If you’re looking to convert more of your leads into customers, you must use social proof. Social proof builds brand credibility and causes prospective customers to trust you. It’s a key component in any marketing strategy and one that you’ve, no doubt, also used to make your own purchasing decisions before.
According to Robert Cialdini, social proof is one of the six key principles of persuasion. Curious about social proof? In this post, we’ll discuss why you need social proof and how to use it effectively to increase lead to customer conversions.
What Is Social Proof, Anyway?
Have you ever looked at a review before purchasing a product? If so, you’ve relied on social proof to help you make a decision.
In a nutshell, social proof is the idea that people follow the recommendations of others. If one person approves of a product or service, it instantly makes that product/service more attractive and the business more trustworthy.
Testimonials and reviews are the most common types of social proof. While product descriptions and guides can help you learn more about a product, social proof provides unbiased insight from real clients. It also eases hesitations and makes prospective customers more comfortable with the idea of purchasing a product. Most people rely on this type of content to determine the value of a product and whether it lives up to the hype.
11 Ways to Use Social Proof to Generate More Lead-to-Customer Conversions
Now let’s get into the nitty-gritty of how to use social proof to turn your leads into customers.
1. Add Testimonials on Your Home Page
Display your testimonials front and center so that everyone who arrives on your website can see glowing endorsements of your product and/or your brand. Don’t just add any testimonial to your home page. When choosing testimonials for this prominent position, go for testimonials that are descriptive and detail how your brand/product solved their dilemma.
2. Create a Dedicated Testimonials Page
In addition to the select few testimonials that you’ll place on your home page, also create a dedicated testimonial page. Link to this page on your main menu so that it’s easy to find. If possible, add actual photos of your customers to give a greater sense of credibility to your reviews.
3 . Make Reviews Prominent and Accessible on Your Product Pages
When a site visitor is checking out your product page, they’re debating the merits of buying. Make it easy for them by including reviews on your product page.
Don’t just accept star ratings. Encourage customers to leave a written review which is a stronger form of social proof.
4 . Include Testimonials/Reviews in Your Emails
The inbox is the perfect place to build trust with your prospective customers. If they’ve signed up for a lead magnet and are now on your email list, take this opportunity to share testimonials with them. But don’t spam their inbox with generic testimonials that won’t move the needle. Send testimonials that give real and persuasive evidence on how you/your product helped them.
Yes, you can simply send an email that only contains testimonials about you (i.e. “read what our customers have to say about us”). You can also add testimonials to your email signature.
5. List Numbers
Up until now, we’ve discussed how to use written testimonials and reviews as social proof. You can also simplify it into numbers. For example, how many of the following do you have:
- Email subscribers
- Social media followers
- Lead magnet downloads
- Trial users
- Visitors on your site/product page right now
- People who’ve recently purchased a product
These numbers can act as social proof. If I know that a business has 50 other customers or 500 email subscribers, I feel like I’m in good company. Add these numbers to your home page, product page, or other relevant pages to show the visitor that they’re not alone.
6. Share Influencer Endorsements
Another social proof option is to leverage influencer marketing.
Getting endorsed by respected influencers and thought leaders in your industry is another way to generate social proof. But instead of shooting for the big names who may be too expensive for your budget anyway, go for micro-influencers with smaller but more engaged fan-bases. These types of influencers are often considered more authentic.
Micro-influencers can promote your product to their audience on Instagram, YouTube, and more, while also adding to your testimonials page.
7. Include Business Logos
Testimonials aren’t the only way to build trust and increase your credibility.
Work with businesses? Add their logos to your home and testimonials pages. These business logos serve as additional layers of social proof. Bonus points for adding written testimonials next to those logos.
8. Create and Market Case Studies
Think of case studies as extended testimonials where you set up the problem and show how your product or service saved the day.
One of my favorite ways to package case studies is by turning them into lead magnets. Zesno can help you create a simple, effective case study lead magnet that allows you to:
- Build trust with your prospective customer
- Show your product in action
- Grow your email list at the same time
9. Show What Else Customers Purchased
Another way to leverage social proof is by showing what products or services your customers have purchased. Not only does this indicate that people are actually purchasing your products, but it also provides an amazing opportunity to cross-sell. Use this social proof technique to make natural connections for your customers that they may not see otherwise.
10. Curate User-Generated Content on Social Media
Encourage your customers to create content on social media for your brand. The simplest way to do this is to ask for your customers to post a picture of themselves using your product on their social media pages. Also ask them to include your branded hashtag, such as your business name, or campaign slogan.
To take it one step further, re-post their endorsements on your social media pages. You could choose a specific day of the week (i.e. “Fan Friday”) to showcase this powerful form of social proof on your feed.
11. Don’t Ice Out Negative Feedback
No one likes negative reviews. But if all of your reviews are 5 stars, your prospective customer may start to feel suspicious. Are you deleting the negative reviews? Are you writing your own reviews?
No matter how wonderful a product is, there’s bound to be someone who doesn’t like it. Keep it real. Leave those bad reviews in. As long as the majority of your reviews are positive, you won’t have to worry. But always remember that buyers don’t trust 100% positive reviews.
Also, take action on those negative reviews and fix the problem. And respond to them. Your prospective customers do watch how you handle negative feedback.