Whether you are a pharmacy, durable medical equipment supplier, or any business who sells healthcare products, there are many factors to consider for a customer to gain trust and an interest to buy from you. This includes your digital marketing strategies, compliance practices, and more.
One area that isn’t discussed as much is psychology, and more specifically, consumer behavior. Understanding “why” patient customers choose to buy from a business over another is important to know. A lot of this has to do with a business’s social proof.
What Is Social Proof?
There’s a principle in behavioral psychology known as “social proof.” Social proof is simply about how people are reacting to business, product or service and how it is portrayed to the general public.
We see social proof everywhere these days, especially online. Consider online shopping and the way that the number of “stars” or reviews will influence a customer’s buying decision. If all factors are considered the same for two competing products, except for their reviews, a person will buy the product with a better review. Why? Because it has better social proof!
Understandably, social proof can also play a big role in how people choose to respond to their health. Recognizing that their friends, or the population at large, are having a positive experience with your product can be the deciding factor between you and a competitor.
Today, we are going to review three ways you can build social proof into your healthcare business.
Grow Your Audience:
Having a large audience – especially online – is key to building social proof. While you may be delivering high-quality content and meaningful communication; if you have a small following, you cannot build social proof among your audience.
Your first step to build capacity for social proof is to invest in growing your audience and building community. Start a social media channel if you haven’t already. Consider someone who is new to your brand and will be seeing your social media channels for the first time. Are you posting regularly? Are people commenting? Is there positive feedback and organic discussion? These are all items to strive for when building out your online audience.
Strive for Authenticity:
Social proof is not something that can be manufactured. It is so closely tied to our behavioral psychology that it must be built organically. That happens primarily through content that is authentic and relatable.
Testimonials, user discussions, and personal case studies are all great ways to build social proof by showcasing how your healthcare product or service are impacting people.
Other forms of authenticity include gaining awards, certifications, press coverage, and endorsements. This is very attractive to your customers and will keep you ahead of your competitors. Any or all these components will help build social proof for your brand, products and services.
As we know, the absolute best form of marketing is word-of-mouth among peers. It’s also the best way to build social proof. Once you have a good audience size and have built authenticity into your program, the best thing you can do is encourage word-of-mouth.
Whether it’s a referral program or an opportunity for friends of your patients to try your product for free or at a discounted rate, developing some kind of mechanism for peer-to-peer sharing will help strengthen the social proof of your brand.
Building social proof is not something you can do overnight – but if you focus on building your audience, creating authenticity, and encouraging recommendations, you will be well on your way to establishing social proof with prospective new customers.