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People are constantly bombarded with information whenever they are online. Lots of this information is great, but plenty of this information is a waste of time or downright false. Since people need a way to filter information, one of the ways they can accomplish that is by looking for social proof. Because social proof can directly impact how people view what you’re communicating and selling online, we’re going to look at exactly what social proof is, along with how you can get creative with using social proof:
An Introduction to Social Proof for Selling Online
When clients come to us for conversion optimization strategy, social proof is generally one of the first things we discuss. The reason we put such an emphasis on social proof is it can directly influence whether or not someone makes a purchase.
So, while it’s clear that social proof is important, what exactly is it? The best way to define social proof is the positive influence that’s created when someone finds out that other people are doing something. The best example of this is a line outside a nightclub. The most common response individuals have to this is thinking the club is in high demand, which in turn makes them want to go in. Ratings on movie review websites are another example. Movies that get kickstarted with positive reviews are far more likely to attract lots of viewers than ones that begin with even just a handful of negative reviews.
For businesses selling online, social proof can accomplish two important things. First, it shows visitors that they’re not the first person to buy something. This reduces perceived risk and eliminates a common buying obstacle. And second, social proof can show that other people have benefited from their purchase, which creates a positive feeling in visitors and gives them a desire to buy.
Get Creative with Your Site’s Social Proof
The good news about social proof is there are a lot of different ways you can utilize it throughout your website. The first is to add testimonials. These can go on your home and landing pages. When it comes to optimal testimonials, relevancy is important. A photo of your customer and the full name under the testimonial is also ideal. And depending on what you offer, it may make sense to include the customer’s job title as well.
Case studies are the next type of social proof you can add. This is something you can publish directly on your site and offer as a lead magnet for email marketing or utilize as a combination of both. Social media also provides several really compelling opportunities for social proof. Adding a plugin that displays the number of shares for your content, embedding social media posts or displaying how many people are following you on different social sites are all ways to show visitors who come to your website that you’re the real deal!
If you’re interested in improving your online social proof and reputation through the strategic use of social media, learn more about how our social media marketing services can help.
Michelle Hummel is CEO of Web Strategy Plus a full-service digital marketing agency focused on Franchise Marketing. She was recently nominated for the Woman-Owned Business of the Year! She’s a passionate Social Media Trainer with 15+ years of successful online business development, sales, and marketing experience. She also holds a valuable Internet Marketing Degree however with the ever-changing world of web marketing she strives to learn something new every day.
She travels Nationwide visiting her 22 Social Media Enthusiasts Chapters she developed Nationwide delivering in-depth social media training. She also provides Social Media Certifications through founding Web Media University. A current contributing editor to The Franchise Dictionary Magazine and she has written 3 books in her series called, “The Social Media Magnet: Everything You Need to Know to Attract Customers with Social Media”, where she shares her best-kept secrets to success. She also specializes in helping Franchisors and Franchisees develop an integrated web marketing program to drive leads. She’s available for interviews via email, telephone, Skype video, news segments on location and more. Just let her know how she can help!