4 ‘Social Proof’ Techniques That Convince Supporters To Take Action

Social proof is the positive influence that is created when an individual realizes that a mass of other people are doing something — that influence makes the individual conform and want to participate in that same thing too.

Because we are social creatures, this strength in numbers is powerfully persuasive to our human psyche! Learn how to bake social proof into your website (and social media feeds) by taking advantage of the 4 techniques below.

Scatter Testimonials Across Your Webpages

Why have testimonials neatly tucked away somewhere obscure on your site, when you could place them strategically throughout your webpages for a stronger emotional impact? You might consider placing testimonials in the following spots:
  • near any CTAs
  • on your donation page
  • in between copy to break up large walls of text
  • beside statistics to give the numbers a "human” touch
  • next to photo galleries of clients, volunteers, or those in need
Constantly seeing testimonials that praise your nonprofit’s efforts will subconsciously nurture a sense of trust within the potential supporter. This technique reminds the visitor that their time and money would be valued and appreciated by many if they choose to support your cause.

Share User-Generated Content

User-generated content (UGC) refers to any form of content (photos, videos, text, audio) that has been posted by people on social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Snapchat. Not only do users create content that raises awareness for your cause to their social networks, but you can also repurpose that creative content into your own social feeds and website (while giving credit to the original creators, of course).

Added bonus? Your supporters love getting a shoutout and it reinforces their loyalty to your organization! UGC is an authentic marketing strategy that’s truly a win-win situation. See examples of user-generated content below:

 Coca-Cola’s #ShareACoke Campaign

Adobe’s #CreateYourStory Campaign
Starbucks’ #WhiteCupContest

Take Advantage Of The "Halo Effect”

The "Halo Effect” is a cognitive bias: because we view a particular individual positively, that positive view subconsciously spreads to whatever this individual does or is associated with. This is exactly why celebrity brand endorsements are so popular (take for example shoe brand PUMA’s 92% income jump due largely to its collaboration with singer Rihanna).

Now if you’re a small to mid-sized nonprofit, chances are that A-list celebrity endorsements are a hard to come by! But, that’s not to say that you can’t still take advantage of the Halo Effect to influence your potential supporters to take action.

See if you can get your mission in front of social media influencers with similar interests (ie. a vegan blogger sharing a CTA directing her audience toward the website of your animal welfare nonprofit). Similarly, keep note of any mentions in the media about your organization — you can grab quotes from noteworthy publications to display on your website and on your social media.

Rephrase Your Calls-To-Action

You may be used to defaulting to standard industry CTAs like "Donate now”, "Give today!” and "Sign up for our newsletter!” But you can inject social proof into your CTAs as well:
  • For an animal welfare organization’s newsletter: "43,000 Animal Lovers Strong!”
  • For a reforestation nonprofit’s petition: "6,000 Tree Huggers Have Shown Us They Care.”
  • For a local homeless shelter’s donation page: "1,500 Torontonians Have Donated This Year.”
You get the idea. Be loud and proud about how many individuals have already taken action to show their support! You are emphasizing a sense of community. Humans are inherently social creatures and we would rather be welcomed into the majority than remain an outsider. Highlighting the number of people who have completed the CTA encourages your visitor to join the rest in making a positive impact for your cause.

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By Tanya Aquino (RA) on Jan 22, 2020, 12:00 AM

Marketing,Donor Relations

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