How to Use Social Proof to Boost Your Sales & Increase Customer Retention

social proof

This post was written by guest contributor Aljaz Fajmut, founder of RankTrackr and Nightwatch.

Ever heard of Social Proof?

If customers are to buy from you, they have to trust you. And while you might be able to do an “okay” job at persuading your customers to trust you on your own, nothing builds trust and confidence quite like social proof.

Indeed, studies have shown that social proof is far more effective than merely telling your customers they’ll save money. Moreover, 84% of customers trust online reviews, which makes social proof a fantastic digital marketing strategy.


social proofWhat is Social Proof, anyway?

Essentially, social proof is showing to your customers that others just like them have already used and enjoyed your products – and so there’s no reason they wouldn’t like them, too.

Let’s take a look at exactly how you can use social proof to boost your sales and increase customer retention.


Curate More Online Reviews

Positive online reviews are great for building trust. Look at it like this: If a new customer arrives on your website and can’t find a single review of your product, why would they go ahead and buy it?

Customers like to see evidence that other people have not only used your products before, but actually enjoyed them.

But there’s more.

Customers also like to see other reviews that discuss features, the usage of a particular product, the benefits – and even a few objections. So while you should definitely chase as many positive reviews as possible, don’t be afraid of one or two negative reviews. They help to create balance and – ironically – can build even more reviews.


Customers like to see evidence that other people have not only used your products before, but actually enjoyed them.


Just make sure that if you do have a few really negative reviews on your website, you respond to them with empathy, patience and understanding. Show sympathy to the customers problem and don’t get drawn into an argument.

If, on the other hand, you don’t respond at all, it looks like you don’t care enough.

The easiest way to curate more online reviews is to send emails out a few days after your customers have purchased their products. You can offer them an incentive for leaving a review, too. This practice is helpful in ensuring that your existing customers stay in the sales funnel and will be prompted to purchase your product or service again.

social proof


Never, ever ignore negative reviews!


Case Studies are Excellent Social Proof

Case studies are almost like in-depth customer reviews. They’re really powerful social proof because they show new customers that your previous customers are building long term relationships with you, and getting lots of value out of your products or services. Some companies choose to have their own Case Studies section on their websites.

Indeed, lots of brands leverage case studies, including Shopify. The idea is that a customer agrees to be the subject of your case study, and you then create an in-depth article or video that goes into detail about how your product or service has helped them.

This also serves as powerful feedback for the future development of your product or service as you learn what your customers really want and what things should be improved.

Numbers really help here. For example, “How our service doubled email signups for Jon’s business in 30 days” is a great headline for a case study.

social proofShow Social Share Count as Social Proof

A ridiculously easy and simple way to show more social proof is to show your social share count.

In other words, let your site visitors see how many times other folks have shared your web pages (which can also include your product pages) to social media.

The more social shares you have, the more credibility you’ll have with new customers. But don’t forget to…

social proofEngage With Your Customers on Social Media

Got a few comment some your social media feeds? It’s time to start responding to them.

By responding to comments from your customers, you’re encouraging more comments.

Moreover, you’re showing new customers that you’re willing to get involved with them, and you’re also using your existing customers to help you demonstrate your expertise (by replying to their questions).

So make time to be a bit more proactive on social media. You could also engage in social listening, which is when you find mentions of your brand on social media, before joining in the conversation.


Make time to respond to comments on social media.


Social media also gives your brand a great opportunity to communicate directly with your customers. Eliminating the middleman, such as the TV and the unlimited opportunities that social media platforms allow, has become a real game-changer for almost any business across the industries.

Take advantage of this possibility and stay close to your customers on a daily basis – assuming that your product is good, you will never again have to worry about your sales stagnating or customers who never come back.

Create User-Generated Content

User-generated content is when your customers create content for you. Sounds pretty awesome, right? It is. After all, it takes a lot of manpower to create all your own content all the time.


More engagement, more traffic, and more shareability.


User generated works as social proof because your customers see themselves in the content. Not just this, but the individuals who create the content feel a sense of ownership and a sense belonging to your brand. This is excellent for customer retention!

For you, it means more engagement, more traffic, and more shareability.

Plus, user generated content is always super unique.

social proof

A great idea is to reach out to loyal customers who you know have had a good experience with your brand and ask them to create their own use case. This is when they make a short video whereby they showcase your product. To ensure that their video will be interesting for others, think of a unique quality or feature of your product that your existing customers would like to highlight.

A good example is to build an exceptional user onboarding process which leaves first good impression on anyone who tries out your tool. Your existing customers will highlight it while introducing your product with the end result being that the video inspires new users to try it, too.


Use Numbers in Your Call to Action

Lastly, nothing grabs peoples attention than a strong and compelling call to action. Like this one:

“So join the the thousands of others who have already signed up to our service!”

By highlighting how many people have already signed up, you’re demonstrating powerful social proof. It’s a simple but effective way of encouraging new users.

And, hey, it’s much better than simply saying “sign up now!”


Conclusion

This is how you can use social proof to boost your sales and increase customer retention. Investing thoughtfully in reputation management can be a game-changer for your business.

And the best bit is that it doesn’t require too much work on your part – because your customers largely do most of the marketing for you! So curate more reviews, encourage more user-generated content, and start engaging with your customers on social media.

social proof

How to Use Social Proof to Boost Your Sales & Increase Customer Retention | eWebResults – Houston, TX

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AUTHOR: Aljaz Fajmut

Aljaz Fajmut is a digital marketer, internet entrepreneur, and the founder of RankTrackr and Nightwatch: search visibility tools for the next generation. Follow him on Twitter: @aljazfajmut

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