How To Use Social Proof To Boost Business
For Social Proof, First Understand the Psychology of Marketing
Psychology plays an important part of marketing. Understanding what your potential customers want, will help in any marketing campaign you do. Part of the psychology of marketing is using social proof properly; and when used properly, social proof can help boost your business.
Effective use of Social Proof in online and offline marketing will help your business move forward.
What is Social Proof?
Wikipedia describes social proof as;
“a psychological and social phenomenon wherein people copy the actions of others in an attempt to undertake behaviour in a given situation”
Often when we are in a situation where we are uncertain as to what to do, we follow others.
Imagine you are driving, and there is a road block. You, and the cars in front of you follow the diversion signs laid out along the route. However, if you come to a split in the road which has no diversion sign to indicate the way to go, most people will follow the majority of the cars in front.
We tend to go with the majority.
If you’ve not read his book, it’s a good idea to familiarise yourself with it.
The Halo Effect
This is also called The Halo Error which was named by psychologist Edward Thorndike.
We buy products and services endorsed by celebrities and believe experts because we think they will be more knowledgeable than other people. We also trust online reviews because they have had experience of buying the same product or service
Types of Social Proof
In general there are six types of social proof.
In addition to the Expert, Celebrity and User Reviews there are three more types of social proof.
When someone or something has Certification we tend to be satisfied of its validity. The Wisdom of friends and Following the crowd are the others.
Using Social Proof in Your Marketing
There are many ways in which effective use of social proof can be used to enhance the marketing of your business. Here are just a few.
Work With Experts
Working with experts is one way of marketing your business. You can organise a panel of experts to talk about the area of business in which you work. You can do this either online or hold a physical seminar and invite attendees.
Associating yourself with experts allows onlookers to feel your company knows more than most about what you sell.
Respond to Online Reviews
Having past customers and clients review your product shows potential buyers that other people like your product or service,
Your job is to get as many good reviews as you can from past customers. It has been shown that the more 4 and 5 star reviews your business or product receives online the more people will trust you. So asking customers who are delighted with your company for reviews is vital.
But it doesn’t end there. You need to follow up every review with a reply. Replying to good reviews, shows you appreciate that customer which will attract more customers. Replying to poor reviews shows you care about the opinions of past customers even if they have found fault.
You might think that working with a brand ambassador is cheating.
There are instances where companies pay social influencers to promote their brand. While this is not cheating, some people may not be comfortable with the concept. This is because they feel the brand ambassador would not promote the product if they weren’t getting pad to do so. There is often an element of truth in this.
But there is another way.
Remember every satisfied customer that has used your services is a potential brand ambassador for your company. Your job is to find the ones that are happy to ‘rave’ about the service you provide for free.
Yes these people exist. Think about it, you are probably a brand ambassador yourself.
Have you ever been to a restaurant and enjoyed the meal so much that when someone asked you to recommend a great place to eat you didn’t hesitate to tell them about your experience? Do that once or twice and you are being helpful to the restaurant. Do it a lot and you are an unpaid brand ambassador. People like to pass on good recommendations to their friends. It feels good.
Nurture people you know really like what you do and turn them into brand ambassadors for your company
Display Testimonials On Your Website
Too many business owners are shy or lazy. Your business must have satisfied customers otherwise you wouldn’t still be in business. Make sure you ask for testimonials and then use the testimonials on your website. Some business owners feel that bragging about how many happy customers they have is boastful (shy), and others just cant be bothered asking customers for testimonials (lazy).
Even if you are lazy or feel you don’t have time to update testimonials on your website, this can be automated. You don’t need to do a thing. Automating your reviews and having them appear on your website automatically is easy to do.
By adding testimonials to your website you will build your social proof. People believe past shoppers experiences and you get more business,
It used to be good enough for a business to pay for an advert on Yellow Pages Directory and wait for customers to flood in. Now more than ever businesses need to be aware that potential customers often check up on a business before buying. Make sure you are ready for the rush as your business social standing improves