5 Ways To Add Social Proof To Your Website

Social ProofThe term Social Proof seems to be popping up more and more in relation to brands and marketing, although the concept itself is far from new. For those of you who haven’t come across it, Social Proof is the positive influence created when someone finds out that others are doing something.

According to Wikipedia, “Social proof is a type of conformity. When a person is in a situation where they are unsure of the correct way to behave, they will often look to others for cues concerning the correct behaviour. When “we conform because we believe that other’s interpretation of an ambiguous situation is more accurate than ours and will help us choose an appropriate course of action,” it is informational social influence.”

So how does this relate to your business? Put simply, people want to see that others have worked with you, or bought from you, or would recommend you. They want to know that they are not a guinea pig for your services, and if they can see that other people have been there and done that, it makes it an easier decision for them to go ahead and do it too.

Leveraging Social Proof on your website is a great way to help you influence buyers, improve your conversion rates and enhance your reputation at the same time. There are plenty of ways you can achieve this, here are my top 5.

  1. Reviews

Product reviews are something we’re all really familiar with. They’ve become part and parcel of the way we buy. Think about some of the biggest sites on the internet: Amazon, Trip Advisor, eBay; they are all well known for promoting products via other peoples’ reviews. Whether you’re buying a holiday, a car or a blender the chances are you will look that product up online and see what has been said about it.

If your business sells products, then you need to make sure there are some reviews of those products for your other customers to read

  1. Testimonials

A testimonial from someone can have incredible power over other potential buyers. They show that you can be trusted and that you are approachable because other people who are independent of your business are telling them to choose you. Video testimonials can be particularly persuasive as the person watching the video can get a real sense of how genuine your business is. Well placed, well worded testimonials on your website can leave a lasting impression over and above any other words you’ve written.

  1. Case Studies

Case studies take testimonials to a whole other level, offering a more in depth look at a particular relationship. Buyers, especially those considering a more expensive purchase, or those thinking about embarking on a longer term working relationship with you want to be able to envision the entire process from start to finish. Case studies that take people on a journey of what to expect, perhaps even including a few bumps in the road, can prove to potential partners that you are in it for the long haul. By showing that you have established good long term relationships with existing customers from a similar background to your prospect’s  you are enabling those prospects to picture themselves working with you too.

  1. Endorsements

In certain situations finding someone to endorse your brand can work wonders for attracting new customers by positively impacting your brand. A local Celebrity, business leader or other well known figure who is happy to lend their name and a few comments to your website or marketing collateral can mean that they also bring their fans and followers to your brand too. By having a big name associated with your business you will be seen as a leader, which is the kind of powerful social proof that many brands aspire to. If an endorsement sounds like something you’d like to do, think carefully about who your ideal customer is and choose a figurehead that represents both you and them. An endorsement from an inappropriate name will only confuse your customers and may even turn some people off.

  1. User Generated Content

User generated content is any content that is posted by your customers. It might be your Dental patients posting pictures of their new smile to Facebook, or someone mentioning your Estate agency in a picture of them getting their new house keys. User generated content, particularly image and video is fantastic as it shows real interaction with your brand. One way to encourage this is to ask people make a short video and post it to YouTube, or to ask people who visit to check in on Facebook. If you run any kind of event then make sure to let people know that you have a hashtag for it.

It’s not always easy to get people to interact with your business, but if you persevere you’ll find that the more people who join in, then the easier it will get. Few people want to be seen as the only one liking something, or to be the only one with their name on your website. Flip that around, and if you have photographs of 20 happy customers who have all left great reviews of you online, then more people will want to join in with that.

Social Proof is all about people and relationships, and if you invest in your customers with a great service then they will be happy to share your business with their friends and family. Every single person you interact with has the potential to tell others. What will they say about you?