This post was originally published on the Evening Standard Business Connections website on 02 July 2013 and is one of a series of nine articles I wrote for ESBC. The Marketing Surgery series are posts addressing specific questions asked by members of the entrepreneurial and SME community.
Type ‘definition of social proof’ into Google and this is the top search result – the Wikipedia definition of social proof:
‘Social proof*, also known as informational social influence, is a psychological phenomenon where people assume the actions of others in an attempt to reflect correct behaviour for a given situation. ‘
In simple terms if people reach a decision point and are unsure how to proceed they will look around to see what others have done and follow the general consensus. In business terms ‘social proof ‘ is extremely powerful in converting visitors to your website and offline visitors into customers or at least leads.
If visitors to your site can see evidence of people who have used your products and services talking favourably about them and this is reinforced by mentions on social media platforms they will be more likely to buy from you. This is word of mouth advertising communicated via social media. Increasingly consumers look for social proof before committing to expenditure. Consider the Amazon or Trip Advisor customer experience or the importance of recommendations (not endorsements) on LinkedIn. Below are five ways you can get more social proof for your business:
* Ask for testimonials – written are okay but video testimonials are wonderful.
* Ask all customers to complete feedback forms or reviews
* Create social media profiles on all relevant platforms; interact & engage with your customers & prospects.
* Use social media as an extension of your customer service function.
* Be accessible – Have real names and pictures on your ‘About Us’ page. Do not hide behind a logo. Your leads & prospects want to know who you are and will build a relationship with real people.
Want to discuss Content & your Social Media Strategy? Give us a call on +44 845 2264 247 or email us via firstname.lastname@example.org to start the conversation.
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Founder & CEO of Marketing Fundamentals Ltd.
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