You have a shiny new website, which you are justifiably proud of. You also have a product or service that you believe in. The question is, how do you gain the interest of potential customers, in the face of stiff competition? This is not an easy task when the Internet is such a huge marketplace.
One of the most useful tools, when it comes to online marketing, is social proof. The fact is that most people like to have the peace of mind of knowing that the product or service they are investing in is popular with others. This is where social proof comes in.
What is social proof?
Let’s look at social proof in its simplest form. Take a look at this list of the highest grossing concert tours of 2016. Artists like Coldplay, The Rolling Stones and Madonna sold millions of tickets for gigs all over the world. If you see an artist getting this much support, you are more likely to pay attention to them yourself. Granted, these artists are already big names, but even their success started with good word of mouth and ever increasing sales. Whatever you think of Justin Bieber, there is no denying that he is an excellent example of the power of social proof. As his YouTube fan base grew, so did his overall popularity; leading to the global superstardom that he enjoys today.
As you can see, social proof is simply confirmation of the performance of your brand. The confirmation can come from users, experts or authorities in your arena. It’s a simple concept, but you need to think about it carefully, in order to make it work for you.
What are the different types of social proof?
So far, we have looked at ticket sales and YouTube views, as two different types of social proof; but there are many more. Here are some which you may find useful for your business.
If you want to stand out from the crowd, then you really need to pay attention to gathering testimonials, to use on your website. The comments of people who already have experience of your brand are one of the strongest forces when it comes to persuading new customers to join them.
Case studies take testimonials one step further. If someone has thanked you for the service they have received from you, then why not ask them to tell their story on video, or during a podcast. People tend to relate to a personal story when it comes to choosing a particular brand.
Journalists, bloggers, and vloggers have great power when it comes to influencing people. The top influencers can certainly help to increase your customer base if they mention you in a positive manner.
As with the experts, people pay attention to celebrities. They see their faces all the time, and they feel as though they know them. This engenders a feeling of trust. If a celebrity endorses a product, there is a very good chance that sales will increase.
Online reviews are a simple way of getting people to buy into your product or service. Give people the chance to provide a comment or review on your social media pages, and encourage comments on your business blog.
Badges and certification
If you have legitimate nationally, or internationally, recognized certifications, you should make sure you show the badges or symbols on your website. This is a sign that you can be trusted; an important consideration if you want to acquire new business.
As seen on…
Featuring on TV, or in the press, is seen as a big deal by many members of the public. If your business has been featured, tell people about it, on your website. It will help to make them sit up and take notice.
All of these types of social proof can help to raise the profile of your brand, attract new customers and increase revenue. This is why social proof is so important.