Covid19 has changed the face of business worldwide. If you visit Oxford Street today, you would notice that a number of your favorite brands have closed their outlets and moved to E-Commerce for sustainable business operations. This has been a highly strategic move for all these brands and it has forced them to make significant changes to all their functional areas including advertising and marketing.
With these retail giants spending higher amounts on Social Media and Digital Marketing, this landscape is also becoming more competitive and expensive too. These bigger brands are now directly competing for impressions and reach with the smaller businesses resulting in higher CTR and CPC.
So if you are a small business what are your options? Your best bet is to create and promote Social Proofing around your business. What exactly is a social proof? By definition , Social proof is a psychological and social phenomenon wherein people copy the actions of others in an attempt to undertake behaviour in a given situation. Let’s get a better understanding with this basic example. Let’s say you go out to have your lunch and notice that out of the 5 restaurants around your office, 4 are 80% full while 1 is empty. Which restaurant would you go to? It’s more likely that you would like to go to the restaurants which are 80% full than the one which is empty because more customers are giving you social proof that the food in those restaurants is better.
So if you run a small E-Commerce business, how can you create social proof to compete with the industry giants who have crept into your business space? The easiest way is by building a user-based social proof. You can do this by ensuring that all your customers give you a review on Google, Facebook and other third-party platforms whenever they purchase something from your platform.
You can also use the “wisdom of crowds” which means that you can get a larger number of people endorsing your brand. This could be posting an image of a long line of customers standing outside your business to create an “out of stock” appearance! You can also use the “wisdom of friends” where people follow you just because their friends do. The best way would be getting video reviews and tagging your customer who then shares this on his/her profile.
There are other ways of creating a social proof too. You can add a lot of value to your brand by highlighting celebrity endorsements, expert reviews etc. Give your social media a break from posting continuously about your products and services. Post about your milestones (reaching x followers), respond and appreciate mentions, try getting influencers who give a shout out on barter basis, have brand ambassadors and encourage your users to curate content for you.