What is Social Proof?

By Paul Wynter February 20, 2020

Social proof is one of those $4 words that no one understands simply because it’s unnecessarily complicated. Social proof is, well, proof that your company is what it says it is. Your products are good quality and you are authentic in pricing, selling and offering customers what they want. This is proven by customers saying that it’s legit through online postings. These could be on social media or on your website, or even with vendors such as Amazon or Etsy. Examples of social proof include customer testimonials, endorsements, reviews and more. See? You already knew what social proof was, it’s just the term that is complex!

Why are social proof and social media content important?

Both social proof and social media content are going to be critical for the success of your business. We live in a modern world where all shoppers are going to hunt around online for information on your brand. It’ll be important that you have content up there, and that it’s the right kind of content to show those searching that you are the real deal.

If a customer has the option between you, with very little social proof up for them to see and search through, and your competition, which does have a lot of quality content that is focused on educating the customer, they’ll go with the competition. The bottom line is that your customer needs to feel like they can trust you, and both social proof and content on social media are what will show them in real time.

How to make social proof work for you

Interested in making this work for you and your business? Here are some great ways to get social proof working for you in ways that are actually doable for a company of any size, or any kind.

• Encourage buyers to leave reviews (negative or positive): Leaving a review is an important step to showing interested shoppers that you actually ship the products that you claim to be selling. These reviews will show the quality that you offer as well as show the interested shopper that they should buy from you. Positive reviews are always good, but don’t be afraid of natural or negative ones. How you react to those reviews says as much about your brand identity as getting positive ones. And if you don’t have negative reviews at all, it’s a red flag that will send most researchers to your competition.

• Ask for buyers to share photos of their purchase in action: Similarly, don’t be afraid to reach out to customers and encourage them to share photos or even videos of them unpacking your parcel and giving it a try. These kinds of content and social proof and very popular and can really show the interested shoppers that you are the real deal as well.

• Interest and engagement tags on your website: When it comes to social proof on your website, consider tags that are dynamic . What that means is that, when a searcher is looking through your catalogue, have regularly updating tags on items that are popular. For example: “7 people have this in their basket” or “19 people have liked this item recently” etc. It encourages them to take a look at it — similar to the FOMO lifestyle — and may convince them to purchase.

How to make social proof work for you

You’ll also want to learn how to make social media content work for you so that you can have potential buyers scroll through your feeds and see that you are established and completely legitimate. Some pointers include:

• Encourage engagement online from customers: Whether it’s asking questions, asking for opinions or just a funny status, do what you can to encourage contact with your customers and followers. It will help them to engage with you and you’ll love getting them involved simply because they’ll be more likely to buy from you in the future.

• Create a Q and A section: There’s nothing more satisfying to the curious customer than finding a Q and A section or FAQ page. They’ll love that you thought to post all of these questions and answers in order to help satisfy the curiosity and comfort of your customers and it’s also great for SEO (as an added bonus).

• Keep an eye on your online presence: Another detail to think about is going on line and checking out your online presence externally. How are you ranking? Are people engaging with your posts? How do your feeds look? This all matters to the customer, so do what you can to keep it as high quality as possible.

• Choose the platform wisely and market to it: Lastly, make sure you choose the right platform and then create content to match it. For instance, don’t use Twitter to advertise blog posts. Or Instagram to share tweets. You need to learn the ways of social media and then create content that is going to resonate on that platform itself so that customers don’t feel like there’s a disconnect.

Connecting with the customer and earning their sale is a huge deal. Social proof and content on social media will both help you with that if you take them seriously and dedicate the proper time and attention to them that they deserve. These tricks will help you understand both facets easier and also give you tea guidance on how to make them work for company’s benefit. Remember, online presence is not something to take lightly when it comes to satisfying the picky and option-rich customer.  

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