How Social Proof can be integrated into your marketing
Social Proof plays a key part in many brands marketing activities, and sounds like a scary concept, especially to a fledgling marketer, who’s probably thinking:
“I really should’ve worked on increasing the social media followers…”
But that’s why you’re here, right? To find out what it is! And believe me, it’s not always dependent on your followers!
Ok, maybe a little, but there’s multiple avenues for tackling this concept!
What is social proof?
Social Proof is a psychology term. It’s essentially a validation of a service, or product. If you had a choice of a well known chocolate bar that everybody loves, or a brand that seems to be copying it, with both being the same price, you’d choose the well known one because… it’s well known.
It can be used in your content distribution, landing pages, print materials, pretty much anything really!
Types of social proof in marketing
What’s a better way to validate your service or product than diving into the deep recesses of your client's mind? That I can’t answer, as it’s all subjective! But case studies instil social proof for one big reason!
They leave nothing about your customer experience to doubt. By interviewing a client, and documenting their own experiences with your product or service, you can paint a picture of how other clients would experience your expertise.
And that plays a big part in social proof!
Reviews & Testimonials
Reviews & testimonials are the bread ‘n butter of social proof. They’re easy to collect, and even if the words escape most reviewers, the stars speak from themselves!
Got a stash of those 5* reviews hanging around from TrustPilot or Google? Include their logo in your advertisements, or add their widget to your website homepage There’s always the risk, however, of some cheeky chappies seeing this and commenting on their own negative experience, so it might be a safer bet to just… have them on display.
But if your ratings are mainly positive, go for it! And if those cheeky chappies do indeed comment, reply to them! Explain your side! It’s the new trend after all!
User Generated Content
If your users are making content for you, that’s an honour on its own! But taking social proof into account, this means something. It means that your users are invested in your brand, product, or service. They went out of their way and invested their time into creating something about your business! That’s pretty great!
So what better way to enforce social proof than sharing your community's lovely creations?
“Hey, this community member made this, we love it! Keep making things and we’ll share it!”
It’s also a “two birds, one stone” moment, once an original post is distributed to the creators' audience, it can then be used to engage your audience through your own marketing! Everybody wins!
If you haven’t heard about influencers yet, I wish to join you under the rock you’ve been living under, as it sounds peaceful and lovely.
Joking aside, influencers are great for social proof and the clue is in the name. They influence people! They’ll have their own following who values their opinion above all else!
So when you’ve got them on your side, bigging up your product or service, or even being the face of your company, it comes with a community.
Just make sure the influencer relates in some way to your brand. If it’s cars, make sure they’re known for cars. If it’s basket weaving, make sure they weave some mean baskets!
You know those qualifications you have? The possible degree? The A Levels, the GCSE’s? Awards are pretty much qualifications for businesses! They’re proof that your business has done something well, or knows something expertly.
Awards are essentially someone finding you and saying:
“Wow, they’re pretty good, and we’ve checked! Here’s something to show that we think you’re pretty good!”
They say the best introduction is being introduced by someone else. When clients see the awards, they’ll know that someone else thinks you’re the bomb!
Social Media Mentions
Ever wish you could just show what people are talking about in terms of your own business? In real time? On your front page?
Good news for you, you can do this easily!
There’s plenty of embeds you can show on your website to show what people are discussing about your product or service on any social media.
In terms of social proof, knowing that other people are engaged and invested in the progression of your product, service, or brand, shows to others that there is an active interest! And if others are interested, maybe they should be as well, huh?
Are you an evil CEO who wants to milk the most out of your customers, and money simply doesn’t cut it? Of course not, it’s all ethical and moralistic, right? Right?
It’s perfectly viable to use existing clients as proof of your service's credibility and quality! Just by showing the logo of your existing clients on your website, it tells other companies that these guys choose you to fulfil their needs in your industry!
See? Social Proof isn’t that scary! It’s incredibly easy to use your existing resources to big yourself up a little!
By using the methods above, it tells your future clients and customers that others value you, they like your work, and the feedback is real.
After all, nothing is stronger than hearing the opinion from someone else!