Thanks to website plug-ins, you can now get “Social Media” icons and buttons on your website that allow visitors to share your posts with other people. Some of these plug-ins let visitors to see how many times your blog post was shared on Facebook, Twitter, or other mediums.
For example, if you have a blog post that got shared 10,000 times, it would show “10K” near the Facebook button.
Is this a good thing or a bad thing to have on your website?
Some marketers think this is a good thing… they call it “social proof.” Apparently it makes people think you’re more legit.
But I think it’s nothing more than a vanity metric.
As defined by Wiki, “Social proof, also known as informational social influence, is a psychological phenomenon where people assume the actions of others in an attempt to reflect correct behavior for a given situation.”
Keyword here is “assume.”
If there’s a “high” number of views or shares on your blog posts, then people assume what you’re saying is true…and you’re “legit.”
But this is absolute rubbish.
First of all, “high” is relative. A post that got shared 50 times could have led to 6 figures in a sales… while a post that got shared 10K or 100K times could have led to zero sales. Which is the more valuable post in that case?
Second of all, I don’t believe in enabling stupid assumptions on behalf of the masses…so personally I choose NOT to use social media shares as “social proof.”
Think about it. Nobody buys a product because your blog post had lots of views or shares. They buy a product for other reasons.
You don’t need social media plug-ins on your website…that’s the bottom line. It isn’t proof of anything…other than the fact you can install a plug-in on your website. (In fact, I’m about to take mine off my website, out of principle.)
The only social proof you need that your business is successful is profits! Are you getting repeat client projects? Are your customers continuing to buy from you over time?
That data reveals everything… no “assumptions” about your credibility needed.