In a world where physical proximity to a company is no longer important when choosing a provider, and where the online universe is just a click away, it’s important to stand out from the crowd. You know your product or service is the best, you just need to convince potential clients that your company is the one to choose.
Social proof is one of the greatest marketing tools you have online, and it plays into the herd mentality. It’s a case of, “I’ll have what she’s having”, to quote the famous line from When Harry Met Sally.
The Six Main Categories of Social Proof and How to Use Them
Social proof is based on endorsement and approval from different groups. It is easily subdivided into six general categories: expert, celebrity, user, crowd, friends, and a recognised authority of one type or another.
Each category is relatively self-explanatory. For example, endorsement by an expert in the field, or a celebrity, brings with it the automatic suggestion that it must therefore have some value. Equally, if a large group of people use a certain company or product, or lots of your friends do, it immediately seems to have more validity. And finally, a professional organisation or governing body, or a recognised award, rating or industry standard substantiates the belief that a company or product is trustworthy, reliable, and good value.
So here are our top six tips for social proofing.
1 Remove Customer Concerns by Exhibiting Compliance and Expertise
If your company is a member of a professional organisation or a governing body, make sure you display this proudly on your website and in your marketing material. The same goes if your company, products, or services have been the recipient of industry awards, ratings, or standards. They are both evidence that your company should provide the quality and standard of service it promises.
With new data protection laws in force, and the fear and risk of security breaches an ever-present concern for companies and individuals alike, being able to prove GDPR compliance is a must for all companies. This is an easily solvable problem with our software, and displaying your iCaaS compliance rating can immediately provide the social proof that counterparties are seeking as reassurance: after all, 66% of companies will reportedly not deal with those who are not demonstrably GDPR compliant.
2 Let an Expert do the Talking
Expert endorsement will bring with it the assumption that your company’s product or service is as it appears, adds value, and is therefore to be trusted. Use quotes or testimonials from experts in the field and, if possible, get them to take over your social media profiles for a period of time. This sort of collaboration usually works to the advantage of both the expert and the company, so it’s of mutual benefit.
3 Everyone Needs a Famous Friend
Celebrities can have a profound effect on customer confidence and product desirability. A recent study in the US found that influencer marketing was rated both the fastest growing, and the most cost-effective online customer acquisition channel. So, reach out to famous clients!
4 Don’t Forget to Use your Users for the Benefit of All
Positive reviews and customer testimonials all help potential clients feel they can trust a company. A recent report showed that “88% of customers trust user reviews as much as personal recommendations”. Display testimonials and encourage positive reviews, use shout-outs in your content, and share your customers’ appreciation of your products and services.
5 Win Friends and Influence People
Look at your local Facebook pages and you’ll see they are full of people asking for recommendations for everything from plumbers to therapists. Mention Me’s 2020 survey found that 51% of UK consumers trust their friends’ or partners’ recommendations more than any other brand advertising. So, encourage people to ‘like’ your Facebook or Instagram page and it should show up in their friends’ feeds too.
6 Safety in Numbers
Psychology tells us that the larger the number of people who perform the same behaviour, the more influence it has. Therefore, a large customer or follower base, high sales or social share numbers will instil a sense of legitimacy. Make sure to display these where appropriate and don’t forget to celebrate milestones.
Social Proof is Here to Stay: Don’t Get Left Behind!
With more marketing success and more customers, you have more data to protect, so why not start with the simplest way to prove to your clients you are the right company to choose? We really can’t stress enough how important being demonstrably GDPR compliant is, which is why we are so proud of our software. Get in touch, and you could be compliant within 48 hours; with a displayable score to prove it!