Plenty of startups and established businesses ask themselves daily – ‘there’s so much noise and competition out there, just how can I gain the attention of new, potential buyers?’
Your startup might have an amazing product alongside a great website. Even your packaging is great to look at. However, clients these days all want one more thing prior to committing to you – what others are saying about you and your product.
What exactly is social proof?
Normative social influence is the best possible way to describe social proof. This states people will conform to be liked in order by, similar to or accepted by influencers or society.
While browsing landing pages and seeing industry expert testimonials you respect, you view social proof. When signing up for demos that industry giants use, that is social proof. When cruising pricing pages and viewing industry giants using the same tool, that becomes social proof.
Social proof becomes a clinical part of executing a landing page strategy. As customers we view and buy products which help us feel good. Through social proof via reviews, trust icons and testimonials you assist customers in making a confident decision and feeling as if they’re part of something bigger.
Planned carefully, you can spark emotional triggers across your pages. These will influence customer feelings towards their purchase and your business.
Social proof is also one of the very few elements that never reduce conversion rates. Third party proof goes a long way in giving leads a comparison party, setting expectations, reinforcing messaging and substantiating claims.
It is evident how giant brands such as Amazon continuously push for product reviews on their sites. People are always looking out to see others enjoying the same product they’re interested in. This would be the classic example of social proof: ideas that buyers are influenced by actions and decisions of others around them.
Why the emphasis on social proof?
Not leveraging the power of testimonials is a massive loss for plenty of growing companies. Product websites are almost always measured on their social proof by both first time and returning viewers. Here’s a few reasons they’re so important on your site:
1. People will almost always trust online reviews during purchases
2. Social proof earns much better SEO, creating language around chosen keywords propel your brand online
3. While sourcing opinions from the client base, you show them you care about their brand experience, building stronger bonds with your clients
Six basic types of social proof
1. Case studies
In-depth analysis of product and service supported by data of a customer scenario. This comes in handy when marketing B2B software.
Simple recommendations in short-form from happy current customers are fairly applicable universally. These are as effective on landing pages for free e-books.
Imagine reviews to be testimonials’ objective cousin. Employ these for overly technical products in overcrowded and highly competitive industries.
4. Social media
Customer praise in the form of Instagram comments, Facebook posts, tweets etc need to be displayed on your site. Save all positive things said about your product and brand via social media. B2C products rely on such praise and some B2B companies have seen success in it.
5. Trust icons
When questioning one form of social proof this might be it. Outdated stories from 3 years ago may not fly well with customers.
Numbers of happy customers, invites sent out etc 1 number can be worth 1000s of words. Combing this social proof with others you are basically telling potential customers ‘Not only have. Companies such as Hootsuite and Buffer use the ‘X customers served’ social proof.
8 cool ways to add social proof to your marketing
1. Inviting social media experts
Allowing industry experts to take over your social media profiles is a cool way of tapping into their influence as well as the positive association their followers with the things they do.
Example – an expert takes over your Instagram account in posting educational content, telling Instagram stories or going live. This tells people that know her that this brand might be the brand for them as the expert’s presence creates positive influence.
2. Collaborating with experts for social media events
You could invite experts to be guests for social media events like Facebook Live video discussions or Twitter AMAs. These collaborations enable you to tap into experts’ positive influence boosting your social media audiences and allowing them to hear from industry experts.
3. Show love for mentions
Once in a while you may receive nice mentions from the press, big brand or industry influencers. This becomes great forms of expert social proof. Common phrases to use would be: ‘Honoured to be featured’, ‘Grateful for the mention’
4. Sharing milestones
This is a fast way of creating proof by showing gratitude for the user or follower milestones. Reaching milestones is a lot of fun and celebrating that by thanking people who help you achieve it is even more fun.
5. Here’s a few milestones you could celebrate with audiences:
Company anniversaries – X number of app downloads, X number of signups, X number of customers, X number of followers on social media profile
6. Having brand ambassadors
Social proof via social media ambassadors give you a mix of expert, user and celebrity use cases. They could be social media infleucners, passionate users or industry experts. Ambassadors would usually ‘wear’ their ambassador badge proudly across their social media bios and pages using branded hashtags in relevant social media posts.
7. Displaying customer testimonials
Using your customers’ shout-outs in displaying them as testimonials on the website is critical to social proof and brand advocacy.
8. Displaying social share count
People are likelier to read an article shared by thousands. Consider showing the number of social shares of your company content or blog.
Social proof can arrive in front of your potential customer in various sizes. We hope the above ideas help you generate the effective marketing and ideation needed to stand out from the competition.
Tags: facebook, proof, social, social media management, social media marketing, startup, twitter