Social Proof: What You Need to Know & How to Get Started Today
What is social proof? Understanding the definition
Finding the best deals is only the first step in shopping. The best shopping decisions always come down to trust: from word-of-mouth recommendations of family and friends, to thousands of five-star ratings and reviews online. This is social proof.
Social proof is an online reputation management tool that allows you to connect with customers and show that your products and services work. From posting reviews and testimonials, to sharing case studies, comments, sales metrics, and more, there’s a lot you can do to inspire trust and loyalty in your brand.
Demonstrating a history of successful, trustworthy purchases can influence your next customer’s shopping behaviours. And when done well, you can count on customers to share their experience and influence other shoppers too.
Ready to share compelling social proofs for your brand? Here’s everything you need to know about online reputation management and gaining customer trust:
Why Your Brand Needs Social Proof
Social proof isn’t just good branding and sales — it’s also an effective customer service strategy. Right from the start of the shopping journey, it allows you to position your products as effective, and your brand trustworthy and responsive. Simply, when customers know this, they’re more likely to buy, and even recommend you both online and offline.
Check out these stats on social proof and its influence on the customer journey:
- 40% of consumers find products and discover new brands online based on recommendations from family and friends.
- More than 91% of customers read online reviews before making a purchase.
- 83% trust ratings and reviews over advertising, and more than half won’t buy from a business with lower than a 4-star rating.
- Testimonials can increase conversions on sales and product pages by at least 34%.
- FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) on a great product with great reviews can boost conversions from anywhere between 40% to 200%.
7 Examples of Social Proofs
Looking for different types of social proofs to incorporate in your brand strategy? Check out these examples, and start curating different types of content to share across your digital presence:
1. Reviews and ratings
With tons of review sites like Google Maps, Yelp, BBB, and more, there’s no shortage of customer feedback to keep track of. Customers who feel strongly about their experience — both positive and negative — will take the time to leave ratings and reviews. Make it a habit to ask for reviews after a purchase or service, and keep an eye out for opportunities to interact and resolve concerns.
A step up from reviews, testimonials complete with a photo, name, company, and role build credibility and validate shopping decisions. By showing a full slate of happy customers and their success stories, you can increase conversions on landing and product pages, and cultivate trust in your brand.
3. Social media
Keep track of comments, mentions, replies, and direct messages. Engaging customers shows responsiveness and excellent customer service. Make sure to reshare these interactions to continue building credibility and sustaining a positive customer experience.
4. Case Studies
These in-depth, data-driven success stories are a powerful way to prove your expertise by sharing how you delivered a key solution for a client. A detailed analysis not only shows how your products or services work, but the level of client service you provide.
5. Sales Metrics
Add a counter to your website to show how many customers you’ve served or products sold. You can also add other trust icons, such as a 5-star rating on review sites and client testimonials to build credibility.
Showcase the awards your business has won or rankings in key industry lists. Awards, accolades, and badges not only prove the winning quality of your products, but validate your position as an industry leader.
7. Brand Logos
Aside from testimonials, you can also add logos of companies you’ve worked with. Seeing major brands listed on your homepage further builds customer trust and validates your reputation as an industry leader.
How to Clean Up and Manage Your Brand’s Online Reputation
Worried about bad reviews? Despite your best efforts, it’s normal for any business to receive less than stellar feedback on products and customer service.
For every dozen or so 5-star ratings, there will always be a dissatisfied customer, whether due to longer than normal wait times, order mix-ups, or unexpected quality issues. What’s important is you get ahead of these and mitigate the impact before it affects your brand’s overall reputation.
The good news is, social proof can help restore your brand’s image, and inspire positive customer experiences onwards. Here are some ways to incorporate social proofs in your digital presence, and boost your online reputation:
- Choose content: Did you receive a heartfelt comment, review or multiple 5-star ratings? Collect these client feedback, and invite more customers to share their experience. This builds trust and adds credibility, since potential customers are more likely to trust others’ experiences over what ads tell them.
- Share different types of social proof: Aside from ratings and testimonials, you can also create case studies and sales metrics to show how you’ve helped clients solve key issues — and how many more you’ve helped since. These success stories simplify the decision-making process and validate potential customers’ shopping choices.
- Consider placement: Where should social proofs be posted? There are lots of strategic locations to place social proofs depending on their type. Aside from keeping an eye on review sites like Google Maps and Yelp, as well as social media comments and replies, you can include testimonials and reviews on landing pages and product or service pages. You can also create a section on your website to display case studies, and add logos of major businesses you’ve worked with.
What are online reputation management services?
Need help managing your brand’s image and reputation? Online reputation management makes it easy to maintain your digital presence and cultivate a positive image. This includes keeping an eye on comments, reviews, and ratings on your digital profiles and across review sites and resolving negative interactions. A digital marketing firm offers these online reputation management services:
- Social media management: Manage your profile, monitor comments and customer interactions, and engage followers through interactive features.
- Review generation: Review your digital assets and content marketing strategy to ensure that social proof tools, like generating reviews and sharing testimonials are integrated on landing pages and profiles.
- Responding to customers: Monitor replies, mentions, and comments to share positive feedback, and flag negative interactions for resolution.
Build Your Online Reputation with Social Proof Today
Whether you’re just starting to generate reviews and collect testimonials, or you need to clean up your online reputation and add social proofs across your digital presence, Consultus Digital can help.
Our full suite of online reputation management services includes curating and placing the most compelling social proofs. From social media management to review generation, customer interactions, and website design, we incorporate trust in your overall digital marketing strategy. Keep customers engaged and happy, and validate their decision to shop with you for lasting trust and increased sales.
Find out more about online reputation management and the power of social proof. Book a consultation and online reputation assessment with Consultus Digital today.