How to social proof your website
Social proof your website and you will see the benefits, reaping sales and building trust in your brand – here’s how.
It may be the big marketing buzzword, but what exactly is social proofing? It’s peer pressure combined with behavioural psychology. As humans, we’re open to being influenced – especially by other humans. Social proofing basically uses this weakness, this desire to conform, to help form consumers’ opinions.
That canned laughter you hear on a sitcom? That’s social proofing! When you hear it, you immediately think what’s happening is funny – even if it’s not. See how powerful it can be?
While it sounds like some sort of witchcraft, no cauldron is required, and if you get it right, it can have a very positive effect on sales. So how do you go about casting the spell?
Six ways to social proof your website
1. Facebook widgets
There's no more powerful recommendation than one from someone you trust, which is why Facebook widgets work so well. Knowing that a friend or family member likes a company definitely resonates more than a recommendation from a stranger – 69% of consumers say that family and friends help them choose what to buy.
2. Video testimonials
Your product or service is more powerful when somebody else provides a testimonial or case study. Not only does it prove that you have real customers, but it also implies a confidence that it’s worth investment from others too. It produces results – video testimonials increase sales by 600%.
Ask your most loyal customers to participate. The video doesn’t need the production value of a Hollywood blockbuster, but should explain the benefits of what you provide and how you helped those customers personally.
3. Most popular
Selling products? Then make sure you show potential customers what’s currently selling like hotcakes. Not only does this provide inspiration for those browsing, but it’s also tapping into that human response to follow the pack, making those must-have items even more attractive.
4. Customer reviews
Social proofing doesn’t get more effective than customer reviews. Not only do good reviews help increase sales, but they also build trust in your brand – 73% of consumers say positive customer reviews make them trust a business more.
Don’t wait for reviews either – ask for them. As almost half of Britons have written a review, they shouldn’t be that difficult to get, but some simple ways to increase quantity and quality of reviews include:
– Requesting a review after a transaction has taken place.
– Sending out an email to your database to ask for feedback.
– Reading and responding to all your current reviews. The more you do this, the more consumers will see that you are interested in what they have to say.
5. Use your numbers
It may not be in your nature to boast about your successes, but social proofing your website means shouting out loud when you are doing well. Freelance recruitment site Elance publicises how much money people have made using their service on their homepage. How persuasive is that?
6. Celebrity endorsements
The ultimate in modern-day social proofing, celebrity-usage of your product immediately tells others it must be worthwhile. The Duchess of Cambridge is the ultimate example. Retailers rub their hands with glee when Kate is seen with one of their items, as they know it will sell out.
While getting royalty to try your product or service may not be so simple, if you do see a celebrity using your product or an industry expert tweeting about your company, capitalise on it! Retweet the tweet, post a pic of said celeb touting your wares, blog about their endorsement – anything to show people your company is worth investing time and money in.
- Social proofing your website can build trust in your brand and increase sales.
- Don’t wait for reviews and testimonials – invite them from your loyal customers.
- Showcase your most popular products/services, to make them even more attractive.
- If celebrity endorsement comes your way, capitalise on it.
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