Social proof – what is it and how can I use it?

In essence, social proof is providing users with other people views and opinions on your products.  In the old days, we used to call this sharing testimonials, but we now what many more ways of interacting, collecting and displaying customer feedback.

Providing your potential customers with the feedback from previous and existing customers is a great way to build up trust during the sales process.

According to HubSpot even back in 2012, they were suggesting consumers were 71% more likely to make a purchase based on social media referrals.

With this in mind, here are a couple of ideas to grow and display your social proof to help your potential customers do the right things and buy your products.

Testimonials page

Add a testimonials page to your site, but don’t simply a type out of the best parts of a customer quote.  Did they handwrite you a letter, why not scan it and display it?  Ask if you can use full customer names, A.S. from London is a bit weak these days.

Social Platforms

Want a better way to collect and display and collect testimonials?  Ask for them.  On your product purchase confirmation pages or email send them links to your testimonial collection hubs.  Here are two freebies you can use right now:

Google MyBusiness allows you to ask and collect and then display review feedback in your Company Page.

http://www.google.com/business/connect.html#respond-to-customer-feedback

Facebook – Some Facebook company pages also allow you to post reviews.

https://www.facebook.com/help/271128916342286

With both of these services you can then add links to them on your website or product pages using language such as “See what existing customers think of our service.”  In this way potential customers don’t have to take your word for it. Plus it is self-managing  – all you need to do is grow and ask for reviews.

A quick detour – the bad review!

9 times out of 10 there will be the odd customer who is not happy and will voice this.  This is a risk but this risk is outweighed by the upside of having social proof.   What to do with a genuine bad review – deal with it in public.  Don’t ignore or delete it.  Answer it – in this way, you can turn a negative into a positive by responding and showing that you are customer focused.

Now that’s out of the way, there are is another service that can take your social proof to the next level by integrating it on your site, sharing it on Google and getting Google to display your reviews as stars in your PPC or site listings in natural search.

You will have seen them appear in search results or in pay per click ads:

MSMREVIEWS

This kind of display has proven to reduce click costs in Adwords and driven more traffic/ sales for the same spend.  We use and recommend Feefo as a paid for service that will take all of the strain to automate and grow your reviews and reduce your ad costs

Use the contact form and add Feefo in the comments section and we can help get you setup with a free trial.  This trial only shows you the data and reviews  – they are not published so you can get an idea of how it works.  Plus you can get comfortable with how it works.

There has never been a better time to collect and display social proof as a way to help customers make purchasing decisions.  Econsultancy also suggest that insurers and brokers look to add social proof extensions to their site to help with trust and making the sale.

 

About the Author Jason Hulott

Jason Hulott is Business Development Director at Digital Marketing Specialists, Speedie Consultants. He is Google Partner certified. His role is to identify and implement traffic generating and revenue increasing ideas for our client base.

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