scale of your experience is important.

“Wisdom of your Friends” Social Proof

As much as we trust the crowds of strangers, we obviously trust our friends more - even if they are no experts in a given topic.

Promote Facebook ‘likes’ so your patient's facilitate trust in your service to friends.

Build Your Own Social Proof

Building your own social proof isn’t an easy task, but when established is a gift that keeps on giving. Establishing and maintaining social proof can involve:

Content creation,

Reputation building,

Growing word-of-mouth,

Growing online following,

Monitoring responses,

Working with social media influencers,

Your Next Step

If you are interested in learning more about Social Proof, Thought Leadership, Content and Reputation Marketing contact us and learn more about how we can help

1300 880 230