Social Proof can make or break your business. It’s THAT important!
We all tend to follow the crowd. We might not like to admit this, but think about it for a moment. Let’s say you want to head to a restaurant. There’s three from which to choose. Two of them are empty but the third is chock-full of people. Which one are you more likely to enter?
The third one, right?
This is what we refer to as ‘social proof’. It’s the force that influences our decisions, both big and small. Humans are social and when we see others engaging in particular behaviors we assume that that is the correct thing to do.
Social proof is something you should seriously be thinking about as a business owner. It really can make or break your business.
What Does Social Proof Mean For Your Business?
Social proof is the information that you use to influence new web visitors and potential customers. It’s all about influencing their decisions, such as choosing to sign up to your newsletter, booking a service or purchasing a product.
Using effective social proof strategies will give your website an advantage and will help to draw up more customers. This is why it’s important!
Kinds of Social Proof
So where can we see social proof in action? And how exactly does it work?
If someone with expert credibility recommends a particular brand, that brand is likely to see an increase in sales. Why? Because an expert knows what they’re talking about! For example, if a food blogger recommends a certain food brand we’re more likely to choose that one over another.
Getting a mention or endorsement by a well-establish individual or company is another way we can see social proof in action. A well known individual or brand mentioning you is bound to drum up more traffic to your site as people become more curious about you and what you do.
You might visit any number of blogs each week. What makes you sign up to one over another, even if they both have similar content and branding? You’re more likely to subscribe to a blog that already has a healthy following. Having a site with large numbers of followers or subscribers shows new visitors that you’re trustworthy. It shows that you have built up trust with your audience.
Why Social Proof Can Make Or Break Your Business
Just from reading about what social proof is you’ve probably gathered that it’s pretty important for business. If you’ve got a large crowd coming in to your business others are going to follow. And the larger the crowd the larger the number of sales.
On the other hand, if your business is like one those empty restaurants I talked about previously people are not going to be easily swayed to part with their details or their hard-earned cash!
Effective Strategies That You Can Use
You might be wondering,
‘How am I supposed to get more leads if I’ve got a small number of followers and clients to begin with?’
‘How am I supposed to compete with all those other businesses out there that are bringing in huge numbers each week?’
I’m here to tell you that you’re not a lost cause. There are plenty of things that you can do to leverage social proof. Check them out below.
Testimonials and Ratings
Testimonials are an effective social proof strategy. They work because they’re essentially a big “thumbs-up” from someone outside of your business or brand. Once you get a couple of these, it’s a good idea to scatter them throughout your site. New visitors are guaranteed to see them.
Product ratings are another fantastic way to show off your business. The higher the rating the more likely that others will pay attention to this and buy from you.
Action steps: get testimonials from previous and current clients and use them to beef up your website!
It can also be helpful to share awesome client success stories. Any new visitors to your site will see these success stories and want in on the action. People love to read ‘rags-to-riches’ stories because it gives them something to aspire to.
Show your readers how a particular client went from a crappy situation to an awesome one. Show them that they too can achieve this kind of success by signing up for your course, program or products.
Action steps: ask a previous customer or client if you can tell their story on your website. They’ll probably be more than happy to because it’s also a form of advertising for their business.
Have a large following of subscribers? Well, let your visitors know this! Ask new visitors to ‘sign up, like “250,000” others have’ (or however many subscribers you have).
Like I said before, higher numbers mean a higher level of trust. If you couldn’t be trusted then why would so many people have signed up?
Action step: work on growing your email list. Create irresistible freebies like PDF downloads or email courses, do up an awesome landing page and market the hell out of it. If you create something that people want they will show up. You just need to research what that is.
If you’ve worked with some top clients look at getting their logo for your testimonials or ‘previously worked with…’ page. This shows that you are credible and worth investing in.
Action steps: have any clients, past or present, which are well established in their field? Ask them can you use their logo. Just like case studies, this is another way for them to market their business as well.
A large number of connections and followers on social media portray you to be someone people look up to and want to connect with. Thousands of ‘likes’ is damn impressive meaning you’re going to draw in more people.
Action steps: share relevant content with your current followers and start engaging with others. Facebook groups are an awesome way to build your social media. Make yourself known, help people out and position yourself as someone they want to follow.
Now that you know what social proof is and why it’s important you can go and implement some of the strategies we talked about.