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What is the effect of Social Proof on Conversion Rate?

What is the effect of Social Proof on Conversion Rate?

I'm wondering to what extent Social Proof helps the Conversion Rate of websites and marketing.

Specifically I'm wondering what effect Social Proof would have on Conversion Rate for a sample task in an online context. Lots of marketing material espouses it's effectiveness but I would like academic research on the matter.

There's some basic research I've found that shows yes, people do things their friends do (such as some of the studies referenced in the Wikipedia article) but this is not specific to new methods of Social PRoof.

What quantitative research has been done in regards to social proof effects website conversion with modern Social Proof techniques like Facebook likes and Amazon customer reviews?


This is a partial answer, but there are a number of academic studies on this topic. The findings of the Berkeley article "Long Tail or Steep Tail? A Field Investigation into How Online Popularity Information Affects the Distribution of Customer Choices" (Tucker and Zhang, 2007) suggest that

evidence of a complementary effect, where the steep tail indicates new interest in the most popular vendors from outside, with negligible cannibalization of interest for less popular vendors. The ndings suggest that popularity information can serve as a powerful marketing tool that facilitates product category growth. They also explain the prevalence of rm practices to highlight bestsellers.

where 'long tail' refers to customers buying low-volume products and 'steep tail' refers to the flocking to popular products.

A couple of key conclusions from that study:

We find strong evidence for a steep tail effect, where customers are more likely to click on the most popular vendors when the popularity information is publicized and made salient through ranking the vendors on the page by popularity.

and that there was little negative effects to less popular product sales

If a steep tail effect exists, and if it complements the long tail, websites such as Google.com and Digg.com can increase overall number of clicks at little cost to the less popular listings.

A caveat of sorts is stated in the article "On the Depth and Dynamics of Online Search Behavior" (Johnson et al. 2004) in that their study showed a bit of 'consumer inertia', in that their study

show that the amount of online search is actually quite limited.


1. INTRODUCTION

It is an undeniable fact that both computers and the Internet have become one of the most important achievements of modern society. They bring their own revolution in human daily life (science, education, information, entertainment etc) eliminating the distances and offering immediate and easily access to information and communication. With the continuous development of new technologies, the Internet users are able to communicate anywhere in the world to shop online, use it as an educational tool, work remotely and carry out financial transactions with various services offered by banks. The infinite possibilities that are offered by the Internet can often lead users to abuse it, or to use it for malicious purposes against other users, organizations and public services. With the rapid spread and growth of the Internet, they have appeared some social phenomena such as cyberbullying, internet pornography, grooming through social networks, cybersuicide, Internet addiction and social isolation, racism on the web. Moreover, there is always the risk of any sort of fraud exploitation by the so called experts of technology systems who use Internet as a mean to carry out illegal acts.

Social Networks

The human being is often considered as a “social being.” Therefore, it is no surprise that the Internet is continuously transformed from a simple tool for publishing information to a mean of social interaction and participation. Social networks (1) are characterized as online services that allow individuals to create a public profile within an entrenched net system. Additionally, the users publish a list of other users with whom share a connection and view and interchange their own lists of connections and those who are created by others in the system. Social networks are a set of interactions and relationships. The term is also used today to describe websites that allow interface between users sharing reviews, photos and other information. The most famous of these websites are Facebook, Twitter, My Space, Skype, OoVoo, LinkedIn, Tumblr, YouTube, TripAdvisor. These websites are virtual communities where people can communicate and develop contacts through them.

A social network is a social structure made up for a number of factors, such as individuals or organizations. On the internet, social networks are a platform that is maintained for the creation of social relations between people, usually as active members of the social network, with common interests or activities.

Social networking sites are organized sites on the web with more centered character providing in their overwhelming majority, a series of basic and free services such as creating profiles, uploading pictures and videos, commenting on actions taken by other members of the network or group, instant messaging and other more

Internet Risks

Social networking is an amazing technological phenomenon of the 21st century. Social networking websites allow each user to create and design a personal website, using graphics, color, music, pictures and give it a unique character. This activity is particularly popular among young people and does not require specific technical knowledge. On these websites, users through their virtual profile work interactively with other users, publishing photos and videos, join groups of common interests, publish and exchange their artistic creations, visit pages of other users and use a variety of applications. The Internet is a powerful tool in our hands, but if it is not used properly can put someone in a very risky situation. The challenge of the Internet is to be able to recognize potential hazards, to know how to prevent the risks and create options to avoid and terminate them.

The most significant problems that may be found in the social networking sites are:

Online Grooming (2), describes the behavior that tries to inspire confidence to the young user, so that to be able to perform a secret meeting with the user. The sexual abuse of the victim, physical violence or child prostitution and abuse through pornography may be the outcome of this meeting which makes it a kind of psychological treatment that is conducted online Another definition says that the «grooming» is a smart handling process, which typically starts without sexual approach, but is designed to entice the victim to sexual encounter. Moreover, sometimes is characterized as a seduction to highlight the slow and gradual process of disclosure of information from the younger user and build a relationship of trust.

Cyberbullying (3) is an aggressive behavior using electronic means. Such behaviors can make young people feel lonely, unhappy and frightened, to feel insecure and think that something is wrong. They lose confidence in their selves and may not want to go back to school or try to find ways to be isolated from their friends. Furthermore, in extreme cases, continuous, persistent and intense bullying has led to terrible consequences such as suicide intent. Harassment among children and adolescents may occur in very different forms not only manifested through roughhouse and aggression, but also through different types of intimidation that leaves the victim exposed.

