Published 01 August 2018 Category: Marketing, Social Proof Marketing, Reputation Management

The Importance of Social Proof: How Customer Testimonials Can Boost Your Business

Whether you own an e-commerce store or are part of a business marketing team, you might have heard the term ‘social proof’ mentioned a lot. This may be a mysterious phrase to some, but social proof is a trusted and comprehensive marketing concept that has the power to influence potential consumers to a business or brand. Consider it as a digital version of the traditional ‘word of mouth’ concept.

The consumers of today are smart. 84% of them do not trust advertisements and it is exactly this lack of trust that greatly affects their decision-making processes but is also hampering businesses by challenging their growth. In comparison, social proof allows businesses to capture the real consumer voice and advocate it to acquire potential consumers.

Does social proof affect your business?

Positive comments about your business are like endorsements that specify why customers like your products or services. They are a validation of your trustworthiness from previous satisfied shoppers. Potential consumers naturally feel more confident and encouraged to buy from an online store if they see that previous customers have had a positive experience. It is by far, the best marketing tool to boost new consumer confidence and build trust. Imagine that you are trying to find the best place to buy a product from. You run a search and come across 2 brands that appear to have the product you want but you are unsure of which brand to trust. What will you do in this situation?

Check out their social channels for followers and customer reviews of course!

Now if one brand has around 115 followers and 5 positive customer reviews while the other has 3500 followers and 220 customer reviews, you will naturally prefer to make the purchase with the later because of its positive reviews and followings.

This is the power of social proof.

People always want to make a decision based on readily available information. 90% of potential consumers will trust customer testimonials and read them before shopping from any brand. Today, businesses and brands are leveraging social proof by making it a part of their overall marketing presence and integrating it into their customer buying journey. Social proof comes in a number of forms including testimonials, customer reviews, social likes and shares, influencer endorsements, recommendations and case studies etc.

Most Trusted Form of Recommendations

Testimonials are the most important form of social proof available. It allows companies to take advantage of external validation to influence potential consumers by enabling them to tell a story about their customer journey. What makes testimonials powerful is their objectivity.

Make it Count

Testimonials can be either of the two: written or video. Even though some customers might leave testimonials on your social media channels or website, as a brand it’s still your responsibility to acquire social proof from your customers. Ask them to mention the specific features they like about your product/service. Did it meet their satisfaction criteria? Was it worth their money? Would they recommend it to others?

Build Credibility

Asking is one of the most effective ways to build your brand’s social proof arsenal. Ask your satisfied customers for testimonials once you have delivered them the product or service. Did a business leader, media personal, celebrities or bloggers willingly say how great you are? Because nothing says how cool you are better than the credibility which is created by testimonials from authority figures. Reach out to them to provide you a few words to use in your marketing material and seek permission of your satisfied customers to use their testimonials for your marketing campaigns.

Boost Conversions

Businesses have reported a visible boost in conversions after placing testimonials on their landing pages. Authentic testimonials, written and video both, have the power to capture potential audience.

Right tools matter

You can get customers testimonials in several ways. Emailing customers, adding a specific section for it on your website and then asking your customers to provide your testimonials is one way. Another is to gather screenshots of reviews/testimonials left by customers on blogs, social media channels, and third-party review sites like Yelp, Google Business etc.

A good testimonial sometimes works better than clever content. Remember, a happy customer’s social proof is a compelling mechanism which is far more powerful than any advertisement.