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How to Win Over Your Audience with Social Proof

Are you interested in learning how to win over your audience using social proof? If so, you're in the right place!

If you're not familiar with the concept of social proof, let's get you up to speed:

Simply put, social proof is a term that describes the social phenomenon where people are more likely to do something if they see other people doing the same thing. For example, if you decide to see a movie after your friends suggest it to you, social proof plays a part in your decision.

Developers, business owners, and marketers know that social proof is an amazing way to win over their audience and turn visitors into subscribers and subscribers into customers. When people see that others are happy with a brand or product, they are more likely to take action. It's as simple as that.

Today, I'm going to share 5 actionable ways you can use this powerful and interesting strategy to take your brand to the next level.

Let's begin! 

Show Plenty of Reviews

Did you know that around 90% of online shoppers say they turn to customer reviews before making a purchase? This shocking statistic is exactly why you need to show plenty of reviews and testimonials on your site and social media.

I suggest putting reviews in high-traffic places, like on your homepage and product landing pages. This strategy makes sense because most people will land on your homepage the first time they visit your site. Prominently displaying reviews sets the tone and shows that your brand is trusted and appreciated by paying customers.

Product pages are where most people decide to become customers. If you don't have testimonials from users who bought the same product, they may leave your site to find reviews elsewhere. Instead of risking them leaving and not coming back, show reviews on the page so they can see what customers are saying without getting distracted.

If you need help getting reviews, don't worry! It's easier than you think. My best piece of advice here is to reach out to existing customers through email and ask them to leave a review. In exchange, you can give them an exclusive discount that they can use the next time they visit your site. 

Invite Customers to Share UGC

User-generated content (UGC), as the name implies, is something that's generated by your audience, or at the very least, a reflection of their actions. It's also an extremely effective way to show visitors that your brand is worth their time.

Reviews and testimonials fall into this category, but we already covered this topic. So, instead, let's talk about other types of UGC.

One of the best alternate ways to generate more user content is by hosting a social media giveaway. For instance, you can offer your audience one of your most popular products. Then, ask participants to share a short video talking about what they like about your brand or what they would do if they won.

These seemingly small interactions add up quickly and can help you launch a viral contest.

You can also showcase UGC by sharing when someone tags you on social media or has a particularly compelling comment. Positive feedback, questions, and discussions all show that people are paying attention to your brand. Not only will this help boost brand awareness through the various social media algorithms, but it will also help new users see that you are a business that others want to engage with.

If you're on the fence about UGC, consider this: businesses that implement these strategies see their revenue increase by 18% on average!

Work with Affiliates and Influencers

Partnering with influencers and affiliates in your industry is another effective way to build social proof. People trust recommendations from these individuals because many of them have spent years cultivating an audience and creating high-quality content.

You'll want to start by creating an affiliate page and inviting creators to promote your product or service in exchange for a financial kickback for every sale they get. Affiliates are a practical way to enhance awareness and connect with people who are most likely to need your brand.

The kind of impact this can have on revenue and growth is quite surprising. For context, research shows that around 40% of retailers say they've obtained a new customer through affiliate marketing!

Influencers are high-profile social media personalities who will gladly promote your brand to their audience in exchange for free products, money, or both. If this is your first time working with an influencer, I suggest starting small. Micro-influencers, which consist of creators with 10,000-100,000, are a great pick because of their smaller, niche audiences.

When people see content creators they know and trust promoting your products, some of their trust will rub off on you. I believe this is precisely why affiliate marketing and influencer partnerships can easily boost profits by 30%

Highlight Trust Badges

Trust badges, also known as trust seals, are a way to build social proof by showing that other businesses and publications trust your brand.

For example, if you've ever seen a website boast that they were "featured in Forbes," you've seen an example of a trust seal. This line of text is designed to show users they were published in one of the biggest publications in the world, which instantly makes them more trustworthy.

Sometimes, trust badges are, quite literally, badges. They are inserted on things like payment forms and landing pages to show that the website is trustworthy. One example is you may see a PayPal and McAfee-approved logo on the bottom of a form. If you're a first-time shopper, seeing that a site is approved by a financial institute as big as PayPal and a security company as renowned as McAfee is probably enough to convince you to take action.

We found that adding these types of trust badges to forms improved conversions by a whopping 42%. I firmly believe this is because people were confident in us because they saw who was backing us up.

If you want to get trust badges from big sites like this, you'll need to reach out to each place. For example, here's the PayPal trust badge page.

Add Live Alerts to Your Site

Finally, let's talk about live sales alerts. When a visitor takes an action like signing up for your email list or purchasing a product, you can trigger an alert that pops up on the corner of your site.

For example:

  • "Jack from Texas just bought a Premium Subscription!"
  • "25 new subscribers joined our newsletter in the last hour. Click here to sign up!"

Seeing sales notifications about what other real people are doing on your site helps to build trust and credibility. Visitors will see that your offers and products are popular and in demand.

There are a variety of ways to display live alerts on your site. The type of tool you need will depend on your goals, budget, and plans.

Regardless of how you choose to show these notifications on your site, you can bet that new visitors will have a little more faith in your website when they see that others are actively browsing and buying. 

Final Thoughts

There you have it! These 5 social proof strategies will help you win over new visitors and existing customers by building a sense of trust and community around your brand.

If you don't know where to start, I suggest beginning by finding reviews of your product or service. This is by far the easiest strategy to implement because feedback happens organically when you sell products online.

It takes time to build trust. Take it one day at a time and slowly add some of the other tips I mentioned today, and you'll be well on your way to cultivating an audience of happy customers.

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