Give Your Customer More Reasons to Trust You
Social proof is a concept in online marketing that individuals use to judge the reliability of a person or business online, and that search engines also use to improve page rank for your website. It’s about building trust among customers and potential customers, as well as proving that you’re a reliable and honest business.
Social Proof Starts with Being Social
With the advent of social media such as Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, Pinterest and others, you can’t escape the importance of being social when it comes to online marketing. People actually do care about what their friends and family are doing, saying and buying. The actions of the influencers in your life help determine the actions you might make, even if you don’t notice the influence directly.
Friends of a Feather…
Studies show that your closest friends influence not only your happiness but also your net worth. People say that “birds of a feather, flock together” and studies show that it’s a more common phenomenon than “opposites attract.” This means that with the right connections on social media, if you can get the word out about your products and/or services to one of your most ideal clients, and they share, it will likely end up being seen by more of your ideal clients.
Word-of-Mouth Is Super Important
Most people trust word-of-mouth recommendations for products and services more than they trust any other type of marketing or advertising. If your best friend says she likes something, you are more likely to feel the same way. If someone you trust says they found value in something, you will feel more confident that you will too. Same goes for your customers.
Social Proof Takes Time and Effort
Developing and increasing your social proof happens through interaction on social media, blogging, and participating in your community. It doesn’t matter if your community is online or offline, being an active participant will go far in creating the social proof that you need to be seen as a trustworthy source of information. The more people who start quoting you, the more people who friend you, follow you, and retweet your information, the more social proof you collect.
Creating branded social media URLs, along with a consistent image and profile will go far in ensuring that people know who you are. Once a person reads, enjoys, likes, shares and comments on something that you have written, they’ll be more likely to see you and your work in their search results.
The Good News
Before online marketing, we already knew that customers were more likely to tell people if they had a bad experience or disliked a service than if it was good. That’s still very true, and you must watch and manage your online reputation very carefully. The good news is that the tide has shifted somewhat in how people behave when they have a positive experience. Facebook, Yelp, Google and others make it easy to share positive feedback as well as negative, and more people are sharing the positive. Today, a person who likes something is likely to share with more than 1000 people over time due to the connections of others.
Earning social proof is an important strategy if you want to market online successfully. Your assignment for today: go to your social platforms and interact with your audience. Ask them to review your business online. Make it easy for them to share their good experiences and you will see your credibility grow. It’s a strategy that takes time but offers tremendous upside. As your social proof grows, your business will ultimately grow, too.