Social proof is a psychological phenomenon where people assume that the actions of others represent correct behavior for a given situation.
We naturally look to other people to validate our choices, be it friends, experts, celebrities or even strangers! When we see other people doing it, we’re inclined to believe that there’s a good reason for it.
This is why most people would rather wait in line or make reservations at a crowded restaurant than go to the completely empty one.
Amazon sellers with the best reviews are likely to make the most sales, and you are more likely to laugh at a joke if there’s a laugh track played during the comedy show!
How to use social proof for your business.
You can use the same phenomenon to increase the credibility of your brand and earn the trust of your potential customers by displaying social proof on your blog and including it in your marketing materials too.
Here are some examples and how to employ them:
These can be both solicited and unsolicited. When interacting with your clients, if they say anything positive about how your business has impacted their lives, ask them if you can use it to inspire others.
You can also create a poll or questionnaire on your social media platforms, asking your audience to rate or review a particular aspect of your business. This will not only foster engagement, it will also give you ideas on how to improve your brand.
Help your customers to make their buying decisions faster by showing them how many people have already bought from you!
Phrases like “personally worked with 105 teachers and counting” or “join our group of 70 single moms just like you” will play a big role in building trust.
Time lines can also be employed to this effect. “Sign up to see exactly how I transformed my body in just 21 days” or “the 30 minute plan I used to establish my home business in less than a month.”
These are great for portraying you as an expert or an authority in a given field. If you earn a certain level in your MLM company, use it! People love to learn from the experts and the more you can portray yourself as such, the more trust you will earn from your prospects.
This is probably the most effective method of them all. Before and after pictures and stories let your brand speak for itself! The more you can show people how far you have come, the more inspired they will be to change their own lives.
If you are able to give your customers a taste of the product or service before they commit to purchase, it will remove all doubt in their minds.
Our recommendation at PSMU is to add new clients to your paid groups, so they can have a first hand experience of the value that you can offer to them in the long run.
Free offers are also used to this end.
Best practices for social proof.
Here are a few important points to keep in mind while using testimonials and other social proof.
- Always back it up.
Do not make any claims in regards to your product or brand offering unless you actually have proof that it’s true. Before and after pictures work great for this, and also links to the social media profiles of the clients in your testimonials, and their pictures as well. This will make it all more believable.
- Do not promise anything you can’t guarantee.
Although it is encouraged to share your results and the numbers associated with them, always make sure to emphasize that the results can vary from person to person. For example, it is okay to say “here’s the product I used to get this result in x days” but not “this product will get you this result in x days.”
- Show them how similar you are.
We always emphasize branding at PSMU and encourage you to serve the people that are most like you. People are always more drawn to your story if they can clearly see themselves in you, so you need to use it in your social proof too. Make them see that you were in the exact same position as they currently are, and they will be more willing to accept your solution.
- Negative feedback is important too.
We recommended asking for feedback from your clients a few points ago. Although we always strive and hope for the best, misunderstandings and discontent will naturally show up every now and then. When this happens, make it a point to understand the client and help them to the best of your ability. Resolving their issues will not only strengthen the relationship, it will give you ways in which to improve your brand offering.
The above are just general guidelines on how you can earn the trust of your potential customers. Always remember that you are the expert in your niche, and trust yourself to find the best ways in which to connect and demonstrate your value to them.