Cybersuicide (4) describes the suicide or the attempt of suicide, which is influenced by the Internet. The Cybersuicide has caught the attention of the scientific community from the time that the recorded incidents of suicide are growing over the internet. It has been suggested that the use of the internet and specifically that the websites about suicide can promote suicide and thereby contribute to increasing rates of Cybersuicide. People who do not know each other come together and meet online and then they are gathered in a certain place in order to commit suicide together. Apart from committing suicide on the internet there is the case of users who commit this act while they are connected to the Internet: 𠇌ommitting suicide in real time via webcam”. In response to the above and other similar cases, the issue of the impact of the Internet in facilitating suicide has begun to be actively discussed. On a practical level, the scientific research regarding the Cybersuicide is still in a native stage, and the empirical evidence that the Internet has contributed to the increase of suicides is currently minimal. However, the Internet bears some features that allow someone to assume that a user can facilitate the act of committing suicide.

Cyber Racism (5) refers to the phenomenon of online racism. The expression of racism on the internet is common and frequent and is facilitate by the anonymity which is offered by the internet. Racism may be expressed through racist websites, photos videos, comments and messages on social networks.

Internet addiction (6) is a relatively new form of dependency, which is under review by the scientific community. Essentially it refers to the increasing number of people who report more and more involvement with the Internet to raise the feeling of satisfaction and a systematic increase in the time spent for pumping this feeling. The Internet addiction although not officially recognized as a clinical entity is a condition that causes significant reduction in the social and professional or academic functioning of the individual. Experts of mental health are increasingly invited to approach therapeutically people with problematic Internet use.

Online scams: (7) the internet facilitates electronic transactions, every day for millions of people and businesses and arrange their economic works through the net. As a matter of fact, it is necessary that the navigation on websites that include transactions should be performed with extreme caution and with confidence that they have been taken into account the forthcoming legislation and the compulsory insurance transaction regarding personal data. The most common scam is the method of Phising. It comes from combining the words password (code) and fishing (fishing). This is a particularly smart technique for economic deception through revealing both the personal data and in particular information concerning financial transactions. Misled unsuspecting users may disclose personal information to a fake form on the Internet. Evidence of the faked victim are double crossed and used for gaining access to personal data.

Electronic Gambling, [8] with the term Electronic Gambling can be identified the activity during which two or more people meet online to exchange bets. Such activity involves the risk of real financial loss or gain. One of the main problems of gambling is loss of money. This can lead to lose ones’ savings, home, or property etc. Many people become addicted and they cannot stop thinking that during the next round will get their money back. Therefore, wasting a lot of money one can waste considerable time in parallel, neglecting existing obligations with all the other ensuing consequences of the addiction. It is found that even the frequent attendance in gambling environments where there is no use of real money, can cause addiction. The ease of access to online gambling websites increases the risks of engagement of young adults in such activities.

Physical problems associated with the use of Computers: The ever-increasing use of computers has a negative impact on the health of users affecting various systems and causing physical and mental problems. Due to these problems there is a discrepancy on the body functionality of some user’s system with consequent changes in their quality of life. The most important of these problems affect the following systems: a) The ophthalmology system, b) The nervous system, c) The musculoskeletal system, d) Headaches, e) Tendency to obesity.

Internet Security: Used as a tremendous source of information and services the Internet should filter the bulk of such information, so that would never be accepted without criticism. Some readily provided information seeking valid practices and technique are listed below:


The Psychology of Video Games

Ah, late December. The time when the gaming press gets its members together and tries to convince each other that one awesome game is more awesome than other awesome games –also known as the Game of the Year Awards. When I worked as part of the creative team on GameSpy.com we would lock ourselves in a conference room and argue literally for hours about the minutia surrounding every big title released that year in order to generate our awards. I’m also listening attentively to the GotY content over on Giant Bomb, which is dedicating a full week of multi-hour podcasts to the raw debates that generated its lists. 1

These podcasts are interesting to me because I keep seeing well established psychological phenomenon coming up, but almost as interesting is when a psychological quirk doesn’t manifest itself because the guys seem to be aware of its danger to the process and have taken steps to avoid it. So in this post I present my list of 2010’s Top 5 Biases That Affect 2010 Game of the Year Discussions. Sponsored by Crest Whitening Tooth Strips.2

#5: The Recency/Primacy Effect

The recency effect describes how it’s often easier for us to recall more information (and more salient information) about things that have happened more recently or items towards the end of a list. Similarly, the primacy effect means the same thing for items at the beginning of a list or that happened towards the beginning of an established time frame. Between the two of these effects, stuff in the middle tends to get forgotten or muddled.

The impact on GotY lists should be apparent: If you’re studying a list of games released in the last year, it’s going to be easier to recall stuff about the first and last few games. We’re also more likely to recall details about games we played more recently (like Call fo Duty: Black Ops) or earlier in the year (like Bayonetta). Details and memories of games released toward the middle of the year (like Splinter Cell: Conviction) might not come to mind as easily.3

#4: Confirmation Bias

This is a big one for GotY discussions. Confirmation bias is our tendency to ignore or downplay information that dis-confirms our preconceived decisions or opinions and to pay more attention to and emphasize information that confirms them. If you go into a discussion of the Best Downloadable Game of 2010 thinking that Monday Night Combat should win, you’re less likely to think about its flaws (e.g., limited maps, repetitive comments from the announcer) and more likely to remember its strengths (e.g., class balance, fun character design) relative to someone who didn’t hold the same assumption. What’s more, you’ll probably say that the pros are more important to weighting your decision than the cons.

End of discussion! Wait, what?

Good ways to combat this are to get in the mindset of allowing people to challenge your assumptions and engaging in debate. It can also be helpful to list out the pros/cons (with help from others) so that you see them laid out and from a different perspective.

