By: Ami Hooper, Spiel PR - for the February 2019 Focus on Business
Think about the last time you went out to dinner at a new restaurant. Did you check the reviews on your phone or computer to help you decide where to eat? That good review guided your decision and gave you confidence that the food would be worth the money. You were engaging in what is known as social proof.
Social proof is the influence that actions and attitudes of people have on our behavior. Psychologist Robert Cialdini coined the term in 1984 and it is a powerful ingredient for marketing. Why is this relevant for you? Your social proof is critical because it is such an influential selling tool. If you want potential customers to feel confident about your business, you need to leverage this phenomenon.
The first way to gain social proof is to grow your presence and audience on social media. The number of likes and followers provides validity and credibility to your business. No matter what social media channel, the simplest way to grow your following is to ask. Remind customers to follow or like or send out an email or request through Facebook. Don’t do it just once, make it a practice every month. You also need to make sure you have prominent signage that promotes your social media accounts.
One of the most straightforward ways is to use testimonials on your website or social media posts. It can be as simple as a short quote from a satisfied customer or better yet, take a quick video and post!
User-generated reviews are the most trusted and the most powerful form of social proof. A study by BrightLocal, a company that focuses on local Search Engine Marketing, found that 88% of customers read reviews before they make a buying decision. You can use those reviews as a social media post of its own and you can also use them on your website. Get those great comments in front of your potential customers!
When used correctly, social proof can be a powerful force in your marketing. Try the ideas listed above and see what type of results you can achieve.