The Business Benefits of Social Proof: How To Leverage It to Increase Sales
Social proof can be a double-edged sword. On the one hand, the trust that your customers place in you as a brand is an asset that should be leveraged to your advantage wherever possible. On the other hand, when customers don’t trust your brand or have concerns about trusting it, that lack of trust can have a negative impact on sales and reputation. Social Proof has grown in importance as consumers spend more time researching purchases and vetting brands before buying. It’s no longer enough for a company to simply provide detailed information about their products, processes and company values. Now more than ever, potential customers want to see what other people are saying about them - so they know whether or not they’re trustworthy. This article will outline how social proof can help your business grow, and how it can also work against you if not managed correctly.
What is social proof?
If you want your target audience to place more trust in what you have to say, social proof can be a valuable asset. Social proof is the reinforcement and credibility that customers place in the opinions of others. It's intangible, but it's powerful nonetheless. Consumers are constantly looking for sources of information that can help them make informed decisions about brands they might purchase from - so when they hear or see something positive or negative about your company, they pay attention. The power of social proof is most apparent when a customer has expressed concern about purchasing from your company because they’re not sure if you’re trustworthy or not. If your potential customer sees reviews that say “I had no problems with this company” and “they did right by me,” it can instantly change their perception of your business for the better. Social proof is more than just testimonials, though; it can also take the form of comparative data showing how your customer service stacks up against other companies in the same industry, customer reviews on forums like Yelp, and even public records like twitter feeds and Facebook posts.
The power of testimonials
The power of testimonials is clear. In a recent study, 97% of consumers reported that they believed testimonials are important when looking to make a purchase. When you have high-quality testimonials, the decision becomes an easy one for potential customers to make. A testimonial should be used in place of any old advertisement or marketing plan with minimal effort. A good testimonial from a previous customer has the ability to speak volumes on your behalf as company and give you credibility in the marketplace.
Demonstrating authority with endorsements
One of the benefits of social proof is that it can help you demonstrate your authority with endorsements. Endorsements from other industry leaders or influencers can boost your credibility in a way that few things can. Imagine if someone you know and trust said they liked your product, or would buy it again. That endorsement could be enough to persuade someone who’s on the fence about buying from you to make the leap.
Showing you’re trustworthy with client endorsements
One of the best ways to leverage social proof is by showcasing client endorsements. When a company has reviews and testimonials from their past customers, it provides prospective customers with an objective view of the brand. For example, take a look at this testimonial from one of our clients:
Using ad testimonials effectively
One way to leverage social proof is by using testimonials in your ads. Marketers can ask influencers or customers to endorse a product, service, or company. You can also create testimonials for your ad that are completely fictional. This strategy works well because consumers want to know what other people who have bought the product think about it before they make a purchase decision.
To summarize, social proof has benefits and drawbacks. One way to mitigate the risks associated with it is by providing testimonials on your website or within your social media posts.
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