#3: Over-Emphasizing Salient Features

I wrote at length about this concept earlier, but here’s the quick version: When puny humans are asked to justify a decision, we tend to focus on the most salient or plausible explanations and then give them too much weight. To repeat my example from the previous article: if asked to explain why you favor Red Dead Redemption for the Best Action Game of the 2010, you may think about what should be included in the checklist for evaluating an action game, come up with “the weapons,” and then feel compelled to award or take away credit for how the game’s weapons feel and work. The problem is, the most salient and plausible factors may not be the ones that are really responsible for how much you enjoy the game. The weapons in Red Dead Redemption are largely unremarkable –the game’s appeal lies almost entirely in other areas and any weight given to how cool the weapons are is inappropriate at best.

This gun is irrelevant. Ignore this gun.

I keep seeing this come up in GotY discussions because professional game enthusiasts4 tend to hate using vague, worn out descriptors like “fun” or “awesome” or “polished” even though those words may be perfectly appropriate if a bit mundane. But these Internet auteurs are determined to have something more descriptive to say, so they cast about for something else and end up falling for the trap described above.

#2: Social Proof and Groupthink

This one is kind of a twofer since social proof and groupthink are separate but related. Again, I’ve written about social proof before, and the idea is that we will sometimes accept proclamations that are clearly at odds with our own senses just because we often have a desire to conform to the group’s standards. Soloman Asch showed this in a classic study where he got people to say that a long line was shorter than a short line simply by having someone planted in the group who would immediately pipe up and say so. The effect is even stronger with a group of strangers and statements with a less clearly defined correct answer, such as politics or game of the year awards. Which is why someone may not speak up when others in the group immediately jump on World of Warcraft: Cataclysm as the Best Role-Playing Game of the year, even though by most reasonable definitions it’s not a game.5

Deathwing thinks Line A is shorter. Are YOU going to argue?

The flipside is groupthink, which is when members of a cohesive, established group will ignore information, abstain from critical debate and accept otherwise questionable decisions in order to minimize conflict and maintain warm fuzzies. So again, Cataclysm might win, because so-and-so can be such a pedantic jackass about it and nobody wants to harsh the vibe or destroy the atmosphere of friendly discussion.

Interestingly, the Giant Bomb guys seemed to disarm these two biases from the start by joking about how they hate each other and how they anticipate rancorous arguments. This sets the stage that it’s okay –expected, even– to question each others’ decisions and engage in critical analysis.

#1: The Distinction Bias

Many GotY debates in categories like “Best [Genre] Game” come down to two similar contenders, resulting in protracted discussions where the merits of each candidate are obsessively scrutinized. This is a recipie for what’s known as the distinction bias. The idea comes from a theory that people engage in two modes of evaluation when pondering the merits of an experience: joint evaluation and single evaluation mode. The former is done when comparing multiple things at once and the latter when evaluating something individually.6

The distinction bias describes how when operating in joint evaluation mode we tend to over-emphasize and over weight otherwise slight differences between the subjects. If debating Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit and Grand Turismo 5 for Driving Game of the Year, we may make a bigger deal about Hot Pursuit’s lower frame rate than we would have if we were evaluating the game by itself. As a result, when operating in this comparison mode we tend to think worse of the loser than we would have if we had evaluated it without resorting to direct comparisons.

We need speed. And also unbounded rationality.

This is perhaps acceptable in GotY debates when we HAVE to pick a winner –it’s often the fine details that act as tie breakers. But the trouble may come when you have a mix of different types of games where two of them are similar. If you aim to trim the initial list to a set of three finalists, a tempting place to start is by comparing the most similar games (c.f., elimination by alternatives). Because of the distinction bias, the loser in that comparison may end up being evaluated worse than before and may end up getting cut from the list even though it was better than the non-similar games.

So there you have it. Five psychological phenomena that drive game of the year debates. Go listen to your favorite GotY podcast (again, I heartily recommend The Giant Bombcast) and see if you can catch them in action. If you do, post about it in the comments section!


What is Social Proof?

Social proof is the psychological phenomenon that causes someone to think you are great because they know that other people think you are great. For example, for a startup, it can be really hard to get the first person to commit seed capital. However, once you have one investor who is well known, it’s easier to raise money from other investors because they trust the initial investor’s opinion.

Social proof matters especially when you’re interacting with someone who doesn’t know you. That means that social proof can have a huge impact on sales, particularly when cold emailing someone. Just how big? Let’s walk through our three experiments in social proof.

Experiment 1: Mention a Famous Customer

In our first experiment with social proof we tested whether prominently mentioning well-known customers in the email led to more interest from prospects that were cold emailed. In the baseline, a list of “famous customers of our product” was buried at the bottom of the email.

Prominently mentioning a famous customer in the email tripled the number of people who replied to the email and said “yes, I’m interested in this.”

There’s an old expression that no one ever gets fired for choosing IBM. A corollary to that could be, no one gets fired for choosing the vendor that IBM chooses.

Experiment 2: Gratuitously Mention a Famous Investor

In our next experiment, we decided to try simply mentioning an investor of the company in the sales pitch. This campaign targeted technology companies, so in the introduction of the email we mentioned a famous technology investor who was an investor in the company. In the baseline, we did not mention the investor at all.

Mentioning this technology investor doubled the conversion rate in terms of people who wrote back and expressed interest in the product.

Keep in mind, this isn’t just “oh more people got tricked into opening the email because you mentioned the investor.” These are people who responded to the email asking to talk to the company about the product. We’re pitching the same product in each email, but the words you choose really matter!

Experiment 3: Mentioning a Shared LinkedIn Connection

Finally, what happens to email conversation rates when you mention that you know someone in common? In the experiment, we mentioned two LinkedIn connections that the sender had in common with the recipient, very prominently. In the baseline, we did not mention any share connections.

