After social proof, social doubt

You are standing in front of a restaurant with which you have a reservation. You’ll notice a number of rewards displayed on the wall. Apparently, this restaurant was voted “best restaurant” according to a well-known guide every year from 2010 to 2020.

But why is it that since 2020 he no longer has a reward? The restaurant has probably gone bad. Doubt sets in and you feel like running away.

It’s social doubt, the kind that dissuades people from buying your brand.

The psychology of social doubt

You’re all familiar with social proof – we talk about it all the time on this blog, particularly with our Charlie software.
It’s when other customers talk about your brand for you.

Social doubt is the opposite of social proof.

Instead of reassuring people about their purchase, as social proof does, social doubt makes them doubt.

Let’s take the restaurant example again.
We’re looking for a restaurant to eat in. 2 restaurants in front of us. One is empty and the other is full… doubts start to creep in! We prefer to wait in the full restaurant next door because we have social proof that it’s probably good. The emptiness didn’t inspire confidence.
Doubt set in.

The same psychological phenomenon occurs when a restaurant wins an award in 2020, but not the year after.

Your prospects are naturally on the lookout for social doubt, and only social proof can counter social doubt.

In the mind of the buyer

Buyers are the first to spot anything suspicious about a brand. Low number of followers, old publications, no face on the company, no testimonials, etc …

Prospects don’t want to be tricked into buying from the wrong brand and wasting their time and money.
There are a lot of scams out there, especially on the Internet. Every purchase is more and more evaluated and considered. You certainly do.

72% of B2B buyers say they turn to their peers for relevant information before making a purchasing decision. Source : Forrester

Buyers want to see testimonials from people who use your product or service to solve the same problem they do.
Without testimonials, social doubt sets in.

Social doubt weighs heavily in the purchasing decision.

How to avoid social doubt?

Encourage customer testimonials

The absence of customer testimonials creates social doubt: prospects don’t want to be the first to buy a product.

Create an incentive to get your first customer testimonials.

We talk about it in the article: How to convince your customers to record a testimonial?

Our YourCharlie software makes it easy to collect video testimonials.

For example, G2 offered its subscribers a $10 Starbucks gift card to leave comments on its website, which was crucial in setting up its comment-based platform.

Don’t promote “dead” social networks

There’s no point in linking to social media profiles you’re not actively using.

It’s no good linking to a Facebook page on your website that has 30 followers and hasn’t posted a new message in two years.

Only link to social media on which you are actively publishing.

Conclusion

Your buyers are afraid of risk. They’re looking for any sign that buying from you won’t be a good experience.

Reassure your prospects by eliminating their social doubts. Replace it with the certainty that your products will deliver on their promises thanks to social proof.

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