Social proof is digital word of mouth that allows your customers to learn from the experience of others, ultimately helping them make purchasing decisions or convincing them to buy products and services based on what others have to say.
Realistically, social proof isn’t new, but consumers are becoming increasingly distrustful of brands. Instead of listening to what companies have to say about themselves, consumers want to know about other individuals who are just like them.
Social proof motivates your customers to take action, making it an essential marketing tool you can utilize on your website or social media channels when creating content. For example, instead of trying products in-store, online customers can only get a feel for products based on photographs and reviews from other people with much more satisfaction than the horse mouth.
The Main Social Proof Benefits
While you should never rely too heavily on social proof and should continue to focus on how you can provide value to your customers, this part of your digital marketing strategy can help your customers take action. Social proof provides a resource for customers to learn about your brand, products, and services. It can also improve your SEO rankings in a way.
Particularly, by building trust between your business and its customers while enhancing your social media marketing (SMM) strategy as well. In addition, social proof can be shared across all platforms to help you better communicate your value to customers based on what past customers have to say. So, what are the best ways to use social proof effectively?
Well, there are many ways to use social proof to improve your marketing efforts. Of course, the first step is to gather social proof. If you’re using a website builder, you may be able to use integrations with email marketing and other review-gathering tools to automatically post reviews from customers online. Below are a few ways to use social proof in marketing.
1. Use Channel-Specific Social Media
Social proof gives you additional content to use on your social media channels, but you’ll need to consider only those that are the best performing. Instead of posting sales content every day that doesn’t get much engagement, just try other means.
Such as posting endorsements from celebrities, influencers, and your own customers. In addition, using social proof on social media can foster trust. You can also repost any social proof on your social profiles too. Including but not limited to brand mentions in publications, shout-outs from celebrities, and reviews from people who have used your product or services.
2. Consider An In-Ads Campaign Plan
If you spend money on paid digital advertising, consider adding social proof to promote trust with your customers. Crowd-based social proof that celebrates the number of good reviews your brand has can help you attract more customers because it demonstrates the value of your products and services.
You can highlight five-star reviews and the number of reviews as a quick and easy way to build trust with your ads rather than making the ads all about your business and not about the customers.
3. Utilize Your Brand Website Fully
Every website, no matter what industry you’re in, whether you sell mattresses or hiking apparel, can benefit from social proof in the form of testimonials. Testimonials are powerful tools to help your customers make decisions about your brand or business. They can be reassuring for prospective customers who are on the fence about whether to make the final decision.
Especially, a decision to spend their money on your products and mobile app services among other solutions or not. When sharing customer testimonials, try to make them as relevant as possible. For example, you can share testimonials and reviews on product pages for specific products rather than general statements about the brand.
4. Feature A Few Customer Testimonials
You can also feature testimonials at the bottom of your home page to show brand authenticity and convince prospective customers to continue browsing the website. Depending on the nature of your business, you might choose to highlight professional testimonials. For example, let’s say that you run a marketing agency, you should include testimonials in a pronto.
In particular, from high-ranking executive titles to help convince your target audience of executives to take action on your website. You can also highlight any earned media you’ve received as a result of your public relations efforts. For example, if your brand has been highlighted in any top-tier publications that your target audience would know.
Eventually, this can greatly help boost your authority and credibility in the industry. Additionally, you can highlight celebrity endorsements or expert approvals. For example, an athletics company may receive endorsements from a pro athlete, while a makeup brand may receive expert approvals from dermatologists.
5. Share Your Milestones By Emails
Basically, email marketing is usually a very great way to keep customers coming back for more. However, instead of blasting your subscribers with sales, you can share company milestones to build trust among customers who haven’t made a purchase yet and are unsure whether or not to trust your brand.
With email marketing, you can share company milestones that may include how many happy customers you have, which products are the top-rated, and if you’ve been mentioned in any popular publications.
6. Encourage Other Readers To Do Reviews
A business with reviews online can build trust with customers, so it’s good practice to get as many reviews as possible to share with your audience and help improve your brand. Using previous reviews from customers can help encourage others to leave reviews. For example, you can send out an email marketing campaign that highlight’s a customer review.
And then again, ask what individuals who haven’t left reviews thought of your products and services. Of course, you may need to entice individuals to take time out of their day to leave you a review, but while you should offer them a deal or discount, you should never bribe them for positive reviews since all of your testimonials should be authentic.
Social Proof comes in many forms, but you must find the right ways to use social proof in your marketing efforts to build trust and credibility. Whether you have celebrity endorsements, media coverage, or tons of happy customers, you can use this to your advantage to make prospective customers take action on your website or social media channels to grow your business.
Of course, to use social proof, you need to have social proof. If you don’t have any reviews yet, entice customers to leave reviews by making it easy for them. You can use your email marketing software or integrate review apps to make collecting and using reviews easier.
The Author: Ashley Nielsen earned a B.S. degree in Business Administration Marketing at Point Loma Nazarene University. She is a freelance writer who loves to share knowledge about general business, marketing, lifestyle, wellness, and financial tips. During her free time, she enjoys being outside, staying active, reading a book, or diving deep into her favorite music.