By far, mentioning shared LinkedIn connections was the most effect social proof tactic for increasing conversions. 25.5% of the people who received this email opted in to have a further conversation about the product, versus just 4.4% who received the baseline email.

Conclusion

If there is any one conclusion from these experiments, it’s that the words you use in your emails really matter. Social proof is by no means the only way to increase conversion rates, but it’s one that our data has shown to be effective.

Mentioning one of your famous customers can increase conversion rates by 208%. Gratuitously mentioning and a well known investor in your company can increase conversion rates by 111%, and just mentioning a couple of shared LinkedIn Connections can increase rates by 468%.

Human beings are social animals, and that fact is manifest everywhere even when responding to sales emails.


Social norms and how they impact behaviour

There is wide interest in the social norms construct across psychology, economics, law and social marketing. Now a study investigates an important missing piece in the social norms’ puzzle: what is the underlying process that explains how norms impact behaviour? The answer: self–other similarity (self-categorization) and internalization.

In another example of a successful social norms intervention, Nolan and colleagues 2 found that household energy use was reduced the most when people were presented with a descriptive normative message (‘most people in your community are finding ways to conserve energy’) compared with messages that highlighted self-interest (‘the time is right to save money on your home energy bills’), environmental protection (‘the time is right for reducing greenhouse gases’) or social responsibility (‘we need to work together to save energy’). There are numerous other examples across a wide range of behaviours (for example, tax compliance and binge drinking), showing that knowledge of what others do affects people’s own behaviour in significant and important ways.


Drop Product Returns

Influence shopping behavior without having to restrict people,
or having to provide monetary incentives.


6 Social proof examples to boost online conversions as shops start to reopen

Social proof is an endorsement that says that a business, a service, a person, or a product is great, and it also communicates that the overall experience has satisfied other shoppers before.

In short, any positive comments about you, your company or your product are considered social proof.

It might be a concept as old as marketing itself, but the rise of social media and the current economic landscape have enhanced the importance and effect social proof can have on conversion rates.

Today, leveraging other people’s opinions helps convert more. That’s why, social proof, by providing third-party validation, helps make businesses more trustworthy. Indeed, a Canvas8 and Trustpilot study found that 89% of global consumers check online reviews as part of their online buying journey, and 49% of global consumers consider positive reviews one of their top 3 purchase influences.

As many countries start easing their lockdown measures, some brick and mortar shops are preparing to reopen soon. But with consumers doing most of their shopping online at the moment, we could see an overall dip in online conversions when high street shops reopen this summer.

To help eCommerce businesses, we’ve put together 6 ways brands can use social proof to boost their conversion rate.

6 Social proof examples to boost your online conversions as brick and mortar shops reopen

1. Reviews and ratings

Today, consumers rely on online reviews when making buying decisions online. This is why every business should leverage reviews as social proof.

The same Trustpilot and Canvas8 study found that, today, 55% of consumers would prefer to use an open and transparent review platform, and 49% of consumers believe many dishonest brands are guilty of manipulating customer reviews to improve their reputation.

On an open platform, anyone is free to write a review as long as they comply with the guidelines set out by the platform, and verified, genuine customer feedback can not be edited or deleted by companies. If you’re considering using a review platform, opt for an open one, which shows authentic and real reviews from customers.

Displaying online reviews on as many channels as possible (social media, online shop, paid ads…) is a great way to boost customer confidence throughout the buying journey. Here are some ways brands have found success leveraging reviews as social proof before:


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A “Snowball Effect”

Social proof is like a snowball. Once you get the momentum going and the “ball rolling”, it can get going Big Time! The stronger the social proof you build, the more trust your potential customers have, and the more you convert!

But even though you have the social proof snowball rolling downhill, you still need a critical piece of the conversion puzzle in place. You guessed it – landing pages.

You can leverage the power of social proof to the hilt and build up all kinds of momentum en route to a conversion and then blow it by not having a landing page that's “dialed in”, or even worse, not having a landing page at all.

For maximum online marketing success, you need landing pages. Landing pages that rock! You want your landing pages to be powered by persuasive copywriting, solid, conversion-friendly design and a very compelling offer.

And you want Lander, the very best landing page platform available.

Why Lander? For one thing, Lander is the easiest-to-use landing page platform in the Universe. It's super-simple to set up and maintain. And Lander is loaded with features like

  • Advanced A/B testing capability – helps you refine and optimize your online marketing approach for greater and greater results!
  • Easy to Use Editor -- makes it super easy to design your own landing pages.
  • Prominent, colorful call-to-action buttons – helps you focus your potential customer's attention on what you most want him to do – convert!

And here's the Lander “feature” you just might like the most: You can try any of our landing page templates and rate plans free of charge for up to 30 days!

Do you have any questions about how Lander can help you launch your online marketing results into the stratosphere? Contact us today.

Post Author

Krishna Shastry

Krishna is a conversion specialist and a digital marketing guru. His focus is to help customers maximize their conversion optimization metrics. Reach out if you need help with your conversion rates!

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Krishna Shastry

Krishna is a conversion specialist and a digital marketing guru. His focus is to help customers maximize their conversion optimization metrics. Reach out if you need help with your conversion rates!

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A brief overview of Reply.io

Reply.io is a top sales engagement platform. It helps companies discover new leads by automating email, LinkedIn, and phone call outreach.

The software has exploded into the sales sector, netting an impressive share of the market with killer growth tactics and conversion strategies driven by next-generation tools.

