When it comes to making a purchase, is your decision influenced by what others are saying about it? Today we’re going to talk about Social Proof. You may not have heard of this term, but it’s a strategy that many of us trust and rely on. We’re going to explain why this is such a powerful marketing strategy, and all the ways to use social proof to generate more sales. Welcome to Marketing and a Mic. We’re here to give you a variety of digital marketing tips, trends, and useful guides to help your business get results. Believe it or not, psychology plays a role in marketing and in our buying behaviors. We trust online reviews because they are backed by someone who’s already used the product or service. We trust endorsements because it’s backed by added assurance. We trust our friend’s approval of a product because they are a reliable source. You get the idea.
Social proof is the social response that shoppers have when they see someone else validating the product or service. If shoppers don’t trust your business, you’re going to have a difficult time generating leads and sales. Think about that last time you visited a store online. Odds are you browsed around for a while, and then subconsciously looked for a reason to bite the bullet and make a purchase. The good news is there are plenty of ways to convince first-time buyers to become customers. And actions to encourage existing customers to become repeat business. So, let’s dive into all the social proof strategies available that you can use to spark new revenue opportunities.
#1 GATHER MORE ONLINE REVIEWS
If you had to choose one strategy from our list, this is the one. Reviews are without a doubt one of the most powerful ways to build trust with the audience and get more sales. And you don’t need much proof to understand this. Think about the last time you blindly purchased something without looking at a single review. Once you start racking up reviews, you rack up your credibility. Having the right review-generating strategies can help stack the deck in your favor and promote more positive reviews. First off, start building up your presence by creating a Google Business Profile and other online directories that provide options for customers to leave reviews. Next, start generating various ways for customers to leave reviews. To do this we highly recommend setting up a review system. A review system provides multiple ways to gather online reviews, making it easy on customers and easy on you. Our review system using not own your existing database of customers, but provides additional ways to reach new customers. Additionally, you want to plaster those reviews everywhere, so it gets that added mileage and reaches more people.
Add Reviews to Your Homepage: This gives added assurance to potential customers that you’re a trusted brand. Moreover, it can help influence decision-making and make customers feel more at ease about using you. Create video testimonials and use them on your website, social media posts, or in an email campaign. Repurpose online reviews through social media posts.
#2 USER-GENERATED CONTENT
User-generating content is a time-tested strategy on social media. Any type of content made by a customer that mentions or promotes your brand is UGC. For example, when someone gets their order delivered and shares photos on Instagram, they are creating UGC for your business. Social media is the best place to cultivate UGC. While it would be wonderful if customers just naturally promoted your brand right and left, that’s not always the case. Creating some sort of UGC campaign can help boaster customer participation and encourage them to share positive content about your brand,
Think about creating giveaways or incentives around your campaign. For example, you could start a UGC with lipstick such as “Got a fav lipstick color? You could win $200 in new products. All you need to do is post a photo of you wearing your favorite lipstick from our collection and tag it #—–.
Finally, make sure you share some of the user’s social posts on your own page and comment on them. This not only generates more momentum for your campaign but also gives your customers an additional “shout out.”
#3 USE CASE STUDIES TO HIGHLIGHT RESULTS
Case studies are another example of social proof that is extremely effective. Case studies provide actual data and facts to back up your claims. And they are coming from actual customers who obtained actual results by using you. It can also build credibility with customers who have never heard of you but can see that you’ve worked with similar clients/situations as theirs. Case studies can be used in multiple ways as added social proof. Consider adding them in an email campaign to prospects, display them on your website, and post them through social media either by an infographic or a direct link to the case study on your website. Just be sure that you get the client’s permission if you plan on using their company name and data.
#4 “WISDOM OF THE CROWD”
“Wisdom of the Crowds” is an old term referring to “everyone’s doing it.” This marketing concept works for online businesses by highlighting the volumes of subscribers, followers, clients you’ve helped, customers served, etc. People naturally want to be included in groups and things that are widely accepted by many. If they see a large group of people using and loving your product or service, they’ll want to be a part of it (think of FOMO). Highlight your high-volume accomplishments on your website or product pages. You can also make this highlight on social media or through an email campaign to targeted prospects.
#5 SHOW AWARDS, CERTIFICATIONS, AND ACHIEVEMENTS
This form of social proof is built around recognition from well-trusted or highly recognized outlets. If you’re running a business and you’re good at what you do, chances are you’ve acquired a few certifications or accreditations for a job well done. – flaunt it. Highlighting your achievements on your website and elsewhere is a great way to acknowledge your credibility as a business. Some customers may even rely solely on your business’s achievements when valuing their knowledge and expertise. It’s also a great way for customers to get a sense If you’ve earned an award, or achieved a certain certification, you need to highlight it on your website and elsewhere.
Endorsements: This can also come in a form of social endorsement. Expert approval – or a person of authority in your brand’s niche- is another form of accreditation to use as social proof. When an industry expert gives your product or service a stamp of approval it can be a powerful way to give potential customers added confidence that your brand is legit.
Milestones: An additional way is by showcasing your progress. Sharing milestones is not only a great way to show “how far you’ve come,” but it’s also an avenue to celebrate and show gratitude to the customers that helped you achieve it. Millstones can come anywhere from anniversaries, followers, special occasions, etc. Showcasing where you started and how much you’ve grown can give potential and current customers a sense of confidence that they are using the right brand. It also shows you’re brand’s tenacity and drive to keep getting better.
That’s it for us today. If you need any help creating your own social proof strategy or are looking for new ways to increase your online presence and get more customers, our team would love to talk to you. Don’t forget that our podcast also goes live on Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, and LinkedIn, and you can catch the replay on Instagram. You can also subscribe to our YouTube Channel for more resources to help your digital marketing plan.