Social proof… What is it? What does it do? And why does your business need it?
You’re walking down a street full of restaurants, belly rumbling with hunger, in a conundrum about where to dine for dinner. You decide you feel like Indian, and there are two Indian restaurants on this particular street. One is packed with people, so the wait might be a little longer than you’d like, however, the other is completely dead. Which do you choose?
Unless you’re so incredibly starving that you can’t wait, chances are you’re going to choose the busy one. The other diners have clearly chosen this restaurant for a reason. It must have tastier food, better service and an absolutely bangin’ atmosphere.
Introducing… social proof.
This follow-the-herd type of behaviour is what today’s marketing specialists have dubbed “social proof”. It’s been around for donkey’s years; essentially as long as human beings have lived on earth. However, with the rise of the Internet and use of social media, it’s become somewhat of a phenomenon.
We now have a streamlined method of searching for and finding the best Indian restaurant in our city, let alone street, not to mention the best business advisor, real estate agent, pet resort, law firm, physiotherapist… the list goes on.
How do we judge who’s the best? By the amount of social proof they have.
When a new visitor comes to your website or social media page, they’re looking for two main things – authenticity and reassurance. They want to be convinced that they are making the most informed decision, before they commit to buying/using your product/service. A large part of this comes from knowing that others have used and trusted your business. After all, anybody can stake their claim as the best in the industry, but if there’s no evidence to back it up, it’s meaningless.
When we build websites at Ronin, one of the very first things we do is determine what kind of social proof we can use to shine light on your business’ best side.
Three of most effective forms of digital social proof.
There are many different types of social proof – from user success stories to credibility given by industry experts and statistics used to illustrate large followings. Below are three of the most effective and, in my opinion, easiest to obtain.
Want more of this straight to your inbox?
1. Ratings / Reviews
What’s the first thing you do when you discover the name of a business that might be of interest to you? Search their name on Google? Or maybe you head to their Facebook page? Either way, the star rating that appears is likely to influence your decision on whether or not to click through to the website, right?
Asking past clients to leave your business a review may seem like a tedious task, but it can have a significant impact on the amount of enquiries or leads you’re getting.
Obviously, reviews can go the other way as well, so it’s important to remember to check in regularly and reply to any negative reviews you may receive, in a professional and polite manner.
2. Testimonials / Case Studies
What’s even more enticing than seeing a five-star rating on Google or Facebook? Clicking through to the website and seeing the same high level of positive feedback. Whether this is through a slider of testimonial quotes or a case study page with project details and images included.
Showcasing a variety of success stories that potential customers can relate to is a great way to assure them that your service or product is the one they should choose.
3. Logos / Badges
Featuring client logos on your website is a simple yet effective way of adding credibility, and giving people a sense of the size of your business.
Same goes with badges. Are you an accredited building company? A PIAA accredited pet resort? Has your business won any recent industry awards? Let potential customers know by adding the stamp of certification to your site.
Do you need help growing your business’ digital presence? The team at Ronin are experts at building beautiful websites that help increase traffic and drive conversions. But don’t just take my word for it – check out some of our social proof here.