Thanks to the conversion strategies outlined in this article, Reply.io has reached:

  • Estimated annual revenue of $7.5 million
  • 220,000+ monthly visitors
  • 21,000+ backlinks
  • 12,000+ organic keywords
  • A Domain Authority score of 73

Sources: Growjo, SimilarWeb & Ahrefs

Broadly speaking, a lot of Reply’s marketing success lies in its marketing consistency. Go to their website, social, or email campaigns and you’ll notice they have consistent branding and messaging everywhere.

For example, check out the coherency between Reply’s social media profiles.

Take a look at Facebook first:

Now see how it's replicated on Twitter. Reply uses the same social proof stamp (being recognized in the G2 Top 50), with identical branding:

This may seem like a small and really simple tactic. Yet it's crucial to keep driving their messaging into people's minds with each little touchpoint.

But what's behind that messaging? And how does Reply use it to actually convert visitors on their website?

Here, we’ll present the top eight marketing techniques that Reply uses to increase organic visitors and lead to a higher conversion rate.


1. INTRODUCTION

It is an undeniable fact that both computers and the Internet have become one of the most important achievements of modern society. They bring their own revolution in human daily life (science, education, information, entertainment etc) eliminating the distances and offering immediate and easily access to information and communication. With the continuous development of new technologies, the Internet users are able to communicate anywhere in the world to shop online, use it as an educational tool, work remotely and carry out financial transactions with various services offered by banks. The infinite possibilities that are offered by the Internet can often lead users to abuse it, or to use it for malicious purposes against other users, organizations and public services. With the rapid spread and growth of the Internet, they have appeared some social phenomena such as cyberbullying, internet pornography, grooming through social networks, cybersuicide, Internet addiction and social isolation, racism on the web. Moreover, there is always the risk of any sort of fraud exploitation by the so called experts of technology systems who use Internet as a mean to carry out illegal acts.

Social Networks

The human being is often considered as a “social being.” Therefore, it is no surprise that the Internet is continuously transformed from a simple tool for publishing information to a mean of social interaction and participation. Social networks (1) are characterized as online services that allow individuals to create a public profile within an entrenched net system. Additionally, the users publish a list of other users with whom share a connection and view and interchange their own lists of connections and those who are created by others in the system. Social networks are a set of interactions and relationships. The term is also used today to describe websites that allow interface between users sharing reviews, photos and other information. The most famous of these websites are Facebook, Twitter, My Space, Skype, OoVoo, LinkedIn, Tumblr, YouTube, TripAdvisor. These websites are virtual communities where people can communicate and develop contacts through them.

A social network is a social structure made up for a number of factors, such as individuals or organizations. On the internet, social networks are a platform that is maintained for the creation of social relations between people, usually as active members of the social network, with common interests or activities.

Social networking sites are organized sites on the web with more centered character providing in their overwhelming majority, a series of basic and free services such as creating profiles, uploading pictures and videos, commenting on actions taken by other members of the network or group, instant messaging and other more

Internet Risks

Social networking is an amazing technological phenomenon of the 21st century. Social networking websites allow each user to create and design a personal website, using graphics, color, music, pictures and give it a unique character. This activity is particularly popular among young people and does not require specific technical knowledge. On these websites, users through their virtual profile work interactively with other users, publishing photos and videos, join groups of common interests, publish and exchange their artistic creations, visit pages of other users and use a variety of applications. The Internet is a powerful tool in our hands, but if it is not used properly can put someone in a very risky situation. The challenge of the Internet is to be able to recognize potential hazards, to know how to prevent the risks and create options to avoid and terminate them.

The most significant problems that may be found in the social networking sites are:

Online Grooming (2), describes the behavior that tries to inspire confidence to the young user, so that to be able to perform a secret meeting with the user. The sexual abuse of the victim, physical violence or child prostitution and abuse through pornography may be the outcome of this meeting which makes it a kind of psychological treatment that is conducted online Another definition says that the «grooming» is a smart handling process, which typically starts without sexual approach, but is designed to entice the victim to sexual encounter. Moreover, sometimes is characterized as a seduction to highlight the slow and gradual process of disclosure of information from the younger user and build a relationship of trust.

Cyberbullying (3) is an aggressive behavior using electronic means. Such behaviors can make young people feel lonely, unhappy and frightened, to feel insecure and think that something is wrong. They lose confidence in their selves and may not want to go back to school or try to find ways to be isolated from their friends. Furthermore, in extreme cases, continuous, persistent and intense bullying has led to terrible consequences such as suicide intent. Harassment among children and adolescents may occur in very different forms not only manifested through roughhouse and aggression, but also through different types of intimidation that leaves the victim exposed.

Cybersuicide (4) describes the suicide or the attempt of suicide, which is influenced by the Internet. The Cybersuicide has caught the attention of the scientific community from the time that the recorded incidents of suicide are growing over the internet. It has been suggested that the use of the internet and specifically that the websites about suicide can promote suicide and thereby contribute to increasing rates of Cybersuicide. People who do not know each other come together and meet online and then they are gathered in a certain place in order to commit suicide together. Apart from committing suicide on the internet there is the case of users who commit this act while they are connected to the Internet: 𠇌ommitting suicide in real time via webcam”. In response to the above and other similar cases, the issue of the impact of the Internet in facilitating suicide has begun to be actively discussed. On a practical level, the scientific research regarding the Cybersuicide is still in a native stage, and the empirical evidence that the Internet has contributed to the increase of suicides is currently minimal. However, the Internet bears some features that allow someone to assume that a user can facilitate the act of committing suicide.

Cyber Racism (5) refers to the phenomenon of online racism. The expression of racism on the internet is common and frequent and is facilitate by the anonymity which is offered by the internet. Racism may be expressed through racist websites, photos videos, comments and messages on social networks.

