Five ways to boost your online social proof
Social proof is an important way to build trust with new and existing customers. Here are five ways you can boost yours.
Talking about yourself and your company through marketing is one way to build up your profile. But most businesses and consumers look for proof of success through product reviews, case studies, and other indicators before buying or considering a service.
These factors boost your social proof and increase your conversion rate. So, to help you, here are five different tactics you can use to boost your social proof online.
1) Publish case studies
A case study is a time-honoured method of selling your services to a business. Proving that you can solve the problems that clients face, and that your products or services deliver value in the real world are the cornerstone of social proof for businesess.
Being able to show that you engage with clients, understand their needs and that your products can deliver “37% savings” or “save 30 hours of time per week” are all key indicators that prospects would look for.
Many businesses keep case studies tucked away on the About Us or Resources page, but new and fast-growing companies should be using them as marketing and on high-profile web pages to highlight the value they offer. Form an idea on how to create an effective case study, check out the Julie Wadley success story.
2) Create testimonials
For services business, from plumbers to manicurists, gardeners or kitchen installers to car cleaners, testimonials are a powerful way to show that you deliver value and results.
These can be photos and a few lines of praise, or a page highlighting how a project went with some before and after imagery. In order to find these testimonials, concept testing of your product is crucial, so you can fully trust your results! If you want to read more articles on this, you can try these out on the Qualtrics website.
By putting testimonials on your website, 88% of marketers have demonstrated real-world success shown through these social proof that you have happy customers resulting in improved conversion rates by up to 10%. And if you can highlight any repeat business, then that testimonial could be worth its weight in gold.
Regularly update testimonials to keep the page fresh and highlight them in marketing efforts, and always ask for them from successful engagements to give yourself a decent roster to share.
3) Let customers easily rate products
If your business is product-focused then those products can sell themselves through strong ratings. However, make an effort to help your ratings stand out, as so many sites use ratings that many people feel they are fake or worthless.
Stronger ratings will look better, especially if they are compared to other products. Or, make yours stand out with small stories about how the products are used by actual owners to boost your social proof and create a better impression with prospects and customers.
A review has more weight to it than a rating, so ensure your site caters for them, and that sales and follow-up messages encourage them, explaining why your growing business needs them to stand out.
Consider reviews as the word of mouth that the likes of restaurants and clubs live by. Whatever products you are selling, a good review and some social sharing can go a long way to building your reputation.
4) Ask influencers to review your product
If a review is a good thing, then a review by someone who is a big name in your market or field can be an awesome door-opener to major sales. However, influencers need to be carefully targeted and briefed to ensure they deliver the right messages and aren’t also reviewing your competitor’s products at the same time.
There are plenty of influencer marketing and management platforms or agents who can help you find the right person for your market, and while a celebrity endorsement is unlikely, the right influencer with the right review can seriously boost your visibility and that of your product.
Be realistic though, influencer conversion rates can be as little as 2.55%, which is still more than the typical 0.5% of common marketing efforts. But influencers can have a longer tail and act as passive or active brand advocates in the future.
5) Display the number of shares your pages get on social media
You don’t have to be successful in the above marketing and social proof efforts to still have some big numbers to show. Even a modest store with a good social media presence can generate lots of shares on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, and so on.
Putting together good or out-of-the-ordinary photos or videos can create huge interest. Showing those shares on your pages is an indication for consumers and likely buyers that your business is busy and thriving online. You can also focus on the headline numbers in your press and marketing to help demonstrate growth.
How can you build social proof?
While there are few hard-and-fast rules to social proof, there is solid evidence that if you put some effort in, then your customers will reward you with the feedback, responses, and reviews that others will take as indicators of success. Keep updating your social proof and pushing for more to help turn that into sales and growth.
Photo by Guilherme Stecanella