How can you convince your target market that your product or service is worthwhile?
That’s the goal of marketing – to get you more leads so you can make more money.
You can prove the worth of your products and services in a vareity of ways but the best way to convince someone that you are the best choice, is to get PROOF.
What is Social Proof?
Social proof is the idea that you are influenced by what the people around you do because you will act in a way that aligns with societal norms and expectations.
For instance, if you are looking for a great Mexican restaurant to have dinner at, you are probably going to check the reviews for restaurants near you. If a restaurant has negative reviews, you are going to be more likely to avoid that restaurant. On the other hand, if you see that a friend went to a local restaurant and left a positive review, you are more likely to go to that restaurant.
In the same way, we are influenced by reviews on products, what products or companies our friends are liking/following on social media, etc.
Social proof works because we trust the opinions of other more than we trust the marketing messages of brands.
Why does Social Proof matter?
Social proof can be used to increase conversions and generate more leads. While many digital marketing tactics focus on getting traffic to a website, social proof is key to turning that traffic into actual leads.
Social proof works so well because of basic human psychology. We all have a need to belong; this fundamental human motivation is central in our lives. Very few people are comfortable stepping outside of the norm to become the innovators in any area of life.
Social proof works because we trust the opinions of other more than we trust the marketing messages of brands. We want the truth, and social proof is a powerful means of understand what is true.
How To Use Social Proof In Your Marketing
Knowing that social proof is important is great, but you need actionable steps you can take NOW to start leveraging it.
Generate Reviews For Your Business/Product.
The first step to using social proof is to start cultivating your own. It takes time to get going so you want to start early.
Create a review generation process. Typically, that means identifying when you should ask for reviews from your customers, providing reminders and easy ways for them to leave you a review, and responding to reviews as they come in.
Google frowns on review gating – the practice of screening a review before directing someone to post on Google, Yelp, etc. So it’s important to make sure that what you are doing isn’t going to break the rules.
Buying reviews or auto posting reviews is a colossally bad idea. Google tracks a lot of data when it comes to reviews, including which IP address was used when a review was posted. If they start seeing that you are suddenly getting a lot of 4-5 star reviews from a variety of people but they are all using the same IP address and MAC address… say goodbye to your Google Listing.
Show Your Authority.
You want customers to see you as an expert, as the authority on whatever subject you are dealing with. How do you show them that you are an authority?
Expert content. People do research businesses and products a good deal more than in the past. If the content you provide isn’t high quality, they have less information to go on in making their decisions. Identify the questions that your target audience has and answer them on your website, social media, etc.
Display your credentials. If you have special certifications in an area, you should display them on your website. Are you part of educational societies focused on continuing education in your field? Display your membership. Did you win awards for your work? Show it.
Get listed in directories. Many industries with certifications have directories so that the public can identify who is and is not certified. Make sure that if you have a certification that has a directory, you get yourself listed and link to your website.
Use Your Followers.
You can encourage your followers to become brand advocates and spread the word about your business by doing giveaways and promotions.
Giveaways and promotions should be used carefully because different website and locations have different rules about how you run them. Make sure that you plan a promotional campaign that gets the conversation going about more than “Hey, free stuff!”
Partnering with influencers and complementary brands is another great way to get new followers and increase your social proof.
Don’t let your social proof go to waste!
Having a way to leverage the increased attention from social proof is crucial to making the most out of your hard work. Having a marketing list that you can re-market will come in handy when the slow periods come around.
If you are interested in learning more about how you can leverage your social proof to grow your business and to build a marketing list, come join our community! We are constantly developing new tools and courses designed to help you.