Online success isn’t just about generating rich, relevant content and being on social platforms. While all that creates the basic foundation for success, you need to build your relationships and nurture your network.
Social proof, also known as informational social influence, is a psychological phenomenon where people assume the actions of others in an attempt to reflect correct behavior for a given situation. This effect is prominent in ambiguous social situations where people are unable to determine the appropriate mode of behavior, and is driven by the assumption that surrounding people possess more knowledge about the situation. Wikipedia
The Internet is a social environment; a tremendous force for buying decisions. The information gathering process is performed online, everyday. 80-95% of purchases are made because of online reviews. You, as well as your customer base, are influenced by your peers and community. We listen for the good, the bad and the ugly. It’s the social way of doing business.
BrightLocal’s 2013 Local Consumer Review Survey found that:
These statistics alone are good enough reason to enhance and promote your own social proof in your digital environment. Build your digital reputation with authentic engagement, outstanding customer service and selfless connections. While there may be a method to your madness, ulterior motives are pretty transparent so don’t waste your time with disingenuous actions.
Be the person you’d like to do business with.
Your service, not services is one of the key factors that can be your unique selling proposition. Your competitor may sell the same widgets, but it’s YOU who has the opportunity to rise above and offer something superb and personal.
Relationships are like muscle tissue… the more they are engaged, the stronger and more valuable they become. Ted Rubin
Truly connect and go the extra mile. 100 miles even. Don’t stop there. If you want something bad enough and believe you’ve got the best there is, then give it. You can’t go wrong.
What can Social Proof do for you?
- Build credibility
- Foster trust
- Grow loyalty
- Increase brand exposure
- Substantiate your products and services
- Empower your prospects
- Cultivate a community of influencers
Typical forms of Social Proof
- Social mentions, shares and likes
- Case studies
- Online reviews
- User generated content
The Crazy Egg: social proof in the marketing community simply refers to using these crowds and their input to create positive connections with a brand or business.
How can YOU use social proof in your marketing?
- Share client case studies
- Embed tweets and mentions in your posts and social channels
- Add customer testimonials to your website and newsletter
- Show social endorsements from industry influencers
- Engage with interested online influencers who may help to promote you
- Add the Facebook “like” box to your blog
- Incorporate “As Seen In” logo boxes
- Save shout outs in your Twitter Favorites
When someone lands on your landing page, they don’t know whether your offer is any good — which gives you the opportunity to sway them using quotes from customers, embedded tweets, and so on. HubSpot
“The proof is in the pudding.” People can buy followers and likes so don’t depend on numbers to build your credibility or to make your own buying decisions. Unfortunately, just because you saw it on the Internet does not mean it’s real. Large numbers don’t equate to authenticity, dedicated fans or genuine relationships. Stir up real relationships.
Too many websites only talk about their products and services. Blah! Blah! Blah! While it may be important to talk about your company, offerings and services, it isn’t enough to sway your buyers. They showed up on your site for a reason. They have a need. You have a service. Make the decision process a little more comfortable and create the confidence and trust they are seeking.
Social Proof is your key to more magnetic marketing [KISSmetrics]
Showcase your undeniable true network of connections and clients with valid social proof that you produced with honest hard work.
You earned it.
If you want to elevate your sway, develop strategies to put social proof to work in your online communications. Barry Feldman
What are your tips to foster and share your social proof?