Have you ever visited a new town or city, somewhere you don’t exactly know your way around or the lie of the land? You’re wandering the unfamiliar streets, hungry and lost, but you have no idea where to eat. Suddenly, you pass a little restaurant that’s full, lively, and buzzing with happy-looking people. That’s the spot, you think to yourself, if the locals eat here, I’m eating here too.
Facebook ads work in a very similar way, meaning mastering social proof on Facebook ads is extremely important so keep on reading to learn more.
What is social proof on Facebook?
In this restaurant situation, the social proof that gives you the confidence to choose this restaurant - over hundreds of others - is the crowds of seemingly satisfied customers who have already made their choice and are encouraging you to do the same. The same rules apply when it comes to promoting your business or service using Facebook ads. Your ad might offer the best product on the market, but how will your prospective customers know that it’s the best, without seeing the social proof - that is, the happy customers inside the restaurant?
When you’re using Facebook ads to attract customers think of the likes, comments, shares, reviews, and customer testimonials as the happy restaurant customers tempting others to come inside. That, in a nutshell, is the power of social proof.
Why do you need social proof for your Facebook ads?
Social proof, especially when using Facebook ads, is the powerful cornerstone on which you build trust, confidence, and promote the reliability of both you and your brand.
It works like this, you go to the trouble of creating a really great new ad and you put it out there for the world to discover. Someone scrolling past might see your post and stop, but what’s going to keep them there, what’s going to encourage them to take further action? Once again, it’s the happy customers in the restaurant; the likes, the shares, the reviews, and the positive comments, they all add convincing social proof to any Facebook post and they encourage further action.
Whether that action leads directly to direct sales, product awareness, or offers something of interest or entertainment value, it was the existence of visible social proof that actively encouraged the visitor’s first step towards taking further action. But what was that visible social proof?
How to use social proof on Facebook ads
The five most measurable means of social proof:
- User-Generated Content
- Influencer endorsements
Likes - When we scroll through Facebook, either idly or with intent, the one thing that’s sure to stop us in our tracks is a post or ad with hundreds of likes. It stabs at our curiosity and niggles at our communal thinking, ‘If so many people like this, maybe I will too?’ And don’t forget, the more social proof engagements you receive the more Facebook will boost your relevance score - which in turn can even lower the cost of your advertising.
Comments - Comments drive conversation, that’s especially true when it comes to Facebook posts. If your Facebook ad can promote a healthy and balanced conversation between users you can be sure you’re doing something right, and you have the social proof to back it up. But remember, not all comments are good, and not all conversations lead to the results you were looking for. That’s why, with any posts you manage, you need to stay on top of what’s going on. A negative comment may not be your fault, but the damage it can cause might be long-lasting and hugely damaging. Sometimes the best strategy is to retreat and realise that the ad may need to be pulled.
Shares - Shares are the golden nuggets of Facebook ad campaigns. The more people who share your post the farther the reach grows. Your business may be based in a garden shed on a remote Scottish island, but with the power of shares, your business can go global instantly. That’s the power of social proof. In order to get those shares - which is a whole topic in itself - your ad or post needs to stand out from the crowd.
User-Generated Content - Using real feedback from real customers is the most invaluable and persuasive form of social proof that you can have in your armory. The testimony of a satisfied customer is something most people look for when considering making a purchase. Using customer reviews and user-generated content as the main elements of your Facebook ads is one of the easiest and most rewarding Facebook ad hacks or Facebook advertising tips that you can ever use to your advantage.
Influencer endorsements - Influencers can really help to raise your social proof profile when it comes to Facebook advertising. Any form of product endorsement by a celebrity or well-known figure - even a minor one - can lead to those clicks which go a long way towards creating a sense of trust, credibility, and confidence in yohur product. Having a well-known blogger or influencer comment on your product will raise your social proof to the highest levels. But there’s a word of warning that comes with using celebrities as your brand champion - celebrities fall from grace too, and when they fall you don’t want them bringing your brand crashing down with them.
How to create a new Facebook ad and keep your social proof intact
Imagine that you’ve created a Facebook ad that has generated a lot of positive social proof. You’re well aware that high performing Facebook posts are a hugely powerful asset to any business and should be treated accordingly. Your Facebook post has been so successful that you want to use it in a new campaign and to reach new audiences, but your worry is that when you create a new ad you will lose all that powerful social proof that you’ve worked so hard to build with your existing post. Is it possible to reuse an existing post and make sure that you STILL keep the value of your existing social proof?
Thankfully, the answer is yes, and here’s how it’s done.
- You’ll need to find the FB ad ID and duplicate it. Inside of the Facebook Ads Manager go directly to the ad you want to reuse and open it up for editing. Within the Ad preview section find the outgoing link - in the top right-hand corner - click on this link and choose ‘Facebook Post with Comments’.
- If you click on that link it will open the ad in a new tab. In the ad’s URL, you’ll find the ad’s id - a series of numbers at the end of the URL - copy this ad id.
- Return to your Ads Manager and go to the ad set or ad sets where you want your new ad to live. Next, click the ‘Create’ button which will allow you to make a new ad. On the create ad screen click on the tab ‘Use Existing Post’. Click on the ‘Select Post’ button to search using the ID, or simply click on the ‘Enter Post ID’ tap. When you’ve done that Facebook will create your new ad including the existing engagements, comments and shares.
- You can now carry on to create a new ad in the usual fashion.
NOTE - There are a variety of automated tools - such as Revealbot - that can manage this whole process for you.
How social proof can help you know your audience?
The value of social proof with Facebook posts can’t be overestimated - especially if you happen to be an online retailer. By getting to know, and understand, the different audiences who are engaging with your ads you are increasing your chances of reaching the right market at the right time.
Creating ads and posts that encourage engagement tend to have a snowball effect, increasing feedback, getting more likes, and generating more shares. There are many tools on the market to help you identify the type of visitor your posts are receiving, the best times for posting, and the most successful campaigns. But even without any sophisticated tools, there’s still a lot to be learned from your social proof. You will quickly identify the type of advertisement or post which works best for you. You will discover niche markets in differing geographical locations. You will raise your brand awareness, and most importantly you will generate the respect, trust, and credibility so desired by all successful business owners.
Just like that little local restaurant at the beginning of our article, do it right and they will come back again and again.