In a world where we can’t take our eyes off the internet or our hands off our phones, people have become more prone than ever to acting like the people around them. We rely on social proof because it eliminates the guesswork from making our own choices and decisions. The brain prefers to copy what other people are doing instead of figuring something out on its own because it’s more efficient. But how can we incorporate social proof into our business?
Social proof can enhance your business’ perceived value unlike anything else. These three powerful strategies will help you build it so that your business stands out:
Proactively collect ratings and reviews
Reviews are generally more trusted than the marketing messages that businesses craft for themselves. The majority of consumers will take the time to read them before buying anything.
If you have an office or a physical storefront, you can also get a Google My Business page. Every time people visit it, Google will request them to submit a rating and review. The more reviews you have, the more your business stands out and appears credible.
Leverage ‘FOMO marketing’ tactics
FOMO, or “fear of missing out,” is that anxiety we feel whenever we imagine that we’re missing out on something great.
Let’s say you’ve been contemplating upgrading your old laptop with the latest MacBook; however, you’re not sure whether it’s worth the price. And then you suddenly see an ad saying that it’s available at a discounted price but only for the next 48 hours. What are you going to do?
Chances are you’ll want to place an order right away to avoid missing out on the deal. Humans are risk-averse creatures and will do anything to avoid the unpleasant feeling of regret.
FOMO marketing is an extremely powerful way of luring consumers into making impulsive purchase decisions. The underlying principle is simple: create an exclusive deal that has a strict expiration date, and then build some hype around it to show that other people are also hopping on the opportunity.
For example, you can do contests on social media where your followers have to share your posts or use your hashtag for a chance to win a prize. To increase the FOMO effect, the contest can only last for a short duration or the prizes can only be available to a set number of people.
Make sure to emphasize the exclusivity factor in your messages. There’s no better way of building social proof than when people are actively sharing your content. Studies show that up to 71% of people are likely to make a purchase decision based on social media recommendations.
FOMO marketing has no boundaries and can even be used to achieve non-sales related goals. For example, if you’re looking to increase your app downloads, you can create an exclusive offer that’s available only to app users, and then advertise it on social media. That will get your followers to download the app to avoid missing out.
If you’re looking to increase your Twitter following, create an offer that’s exclusive to it, and then advertise it on Facebook. If you’re looking to grow your email list, create an offer that’s only available to email subscribers … You get the gist.
Enhance your online presence
Having a strong online presence makes it easier for people who are searching for your products or services to find you. It’s also a fantastic way of increasing your brand familiarity. Most consumers only buy from brands they can recognize. Ideally, you should have a presence on every platform where your target customers are.
Do you have a professional website that’s been optimized to rank well on the search engines? How active are you on social media? Do you have business listings on niche directories and marketplaces?
There are numerous tools you can use to enhance your online presence. For instance, if you’re looking to build a website, you could use tools such as Wix or Squarespace rather than hiring expensive developers. And if you don’t have the time to do it yourself, you can use FreeWebDesign to get experts to do it for you for free.
Any task that you can’t do yourself, you can easily outsource to other people. If you don’t have the time to run your own social media pages or to create directory listings, outsource the work to freelancers on Upwork.
Another great way of enhancing your online presence is by getting your business featured on well-known blogs and news sites.
Most entrepreneurship publications are always on the lookout for new and exciting content. If your business has an inspiring story to tell, then they would probably be happy to cover it. All you need to do is reach out to ask.
You can also find opportunities of getting featured by signing up on HARO and then responding to interview questions. HARO is a platform where journalists can obtain feedback from people in different industries.
Whenever your responses get published, the journalists will usually shout out your business and even link to its website, which is great for SEO. Many authority publications use HARO to get quotes for their stories, including Business Insider and TIME magazine.
Key takeaways on social proof
Social proof is one of the key driving forces behind why we make the decisions that we make. It is wired deep in our DNA. If you can incorporate it in your marketing strategy, then you’ll easily outdo your competitors and make your business stand out on the internet.