Have you used social proof in your sales and marketing efforts? It’s an easy-to-use and effective way to boost your lead generation and sales efforts.
So, What Is Social Proof?
Essentially social proof is word of mouth, and we all know that good word of mouth and customer recommendations help spread awareness and increase sales. Social proof takes many different forms that you can leverage for your business. One of the strongest forms of social proof is the customer testimonial. Your website, in-store point-of-sales displays, print literature, emails, videos, and radio or television commercials are all great places to feature strong customer testimonials along with product information. Be sure to get customers to sign release forms if you use their face as part of your social proof advertising.
Other forms of social proof include endorsements from experts, celebrities, and other influencers. When it comes to social media, your social proof comes in the form of “likes,” “tweets,” “retweets,” and the shares of your content or comments about your product or service.
Getting Started with Social Proof
Focus on Results
Before you begin rolling out your social proof, make sure it actually emphasizes the benefits of your product or service. A comment or testimonial simply stating that “it’s good or useful” isn’t quite enough to encourage new prospects to take the next step. A good customer testimonial will define ways that your product or service performed and/or improved the customer’s life/job. If you can get your customer to create a video testimonial or demonstration — that’s even better!
It’s usually just a matter of asking customers if you want testimonials. People who love your product are typically happy to share the news with others. A great way to request a testimonial is to follow up with a customer after a purchase requesting that he write a testimonial if he liked the product. If you receive positive emails or calls about your product, that’s another opportunity to ask for a testimonial.
Don’t forget to take advantage of social media when developing social proof for use in your marketing efforts. People use sites like Facebook and Twitter to find out about products they’re thinking about buying. According to a March 2014 post on MarketingCharts.com, “Close to 6 in 10 global consumers say that friends’ social media posts influence their purchase choices.” (source: http://www.marketingcharts.com/wp/online/friends-social-media-posts-impact-purchase-decisions-41594/)
Don’t Be Dishonest
Never create a fake a testimonial or “enhance” something a customer has said to use as a testimonial in your marketing efforts. If it’s revealed that you were deceptive, people won’t trust you and your business. If you get negative feedback, use that feedback to help you improve your product or service delivery.
As a consumer yourself, you know there is a level of uncertainty and risk when making a purchase. Positive social proof takes away some of that uncertainty. Don’t be afraid to ask customers to help you spread the good word!