Social proof has been talked about a lot in recent years. The process, which basically relies upon people’s inclination to follow the crowd – all your colleagues got iPhones, so you wanted one too – has become broadly adopted throughout the eCommerce ecosystem. But, did you know that it can help with other things too, including building dating traffic for your online affiliate program?
What is Social Proof?
Also known as informational social influence, social proof is a marketing strategy that relies upon people’s need to fit in and have what everyone else has. In retail, this usually involves various strategies, including urgency messaging – Hurry, selling out fast! Limited number available! – and customer rankings. While you may not be able to leverage established urgency messaging techniques to increase the take-up of your dating offers, there is plenty of scope to use these methods to enhance your affiliate program success.
What Does Social Proof Do?
The short answer to that is that it instills customer confidence. It’s like when you make a purchase from eBay. If you see that a seller has a 100% customer feedback rating and has sold hundreds of items, you’re more inclined to purchase your product from them than you are from another seller who is yet to be ranked, even if they’re offering the exact same product for the exact same price. Why? Because you can see that other people have worked with that seller before and have been happy with the service, so the likelihood is that you’ll be happy too.
OK, so that’s fine if you’re talking about eCommerce, but how does all of this relate to online dating affiliate marketing?
How Can You Use Social Proof Techniques to Increase Your Dating Traffic?
The very idea of social proof seems anomalous when it comes to dating, doesn’t it? But, if you really think about it, romance provides the perfect arena for social influence. This means that there are a number of techniques that you can use.
- Testimonials. We’ve talked before about the importance of building trust in order to increase your earnings when working with an affiliate program. Customer testimonials are great for this. If you know that one of your readers has found ‘the one’ by making a contact through your affiliate links, then ask if you can tell their story. If you don’t have access to that sort of information, then think about adding a reader feedback page, asking them to share their experiences. The more positive feedback you can garner, the more likely other readers are to follow your advice and click those links.
- Get Certified or Accredited. Depending on the angle of your blog, this can really work for you. If you have a psychology or sociology qualification, for example, you can build upon this to give yourself credibility and become a voice of authority. And people are far more likely to listen to a voice of authority.
- Use Influencers. If you can’t become an influencer yourself, you can piggyback off other’s influential status. By placing ads with already successful social media influencers you gain influential status by proxy. Even if they don’t directly condone you (although you can pay most influencers to do that), you’re on their page, which gives you credence.
- Gentle urgency. When you’re looking for dating traffic, you’re unlikely to persuade people that there are only a limited number of potential online daters out there. In fact, if you’re working with a site that only has a small number of users, you should probably think about changing affiliate networks! But, what you can do is utilise seasonal urgency. No one wants to be alone on Valentine’s Day. Don’t you want to find the one to kiss under the mistletoe this Christmas, or when the clock strikes 12 on NYE? Urgency in dating is all about creating desire. You don’t want to make your readers feel bad, but you do want to make them think that now is the time to take action.