Companies use marketing to enhance their visibility.
To build awareness around their products or services.
This of course all, so that when the moment is there, that they are ready to buy, you're on top of mind.
But what good will that do if your leads, your costumers, the people who could use your product or service don't trust you?
If you want to increase the trust in your company, stay tuned because, in this episode, we will be talking about social proof and how you can use this to help get more sales for your business.
We will explain to you:
1️⃣ what social proof is
2️⃣ why it is essential for your marketing
3️⃣ the five different levels of social proof
5️⃣ and finally how you can use it in your day-to-day marketing to help increase your conversions
You know, trust is a strange thing; it can make people comfortable to hand over their hard-earned money, or their personal information, or some other valuable item for them. But if there is no trust, that all will stay shut.
Trust is an essential item in your conversion funnel, in the journey people take from becoming someone who passes by to someone who buys.
Building trust is something that takes time, but there are however ways in which you can speed up the process.
One of the most common ways to do this is by using social proof.
But what is social proof?
Well, the idea behind social proof is that people will always follow the actions of the masses.
If a lot of people are behaving in a certain way, it must be the correct behaviour, right?
Still not convinced? Let's make a comparison between shopping online, or going to a brick and mortar place to get what you want.
When you're walking outside trying to find a place to have lunch, and you see a bunch of restaurants, most of them have lots of people inside and outside eating.
Two of them are completely empty, would you rather wait a bit for a spot at the busy restaurants or go in the complete empty ones?
Most people would rather not be the first ones to go into a restaurant, after all, if nobody else is there, there might be something wrong, right?
This type of social proof is easy, but how can you create the same experience for your customers online?
When you're shopping online, you don't just have the option to visually compare the offering to a handful of other shops, all of a sudden there is a lot more outside influence that affects your decision.
And think of the fact that when you're in an actual store, shopping for a dress, you can feel the quality, try them on to see which fits better, all of these things are impossible to do online.
So before you buy that dress online, you start to look at reviews to see what others are thinking of the quality, how it fits, how the return policy in your store is in case it doesn't fit, etc.
And with organic reach declining on your social ads, consumer trust in media steadily declining, more and more businesses moving their shops online, now is as good as ever to start investing in getting social proof for your business.
What kind of social proof you can use to grow your business online?
1️⃣ What about using your existing customers.
One of the most common forms of social proof is just showcasing testimonials from your customers. You know what we're talking about and you see them everywhere online.
People leaving reviews on their favourite products on Amazon, people leaving reviews about their experience with companies on Google My Business, they are everywhere.
2️⃣ Next up is using "celebrities" and I'm putting these in air quotes, because we don't all have the budget to use George Clooney to endorse our brand.
Think about your niche, who are your industries version of George Clooney?
Which local influencers can you use?
Don't forget, the more relevant the celebrity or influencer is in relation to your audience, the better of course.
If your business has ever received a compliment from a well-known person who is respected by your audience, go find it, and add it to your home page.
Try to think further than just individuals as well, what about recognisable brands you've worked together with or are clients of you.
A lot of startups use a dedicated section on their home page for this showcasing which websites featured them.
Don't just put the logos, though, put a link behind it to the original article so people can see what they had to say about you.
Which celebrity, influencer or expert for your business can you think of that would fit well with your audience and would love to give you a testimonial?
3️⃣ Another way to use and get social proof is by using crowds.
The approval from large groups of people.
It shows that you're not the only one using this product or service, in fact, have a look at the website of Buffer where they mention the fact that more than 75,000+ companies trust Buffer.
This type of social proof works because of something that is called FOMO, or Fear Of Missing Out
And it is a form of social anxiety.
If all of these people love this product, it must be good, right?
FOMO can also be used to gain email subscribers too. For example, a lot of times, companies show how many email subscribers they have on their website.
It shows the potential subscribers that if they don't subscribe they would be missing out on all the great content and valuable tips that these people are receiving.
4️⃣ Next in line is the usage of "your friends".
Since 92% of people trust a recommendation from a friend.
Having people share your products they value on social media is, therefore, a powerful option.
Or for example, use a referral program like Dropbox.
Dropbox rewards people if they share their website via the referral link. If someone signs up via the referral link you created, you will be rewarded with 1GB of free storage.
5️⃣ The final type of social proof we want to highlight is creating social proof by showing your certifications.
If your company has earned certain industry-wide recognised certifications or accreditations, you should show them on your website.
Research by MonetizePros shows that some of these badges can help increase your conversion by as much as 30%.
Showcasing logos of other companies should not just stop with your certifications, maybe you have some integrations with your product and other well-known products or services out there.
By showing their logos on your website, you can let some of their success shine of on you, and it helps convince users of these products that they can get even more return on their initial investment.
Now that you know all the types of social proof you can use, let's still have a look at some different places you can use your newly gained social proof.
The first one of course is your website, adding logo's, testimonials, etc. will do wonders, but don't stop there.
What about using them on social media?
Slack even has a dedicated Twitter account "SlackLoveTweets" where they retweet all Tweets praising their product.
And finally of course you should use your social proof in ads too!
Target your Facebook ads at the friends of the people who like your Page. Facebook will then automatically add the wisdom of friends social proof for you.
Feature an expert endorsing your product in your ads, create (carousel) ads using reviews of top-rated, best-selling products.
There are so many different ways you can use social proof to your advantage.
In the end, remember, up until that final moment (and sometimes even after) that someone presses that Call-To-Action everybody has doubt whether or not they should do it. It is your job to take away that fear so that they will become customers.
Social proof is THE way to assist you in this process.
If you want to start implementing social proof into your marketing, be sure to test the different forms of social proof to find the ones that make the most sense for your customers.