Internet addiction (6) is a relatively new form of dependency, which is under review by the scientific community. Essentially it refers to the increasing number of people who report more and more involvement with the Internet to raise the feeling of satisfaction and a systematic increase in the time spent for pumping this feeling. The Internet addiction although not officially recognized as a clinical entity is a condition that causes significant reduction in the social and professional or academic functioning of the individual. Experts of mental health are increasingly invited to approach therapeutically people with problematic Internet use.

Online scams: (7) the internet facilitates electronic transactions, every day for millions of people and businesses and arrange their economic works through the net. As a matter of fact, it is necessary that the navigation on websites that include transactions should be performed with extreme caution and with confidence that they have been taken into account the forthcoming legislation and the compulsory insurance transaction regarding personal data. The most common scam is the method of Phising. It comes from combining the words password (code) and fishing (fishing). This is a particularly smart technique for economic deception through revealing both the personal data and in particular information concerning financial transactions. Misled unsuspecting users may disclose personal information to a fake form on the Internet. Evidence of the faked victim are double crossed and used for gaining access to personal data.

Electronic Gambling, [8] with the term Electronic Gambling can be identified the activity during which two or more people meet online to exchange bets. Such activity involves the risk of real financial loss or gain. One of the main problems of gambling is loss of money. This can lead to lose ones’ savings, home, or property etc. Many people become addicted and they cannot stop thinking that during the next round will get their money back. Therefore, wasting a lot of money one can waste considerable time in parallel, neglecting existing obligations with all the other ensuing consequences of the addiction. It is found that even the frequent attendance in gambling environments where there is no use of real money, can cause addiction. The ease of access to online gambling websites increases the risks of engagement of young adults in such activities.

Physical problems associated with the use of Computers: The ever-increasing use of computers has a negative impact on the health of users affecting various systems and causing physical and mental problems. Due to these problems there is a discrepancy on the body functionality of some user’s system with consequent changes in their quality of life. The most important of these problems affect the following systems: a) The ophthalmology system, b) The nervous system, c) The musculoskeletal system, d) Headaches, e) Tendency to obesity.

Internet Security: Used as a tremendous source of information and services the Internet should filter the bulk of such information, so that would never be accepted without criticism. Some readily provided information seeking valid practices and technique are listed below:


Drop Product Returns

Influence shopping behavior without having to restrict people,
or having to provide monetary incentives.


What is Social Proof?

Social proof is the psychological phenomenon that causes someone to think you are great because they know that other people think you are great. For example, for a startup, it can be really hard to get the first person to commit seed capital. However, once you have one investor who is well known, it’s easier to raise money from other investors because they trust the initial investor’s opinion.

Social proof matters especially when you’re interacting with someone who doesn’t know you. That means that social proof can have a huge impact on sales, particularly when cold emailing someone. Just how big? Let’s walk through our three experiments in social proof.

Experiment 1: Mention a Famous Customer

In our first experiment with social proof we tested whether prominently mentioning well-known customers in the email led to more interest from prospects that were cold emailed. In the baseline, a list of “famous customers of our product” was buried at the bottom of the email.

Prominently mentioning a famous customer in the email tripled the number of people who replied to the email and said “yes, I’m interested in this.”

There’s an old expression that no one ever gets fired for choosing IBM. A corollary to that could be, no one gets fired for choosing the vendor that IBM chooses.

Experiment 2: Gratuitously Mention a Famous Investor

In our next experiment, we decided to try simply mentioning an investor of the company in the sales pitch. This campaign targeted technology companies, so in the introduction of the email we mentioned a famous technology investor who was an investor in the company. In the baseline, we did not mention the investor at all.

Mentioning this technology investor doubled the conversion rate in terms of people who wrote back and expressed interest in the product.

Keep in mind, this isn’t just “oh more people got tricked into opening the email because you mentioned the investor.” These are people who responded to the email asking to talk to the company about the product. We’re pitching the same product in each email, but the words you choose really matter!

Experiment 3: Mentioning a Shared LinkedIn Connection

Finally, what happens to email conversation rates when you mention that you know someone in common? In the experiment, we mentioned two LinkedIn connections that the sender had in common with the recipient, very prominently. In the baseline, we did not mention any share connections.

By far, mentioning shared LinkedIn connections was the most effect social proof tactic for increasing conversions. 25.5% of the people who received this email opted in to have a further conversation about the product, versus just 4.4% who received the baseline email.

Conclusion

If there is any one conclusion from these experiments, it’s that the words you use in your emails really matter. Social proof is by no means the only way to increase conversion rates, but it’s one that our data has shown to be effective.

Mentioning one of your famous customers can increase conversion rates by 208%. Gratuitously mentioning and a well known investor in your company can increase conversion rates by 111%, and just mentioning a couple of shared LinkedIn Connections can increase rates by 468%.

Human beings are social animals, and that fact is manifest everywhere even when responding to sales emails.


Social norms and how they impact behaviour

There is wide interest in the social norms construct across psychology, economics, law and social marketing. Now a study investigates an important missing piece in the social norms’ puzzle: what is the underlying process that explains how norms impact behaviour? The answer: self–other similarity (self-categorization) and internalization.

In another example of a successful social norms intervention, Nolan and colleagues 2 found that household energy use was reduced the most when people were presented with a descriptive normative message (‘most people in your community are finding ways to conserve energy’) compared with messages that highlighted self-interest (‘the time is right to save money on your home energy bills’), environmental protection (‘the time is right for reducing greenhouse gases’) or social responsibility (‘we need to work together to save energy’). There are numerous other examples across a wide range of behaviours (for example, tax compliance and binge drinking), showing that knowledge of what others do affects people’s own behaviour in significant and important ways.


