What does your marketing strategy currently involve?
You’re probably using tactics such as inbound and outbound marketing and social media but what about social proof?
This is one of the most effective ways to win over potential customers but a lot of people still don’t recognise how powerful it can be.
Here’s how it works and some tips on how you can implement it for your business.
How Does Social Proof Work?
Social proof is based on the idea that we are heavily influenced by other people and that this has a big impact on the decisions we make, especially when it comes to spending money.
We take our lead from other people and this is what makes social proof such an important tool for marketing and selling.
Types of Social Proof
Some of the common forms of social proof you’ll see include:
As a consumer, you probably look for feedback from other people in the form of reviews and ratings before you decide whether to buy something so it’s no surprise to see that this form of social proof is frequently leveraged by businesses as a way to build trust in their products or services.
You can introduce it for yourself by inviting customers to rate your company and leave reviews on their experiences. Businesses can be reluctant to do this for fear of opening themselves up to negative feedback but if you offer a great service, there shouldn’t be much likelihood of this.
Testimonials are a strong form of social proof, largely because they’re from third parties. To put it bluntly, this is always going to be more trustworthy to other people compared to anything you can say about your business.
There are a few tricks for really compelling testimonials:
- Using names and photos builds greater trust.
- Don’t use generic feedback that feels as though it could have been given by almost anyone. To be genuinely effective as strong social proof, you need to make testimonials truly relevant for your target market so that they speak to them about solving issues and pain points that they’re currently struggling with. In other words, you want to show them that you’re the perfect option for helping people just like them.
- Including a brief but powerful backstory in the testimonial can make it even more effective.
Influencer marketing has become a big deal in recent years and for good reason. It’s one of the most effective forms of social proof if you get the thumbs up from a respected influencer in your niche as you can piggyback off their reputation and authority.
Influencers are trusted by their audience and have a very positive reputation. If they endorse you, it reflects well on you.
The key is to find and connect with relevant influencers who are a natural and obvious fit with your business. They’re more likely to be interested in you and feel enthusiastic enough about you to tell their audience about you. Their audience is also more likely to trust you.
This type of social proof is heavily based around the “Fear of Missing Out” (FOMO). If you can see that a lot of other people have already done something, it plays on this fear and makes you wonder if you’re going to be disadvantaged by not being one of them.
A good example of this is seeing that thousands of people (or more!) have already downloaded, bought or signed up something.
If your business has gained mentions in popular press, this adds another reason why people feel they can trust you. This gives you some all important credibility and authority in their eyes.
How to Use Social Proof in Your Marketing
Some of the ways you can use these social proof tactics in your own marketing include:
- Adding customer testimonials to your website, newsletter and social media.
- Turning positive comments and emails received from customers into testimonials and case studies.
- Highlighting stats about how many people have used your products or services to take advantage of FOMO social proof.
- Connecting with key influencers in your niche and building positive relationships with them to encourage influencer marketing.
- If your business has been mentioned in the press, highlight this on your website. The easiest way to do this visually is to include the publication’s logo(s) that will be instantly recognisable.