Social proof puts the mind of prospective customers at ease. The advancing technology allows consumers to see and know more about a brand even before they made actual contact with a brand’s product or salesperson.
That’s why social proof is important. According to a survey by Bizrate Insights, 92% of online customers consider product reviews before making a purchase.
In this article, we have outlined ways you can increase social proof for your brand:
1. Use TrustSpot to collect customer reviews
The most common social proof is from users. It’s when buyers recommend your product or service to others and leave a positive review and rating either on your site or on other reviews sites like Google and Yelp.
Here’s how TrustSpot enters the scene — TrustSpot, being a review platform trusted by more than 21,000 brands, makes it easy for you to do any of those things. For example, there’s this feature called “Intelligent Review Requests” where you can send an email to customers asking for a rating and a review.
The difference with the review requests sent by TrustSpot is that customers can directly write the reviews and ratings on the email itself. There’s no link that they have to click to bring them to another page. With In-Email Review Requests, the average open rate is 45% while the response rate is 15% — this is much higher than link-based emails which only have a 20%+ open rate and an 8% response rate.
The reviews and ratings collected can then be displayed on-site. What’s more is that even user-generated content like photos from customers can be displayed with a photo carousel. Even customer photos from Instagram can be pulled dynamically from the social media feed and be displayed on the site.
2. Invite companies to partner with you
Aligning your brand and making a partnership with big companies is one way to increase social proof. This makes your brand appear more reliable, trustworthy, and credible to prospective customers.
A good example of this is HubSpot’s Partner Program:
By partnering with a large company, you also get access to the company’s network as well as its fans. Take note that partnerships have tiers and the higher you rise, the more attention and exposure your brand will get.
3. Interview experts or celebrities
Interviewing experts or celebrities is one of the easiest ways to gain social proof and increase your audience. Brands who run blogs consider interviewing experts great for content marketing.
Ryan Robinson, an expert content marketer, regularly interviews experts and startups and showcase them on his blog. As an effect, his reputation and those he interviews are reaching more and more people.
Through this, you’ll be able to gain fans and customers for your brand. But the real treat here is that the experts you interviewed would most likely share the interview (either in blog form, podcast, or vlog) with their network.
4. Ask for LinkedIn recommendations
If you’re a B2B business or a service-type business, LinkedIn is one of the social media platforms you should be in. In terms of statistics alone, there are more than 660 million LinkedIn users with more than 30 million companies.
When somebody gives you a recommendation, it’s readily visible on your profile as shown below:
Customers who are interested in your business services would see the recommendations your past clients gave you.
5. Provide incentives using Reward Platforms
Surely, there’s no need to bribe your loyal customers into leaving a review, right? After all, once customers are satisfied, there’s a high chance that they would leave a positive rating or review on their own.
But providing incentives to customers is far from bribery — it’s more like giving out more to the community that’s helping your business succeed.
By using a rewards platform, you’ll be able to encourage customers to make certain actions that would increase your social proof like leaving a review, sharing to social media, or even recommending your product to family and friends.
6. Highlight case studies from customer experiences
Case studies show prospective customers how effective your business solution or product is. A case study shows the problems a customer faced, the solutions used, and the details of the reports. A good example of this would be the customer case studies from TrustSpot’s Resource Center:
If a prospect checks out a case study, that customer would also see actual testimonials from that client. Also, good case studies have call-to-action at the end to make it easier for prospects to convert.
7. Make a survey and report the results
It’s understandable that some customers won’t leave you a review. People are busy. But you can certainly do something to make it easier for them. One is by creating a survey so customers don’t have to type anything.
That way, it wouldn’t take much time and effort to leave a review. For example, one of the review types 4Change Energy shows its visitors is a result of a customer survey:
There are lots of great tools out there that you can use to create surveys. One great tool is TrustSpot because they also have a special feature called “Surveys & Net Promoter Score”.
With this feature, you can create an unlimited number of surveys with 11 question types, customize the survey design, understand the results with “Net Promoter Score”, create tags and categories, and many more.
8. Showcase your mentions
Once you have the reviews and testimonials, don’t be afraid to display them on your website and on your social media platforms. You can even show the logos of your clients to increase the “realistic vibe” of your claims.
Here’s how TrustSpot shows some of the 21,000 brands that use the platform:
By displaying the testimonials and reviews on your site, some of your customers or clients might be encouraged to add their own.
9. Consider influencer marketing
Influencer marketing is becoming more and more prevalent these days. Influencers are usually celebrities and other influential or popular persons that act as a connection between the brand and the target market.
Usually, brands hire influencers popular in the brand’s particular niche or industry. Their popularity would positively affect the perception of the masses on the brand.
To demonstrate, Samantha Ravndahl is one of the top beauty influencers on Instagram. Here’s a photo she posted with the Foreo brand:
As seen from the image above, there are more than 16,000 views already. That amount of reach could easily translate to a lot of sales — all from the social proof the influencer brought.
Social Proof Boosts Marketing Effectiveness
Social proof isn’t a new concept. People have always used social proof to influence other people to partake in a particular behavior. When used right, it can definitely help increase sales for your business.
If you’re still starting out, the easiest social proof you can get is from users in the form of reviews, testimonials, and ratings. Signing up for a free trial of TrustSpot is a good way to start.