If you’d love to see this blog as a video training, head over to my free Facebook Group, The Happy and Profitable Business Hub
We hear the phrase social proof thrown around a lot in the online space.
But what is it?
And how can it help you grow your business?
Let’s begin by unpacking what we mean by the phrase social proof.
It’s the concept that the opinions of others can influence people’s decision-making. You may have heard of the phrase ‘herd mentality’ before – a term describing when people are more likely to do something that others have done before, where people follow or copy the behaviour of others because of social influence.
You’ll have seen it hundreds of times before. Online trends – people want to be part of something, sometimes things they wouldn’t even usually be interested in because of the power of social influence. That feeling that they are missing out by NOT having it.
But why does the opinion of other people matter so much? Why does it carry so much weight?
When searching for holidays, buying a car, or buying clothes, what do you look at to help feel informed, to help you decide whether it’s right for you?
The reviews. What other people have to say.
So, now we’ve established exactly what social proof IS, how can you use it to your advantage in your business?
Well, social proof allows you to take advantage of and leverage any external validation from customers to influence potential new customers.
It means your potential customers don’t have to only take YOUR word for it.
Other people are backing up what you say. Your customers are your advocates, and that is so powerful when used in the right way.
You may already be using social proof in your business. You might ask your clients to share a few kind words about your work together – you pop that into a beautifully branded Canva graphic and share it to your feed.
Social proof? Tick!
It’s a great start, but more powerful ways exist to use this social proof in your business.
First, it’s about understanding the different kinds of client feedback and how to position it and share it with your audience.
A testimonial is often a recommendation from a happy customer. Testimonials are generally provided directly to you by your clients. They are almost always positive, focusing on the good things, the things your client loved about working with you and how they found their experience.
If you have client testimonials, think about breaking them down to get more from them rather than just sharing them once. Come at the information from different angles and then use their words as talking points to expand on, give context, or explain.
A review is an honest account or a snapshot of a client’s experience using your service or product. Reviews are sometimes provided via a third-party platform, for example, Facebook reviews, google reviews, trust pilot, TripAdvisor etc. Reviews are often more objective than a testimonial.
A case study is a fantastic type of storytelling social proof. The benefit of using a case study is that clients not only see how happy your clients are but can understand the details of exactly how your service helped them, what the benefits to them were, how it made them feel, and what changed as a result.
You can share more detail and context about the person and their business:
This could look like sharing details of WHO your clients are. Being associated with them could raise your profile if they have a large audience or a trusted reputation. (Think about influencers and celebrities; this is precisely what is happening. People believe it must be good enough for them if they use it and are happy to be associated with it! Perhaps if I use it, it will make me a bit more like them!
Your name being seen in places outside of your business is a brilliant way to use social proof to build trust. For example:
Being personally recommended by someone is a fantastic type of social proof, especially if the person they are recommending trusts the opinion of the person.
Understanding qualifications, gaining certificates, and using a standard/mark or quality assurance, for example, is an excellent way of building trust and social proof in your business.
Social proof is one of THE best ways to build trust for you and your brand. It’s a powerful tool for your business so don’t underplay it. Think about where and how you can share it for the most impact on your business.
Find this blog helpful. Let me know in the comments.
If you’d love to see this blog as a video training, head over to my free Facebook Group, The Happy and Profitable Business Hub.