Social Proof is a powerful principle within social psychology that can be utilised within online marketing. The concept is based around the basic idea of ‘following the crowd’. Individuals are more likely to go with the majority than brave being the odd one out. As humans, we look at what others are doing to guide our own behaviours. For example, if you are unsure which restaurant to choose, you may look at reviews, choose a well-known brand, or ask your friends for a recommendation. In short, we look at how others behave and reflect this within our own actions. In particular, we will replicate the behaviour of those we look up to and respect. This idea is important for online marketing and can be used to grow your practice.
There are 5 main types of social proof:
Putting social proof to work for your dental practice could help boost the trust and authority your practice has, in turn increasing enquiries. Here are some ideas on how to use each type of social proof for your practice:
Try and find a figure with prominence in the dental or health industry to use within your marketing material and social media channels. For example a health blogger or member of a dental board.
Better still, build up your own dentist’s authority as experts in their field by displaying awards and accreditations on their site. Ask them to create regular blogs and or articles in local newspapers.
Try and find a patient with a good following on social media (you might be surprised how common this is!) and ask them to endorse you on their channel.
If there is a local celebrity or someone who is well known, see if you can get them involved with the practice on social media or marketing materials.
Use your current patients to gain new patients by proactively asking for reviews online. This is one of the most important and easiest ways of utilising social proof. Online reviews and case studies not only improve patient numbers, but Google also loves this kind of thing and is likely to boost rankings.
A good way to use this kind of proof is in simple marketing messages based on stats. Display how many happy patients you have treated, smiles you have straightened or implants you have placed on your website and social channels.
Encourage your patients to refer you to their friends with a simple referral scheme. This will help spread the word about your practice and also reward your loyal patients.