Like every woman I’ve ever met, I wear a lot of hats and it’s not always easy to swap one out for the other.
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Have you ever been to a restaurant just because someone recommended it to you?
Of course, you have! We all have.
Sometimes I’ve been without ever knowing what cuisine they are serving, I just know that *INSERT FRIEND NAME HERE* said the place was awesome.
In the world of digital marketing, social proof is gold! Not only can social proof grow your brand presence, it can drastically improve conversion power.
Before we dive into my proven methods for building social proof on your site, I want to quickly share the different TYPES of social proof you can harness for your business. Not all will be applicable for where you are in your business journey, but its always good to know the landscape.
If you have not read my previous blog post on working with influencers, I highly recommend you pop over here now.
In terms of marketing for your brand or site, an expert can be a popular blogger, social media influencers, business leader or a voice of authority. Seems like a bit of a mixed bag I know – but what it means is, if a food blogger recommends your brand of sauce as the sauce they use when creating their Insta-worthy dishes, from a consumers perspective, this is expert social proof and they will buy because they trust the recommendations made by that particular food blogger.
Celebrity endorsements – picture tiger woods + Nike (pre the scandal). When a celebrity announces to the world that they only use a certain product manufactured by a certain brand, their fans respond and quickly go out and buy that product so they can feel a little bit closer to their celebrity-crush.
Customer success stories are a powerful tool to have in your marketing grab bag. If a customer is sitting on the fence wondering if your product or service is right for them, a success story that is relevant to them and their need can be the tipping point.
Have you noticed that popular selling books often have “Over 1,000,000 SOLD” splashed across the title? This is crowd social proof in action.
If a customer is feeling a little unsure about their decision to purchase, knowing that there has been a large number of customers ahead of them who have taken the plunge can make the decision making the process a little less scary.
For new online business owners or service providers, having such large figures including in your marketing strategy may not be viable as yet. But there are other figures you can harness. Perhaps its $xx of saved in your client’s businesses, or a number of happy customers since launch. Or perhaps its all of the above. Play around with featuring some figures in your marketing mix and see if it helps grab your audience.
The power of a recommendation from someone you know personally – need I say more?
Okay – now that we have a clearer understanding of the different types of social proof you can look at incorporating into your marketing strategy, here are my strategies for building your social proof fast!
Harnessing social media is the number 1 strategy for building your social proof fast!
The key components of this proven method include:
Providing an easy method for customers to share your products or pages on social media is a great way to build up social proof. Included a little tracker on your page (showing number of likes and shares) to capture your growing social proof.
I know a number of my clients who have really had to face down their fears when it came to asking for a review.
Before you let your mind run ahead with all the reasons why you can’t ask for a review, go ahead and ask for it anyway!
Hot tip: Automate it!
If you are using a website built in Shopify or WordPress, there are a number of plugins that can email your customer post-purchase asking them for a product review. Include the reviews on the product pages on your site, or as close to the point of purchase as possible. This will help alleviate risk for the new customer.
Collaborations have been an extremely powerful tool for building social proof in my business. By working with some great brands who align with my vision for the business, I’ve been able to reach new markets and grow my customer database AND build my social proof.
Collaborations can be done with other businesses if there is a synergy between the two brands. Perhaps a joint promotion or a collaboration for a new product design. Your audience will love the fresh ideas flowing and the two brands will benefit from sharing into each other’s markets.
Another way to collaborate is through influencer partnerships. For more information on the power of micro-influencers and how this can provide great social proof at a relatively low cost, read my blog here.
You can be sure of one thing when it comes to your customers…They are questioning. Questioning what to read, watch and listen too. What to buy, not buy, pay attention to or ignore.
Social proof is most powerful when a consumer is uncertain about what to do.
Social proof (taken from the book ‘Influence“) is the…
“The tendency to see an action as more appropriate when others are doing it.” Robert Cialdini
Give your brand and your site with the highest chance of success by building social proof into your strategy today!