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Leveraging Social Proof to Grow Your App – 5 Smart Hacks

Updated on March 10, 2016
  • You are walking down a lane. A dozen people are looking up at the sky. Would you do it too?
  • There’s a long line of people waiting for their turn outside a restaurant. Do you think they serve good food?
  • One of your friend is all gaga over the new set of headphones he just bought. Do you feel like checking it out too?

If your answer is yes to any or all of the above, you are using social proof in your everyday life. And it’s not just you, it’s everyone. In today’s data native age, we are more informed than ever. Just at the tap of a button, we get to know what the existing customers are saying about the brand. Social proof is becoming an integral and crucial part of our buying decisions.

What is social proof? Put simply, it’s the psychological force that makes the people look to peers and professionals to make their own decisions.This is hard-wired in our psychology.Social proof exists because from the primeval times, we used to hunt in packs and in a subtle way, we still do. Knowingly or unknowingly, we all are conditioned by those around us, influencing our behaviors.

How is it relevant to your app? If you’re a mobile startup, building and leveraging your social proof is perhaps the best way to build instant credibility among prospects and existing users. Here are 5 smart hacks to leverage social proof to take your app to new heights.

1. Tap on Your Personal and Professional Network

According to a recent report by Google, 52% of the users discover an app through family, friends and colleagues. Get everyone in your personal and professional network to download your app, and better yet, leave good reviews on the app store. This will give your app the initial push you need at the time of launch.

2. Send Rating and ReviewPrompts to Users


If you want your app or anything else for that matter to build instant trust with the audience, nothing works like 5-star ratings and raving reviews.According to a study conducted by Google, 7 in 10 customers see a product review before making a purchase. For reasons quite obvious, peer reviews hold more credibility than app descriptions from developers.The thing is, when it comes to getting the users to review your app, it’s not that simple!While sending rating prompts via push, timing is crucial and to get it right, choose a mobile app maker that lets you schedule and send push notifications across any timezone for any part of the world.

3. Get Your App Reviewed by Industry Experts

Get big boys to review and recommend your app, and users will be beat a path to your door. Think of key influencers, industry experts and bloggers. No one’s saying, getting reviews is easy, but it’s quite rewarding and well worth to pursue. If one of the celebrity food bloggers were to recommend your cookery app for pasta recipes to his audience, your app will enjoy not just higher number of downloads but deeper engagement as well.

4. Highlight Your App’s Achievements


Did your app recently got featured in one of the popular tabloids or top-notch tech magazines? Were you ranked among the top 5 apps of the last month? Are users saying good things about your app? Highlighting such achievements, even the humble ones, builds social proof and adds a lot of credibility to your app. Just remember, there’s a thin line between highlighting and bragging.

5. Capitalise on the Collective Wisdom of the Crowd


Take a look at your screen. You’ll spot atleast one app that you’ve downloaded because everyone else seemed to be downloading it too at one point of time. Big numbers have an interesting psychological implication – You get a million downloads and your audience is compelled to think, if a million people are using it, they can’t be all wrong. The higher number of downloads, the better are your chances of getting one more download. It might seem a bit of catch-22 situation here – To build your user base, you need to have more downloads and in order to get more downloads, you need to have a large user base – But that’s how it works!

The Takeaway

Social proof continues to gain prominence as customers are becoming more and more informed with each passing day. Whether yours is an enterprise app, a retail and catalogue app or a content publishing app, social proof can be the greatest asset in your arsenal, especially when your advertisements are failing to generate the required buzz. Having said that, get to know the caveat too. Social media is a powerful tool for virality, making avalanches out of snowballs. But like the analogy, the amplifying effect is not always positive. The social snowball effect works as much for positive reviews as for negative ones. So if you are on a social path, tread carefully.


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