It’s a simple truth. We, as humans, crave being a part of those “in the know.” We want to know what others think about products, services, restaurants, movies, etc. What others say, through actions or reviews or social media posts, is Social Proof. And this is the hottest marketing ticket out there.
Think back to the last time you wanted to try a new restaurant in town. Most likely, you checked with friends to see if they had recommendations, or went to Yelp to do a bit of research or even drove by restaurants seeing which looked bustling and popular.
All of these activities are Social Proof. As marketers, we don’t have control over all these actions. But smart marketers can leverage and cultivate Social Proof to fuel their sales and grow their reputation. Let’s look at three actions you can take today to build Social Proof for your brand.
- Be ACTIVE on Social Media
Use Social Media for a fast track to Social Proof. A consistent presence on social media is key. But don’t stop there. Quote experts and tag them in your post. ASK for reposts/retweets—this actually works and greatly expands your reach. Write about your fabulous clients or customers and be sure to tag them—very likely they will share this with their own social media following.
- Cultivate Reviews & Testimonials
What’s the best way to get reviews? Ask for them! Your happy clients/customers are a great place to start. Remember the most popular review sites, including Yelp and Facebook, as well as rating services that may be especially appropriate for your area of expertise. Ask well-known influencers for a few good words. Do you know a local celebrity? Build a relationship with them for a testimonial or a photo. Build Social Media posts and web content based around the “What Others are Saying” concept—this builds your Social Proof as someone who is known and important.
- Create a Referral Program
This phase of Social Proof assumes that your product or service is exceptional! When you have a great offering, your customers will be proud to recommend you to others. The key is to create a program that is easy to explain and implement. First, provide a meaningful reward to both parties. Make it something that relates to your business and that your target audience values. For example, a restaurant may offer a free dessert to those who refer as well as a free dessert to the lucky patron who was referred. Implement this via email, digitally, through coupons or any other method that works best for your company.
Get your brand out there and build that positive chatter that results from Social Proof. Your business—and your customers—will be all the better for it.
What Social Proof do you have for your business? Do you have an example of something you’ve seen or done that you can recommend?