The Psychology of Video Games

Ah, late December. The time when the gaming press gets its members together and tries to convince each other that one awesome game is more awesome than other awesome games –also known as the Game of the Year Awards. When I worked as part of the creative team on GameSpy.com we would lock ourselves in a conference room and argue literally for hours about the minutia surrounding every big title released that year in order to generate our awards. I’m also listening attentively to the GotY content over on Giant Bomb, which is dedicating a full week of multi-hour podcasts to the raw debates that generated its lists. 1

These podcasts are interesting to me because I keep seeing well established psychological phenomenon coming up, but almost as interesting is when a psychological quirk doesn’t manifest itself because the guys seem to be aware of its danger to the process and have taken steps to avoid it. So in this post I present my list of 2010’s Top 5 Biases That Affect 2010 Game of the Year Discussions. Sponsored by Crest Whitening Tooth Strips.2

#5: The Recency/Primacy Effect

The recency effect describes how it’s often easier for us to recall more information (and more salient information) about things that have happened more recently or items towards the end of a list. Similarly, the primacy effect means the same thing for items at the beginning of a list or that happened towards the beginning of an established time frame. Between the two of these effects, stuff in the middle tends to get forgotten or muddled.

The impact on GotY lists should be apparent: If you’re studying a list of games released in the last year, it’s going to be easier to recall stuff about the first and last few games. We’re also more likely to recall details about games we played more recently (like Call fo Duty: Black Ops) or earlier in the year (like Bayonetta). Details and memories of games released toward the middle of the year (like Splinter Cell: Conviction) might not come to mind as easily.3

#4: Confirmation Bias

This is a big one for GotY discussions. Confirmation bias is our tendency to ignore or downplay information that dis-confirms our preconceived decisions or opinions and to pay more attention to and emphasize information that confirms them. If you go into a discussion of the Best Downloadable Game of 2010 thinking that Monday Night Combat should win, you’re less likely to think about its flaws (e.g., limited maps, repetitive comments from the announcer) and more likely to remember its strengths (e.g., class balance, fun character design) relative to someone who didn’t hold the same assumption. What’s more, you’ll probably say that the pros are more important to weighting your decision than the cons.

End of discussion! Wait, what?

Good ways to combat this are to get in the mindset of allowing people to challenge your assumptions and engaging in debate. It can also be helpful to list out the pros/cons (with help from others) so that you see them laid out and from a different perspective.

#3: Over-Emphasizing Salient Features

I wrote at length about this concept earlier, but here’s the quick version: When puny humans are asked to justify a decision, we tend to focus on the most salient or plausible explanations and then give them too much weight. To repeat my example from the previous article: if asked to explain why you favor Red Dead Redemption for the Best Action Game of the 2010, you may think about what should be included in the checklist for evaluating an action game, come up with “the weapons,” and then feel compelled to award or take away credit for how the game’s weapons feel and work. The problem is, the most salient and plausible factors may not be the ones that are really responsible for how much you enjoy the game. The weapons in Red Dead Redemption are largely unremarkable –the game’s appeal lies almost entirely in other areas and any weight given to how cool the weapons are is inappropriate at best.

This gun is irrelevant. Ignore this gun.

I keep seeing this come up in GotY discussions because professional game enthusiasts4 tend to hate using vague, worn out descriptors like “fun” or “awesome” or “polished” even though those words may be perfectly appropriate if a bit mundane. But these Internet auteurs are determined to have something more descriptive to say, so they cast about for something else and end up falling for the trap described above.

#2: Social Proof and Groupthink

This one is kind of a twofer since social proof and groupthink are separate but related. Again, I’ve written about social proof before, and the idea is that we will sometimes accept proclamations that are clearly at odds with our own senses just because we often have a desire to conform to the group’s standards. Soloman Asch showed this in a classic study where he got people to say that a long line was shorter than a short line simply by having someone planted in the group who would immediately pipe up and say so. The effect is even stronger with a group of strangers and statements with a less clearly defined correct answer, such as politics or game of the year awards. Which is why someone may not speak up when others in the group immediately jump on World of Warcraft: Cataclysm as the Best Role-Playing Game of the year, even though by most reasonable definitions it’s not a game.5

Deathwing thinks Line A is shorter. Are YOU going to argue?

The flipside is groupthink, which is when members of a cohesive, established group will ignore information, abstain from critical debate and accept otherwise questionable decisions in order to minimize conflict and maintain warm fuzzies. So again, Cataclysm might win, because so-and-so can be such a pedantic jackass about it and nobody wants to harsh the vibe or destroy the atmosphere of friendly discussion.

Interestingly, the Giant Bomb guys seemed to disarm these two biases from the start by joking about how they hate each other and how they anticipate rancorous arguments. This sets the stage that it’s okay –expected, even– to question each others’ decisions and engage in critical analysis.

#1: The Distinction Bias

Many GotY debates in categories like “Best [Genre] Game” come down to two similar contenders, resulting in protracted discussions where the merits of each candidate are obsessively scrutinized. This is a recipie for what’s known as the distinction bias. The idea comes from a theory that people engage in two modes of evaluation when pondering the merits of an experience: joint evaluation and single evaluation mode. The former is done when comparing multiple things at once and the latter when evaluating something individually.6

The distinction bias describes how when operating in joint evaluation mode we tend to over-emphasize and over weight otherwise slight differences between the subjects. If debating Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit and Grand Turismo 5 for Driving Game of the Year, we may make a bigger deal about Hot Pursuit’s lower frame rate than we would have if we were evaluating the game by itself. As a result, when operating in this comparison mode we tend to think worse of the loser than we would have if we had evaluated it without resorting to direct comparisons.

