Have you ever walked past an empty restaurant and decided walk in and eat anyway?
Neither have I.
On the other side of the coin, have you ever walked by a busy place, whether it is a store or nightclub and decided that it must be a good place to check out?
Social proof essentially means that when you see others doing something, we start to believe it must be worth participating in.
On social media, when you have a lot of followers, people can sometimes jump to the conclusion that your business is successful or worth interacting/purchasing from.
Below are some great ways to generate social proof for your business to drive more new sales online.
Reviews are an important part of any business, especially online. Getting reviews on Google and Yelp can mean the difference between an interested prospect calling or visiting your business, or choosing a competitor.
Getting a 4+ review out of 5 will show that people are generally satisfied with your offering and it helps to reduce the potential risk your new customers face by doing business with you.
Takeaway: Try to get as many legitimate 5-star reviews on platforms that matter to your business. You may find that your Yelp page outranks your own website for certain keywords, so it’s important not to neglect it. Track and monitor your reviews and ask your happy customers to make reviews after they visit you.
If you’re a web designer, contractor, plumber, electrician, real estate agent, or pretty much any type of freelancer or business, getting testimonials from your clients and publishing them online can do wonders for your sales.
People are often wary of finding a business to fulfill their needs without a referral. Having real client testimonials on your website that are specific to the differences you made can make the purchasing decision easier.
Some people place testimonials on every page of their website, some on a certain page with all of them, other still on the contact page to reinforce the decision to contact you. How you use it will depend on you and your business.
Takeaway: Ask your clients for written testimonials expressing the specific reasons they liked doing business with you and what pain or problem you solved. Publish them online with a name, business name (if applicable), and photo if possible to emphasize the human aspect of the testimonial.
The more people who follow you on social media, the more traction you’re likely to get when it comes to sharing your content and spreading the word about your business.
If someone finds your business and you have 10,000 raving fans commenting and interacting with you, that person is likely to feel more comfortable with the idea of purchasing your services or products.
Takeaway: Build your followers organically by giving great value and targeted content.
4) Comments and interaction
If you create content on your website and social media, it’s a good idea to generate a conversation around it where possible. Comments, share buttons, social media conversations all help build awareness of your brand.
Takeaway: Have a section for comments and feedback where applicable on your website and social media platforms. Encourage participation to show people are interested in your business.
5) Logos and client lists
For some businesses, you’re able to show on your website which clients you have worked with. If the clients are known companies or people, this can really use their clout to leverage your own trustworthiness.
Let’s say you’re a freelancer like my friend Dmitry. By putting client logos and listing his reputable former and current clients, it shows that he’s reliable and trustworthy.
Risk = reduced.
Takeaway: Where applicable, show some (not all) of your clients on your website. Why not all? You don’t want a competitor to use it as a lead generating tool to find people looking for the services you offer. Just show the ones you’re most proud of unless you’re not worried about listing all of them.
Referrals are worth more than gold.
Getting a referral shows you’re someone’s trusted source for what you offer. The proof is in the trust between the person who recommended your business and the prospect.
Takeaway: Referrals help to reduce the feeling of risk that a person feels when starting to do business with a new company. It’s all about taking away the feeling of risk by showing the many happy people you have served.