We need speed. And also unbounded rationality.

This is perhaps acceptable in GotY debates when we HAVE to pick a winner –it’s often the fine details that act as tie breakers. But the trouble may come when you have a mix of different types of games where two of them are similar. If you aim to trim the initial list to a set of three finalists, a tempting place to start is by comparing the most similar games (c.f., elimination by alternatives). Because of the distinction bias, the loser in that comparison may end up being evaluated worse than before and may end up getting cut from the list even though it was better than the non-similar games.

So there you have it. Five psychological phenomena that drive game of the year debates. Go listen to your favorite GotY podcast (again, I heartily recommend The Giant Bombcast) and see if you can catch them in action. If you do, post about it in the comments section!


A brief overview of Reply.io

Reply.io is a top sales engagement platform. It helps companies discover new leads by automating email, LinkedIn, and phone call outreach.

The software has exploded into the sales sector, netting an impressive share of the market with killer growth tactics and conversion strategies driven by next-generation tools.

Thanks to the conversion strategies outlined in this article, Reply.io has reached:

  • Estimated annual revenue of $7.5 million
  • 220,000+ monthly visitors
  • 21,000+ backlinks
  • 12,000+ organic keywords
  • A Domain Authority score of 73

Sources: Growjo, SimilarWeb & Ahrefs

Broadly speaking, a lot of Reply’s marketing success lies in its marketing consistency. Go to their website, social, or email campaigns and you’ll notice they have consistent branding and messaging everywhere.

For example, check out the coherency between Reply’s social media profiles.

Take a look at Facebook first:

Now see how it's replicated on Twitter. Reply uses the same social proof stamp (being recognized in the G2 Top 50), with identical branding:

This may seem like a small and really simple tactic. Yet it's crucial to keep driving their messaging into people's minds with each little touchpoint.

But what's behind that messaging? And how does Reply use it to actually convert visitors on their website?

Here, we’ll present the top eight marketing techniques that Reply uses to increase organic visitors and lead to a higher conversion rate.


A “Snowball Effect”

Social proof is like a snowball. Once you get the momentum going and the “ball rolling”, it can get going Big Time! The stronger the social proof you build, the more trust your potential customers have, and the more you convert!

But even though you have the social proof snowball rolling downhill, you still need a critical piece of the conversion puzzle in place. You guessed it – landing pages.

You can leverage the power of social proof to the hilt and build up all kinds of momentum en route to a conversion and then blow it by not having a landing page that's “dialed in”, or even worse, not having a landing page at all.

For maximum online marketing success, you need landing pages. Landing pages that rock! You want your landing pages to be powered by persuasive copywriting, solid, conversion-friendly design and a very compelling offer.

And you want Lander, the very best landing page platform available.

Why Lander? For one thing, Lander is the easiest-to-use landing page platform in the Universe. It's super-simple to set up and maintain. And Lander is loaded with features like

  • Advanced A/B testing capability – helps you refine and optimize your online marketing approach for greater and greater results!
  • Easy to Use Editor -- makes it super easy to design your own landing pages.
  • Prominent, colorful call-to-action buttons – helps you focus your potential customer's attention on what you most want him to do – convert!

And here's the Lander “feature” you just might like the most: You can try any of our landing page templates and rate plans free of charge for up to 30 days!

Do you have any questions about how Lander can help you launch your online marketing results into the stratosphere? Contact us today.

Post Author

Krishna Shastry

Krishna is a conversion specialist and a digital marketing guru. His focus is to help customers maximize their conversion optimization metrics. Reach out if you need help with your conversion rates!

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Krishna Shastry

Krishna is a conversion specialist and a digital marketing guru. His focus is to help customers maximize their conversion optimization metrics. Reach out if you need help with your conversion rates!

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6 Social proof examples to boost online conversions as shops start to reopen

Social proof is an endorsement that says that a business, a service, a person, or a product is great, and it also communicates that the overall experience has satisfied other shoppers before.

In short, any positive comments about you, your company or your product are considered social proof.

It might be a concept as old as marketing itself, but the rise of social media and the current economic landscape have enhanced the importance and effect social proof can have on conversion rates.

Today, leveraging other people’s opinions helps convert more. That’s why, social proof, by providing third-party validation, helps make businesses more trustworthy. Indeed, a Canvas8 and Trustpilot study found that 89% of global consumers check online reviews as part of their online buying journey, and 49% of global consumers consider positive reviews one of their top 3 purchase influences.

As many countries start easing their lockdown measures, some brick and mortar shops are preparing to reopen soon. But with consumers doing most of their shopping online at the moment, we could see an overall dip in online conversions when high street shops reopen this summer.

To help eCommerce businesses, we’ve put together 6 ways brands can use social proof to boost their conversion rate.

6 Social proof examples to boost your online conversions as brick and mortar shops reopen

1. Reviews and ratings

Today, consumers rely on online reviews when making buying decisions online. This is why every business should leverage reviews as social proof.

The same Trustpilot and Canvas8 study found that, today, 55% of consumers would prefer to use an open and transparent review platform, and 49% of consumers believe many dishonest brands are guilty of manipulating customer reviews to improve their reputation.

On an open platform, anyone is free to write a review as long as they comply with the guidelines set out by the platform, and verified, genuine customer feedback can not be edited or deleted by companies. If you’re considering using a review platform, opt for an open one, which shows authentic and real reviews from customers.

Displaying online reviews on as many channels as possible (social media, online shop, paid ads…) is a great way to boost customer confidence throughout the buying journey. Here are some ways brands have found success leveraging reviews as social proof before:


Watch the video: The Social Proof Principle The Six Principles of Influence (January 2022).