“You can’t build a reputation on what you are going to do.” – Henry Ford

Social proof is the idea that people will do things they see other people doing and want things other people have. By nature, humans tend towards conformity.
 
Researchers say this behavior is driven by two factors: people want to fit in and people believe a large group is better informed than an individual. In other words, they trust the group to guide them in decisions.
 
Let’s explore how you can leverage the power of social proof in your marketing efforts to influence customers’ decision-making both in-person and online.
 
Generating Social Proof for Your Business
 
While social proof is what other people say about your business, not what you say about your business, there are a number of ways you can prompt your customers to provide social proof. Depending on your business, you may want to display examples of social proof in a retail location or add it to your website. Either way, social proof will inspire new customers to buy and help to overcome any hesitations they may have.
 
There are different types of social proof, and you’ll want to choose what will be most powerful and compelling at convincing your audience to buy from your business and also is a good fit for the way you do business. Here are 4 different ways you can incorporate social proof.
 
Reviews
Many people are motivated to buy after they read a positive review. They trust a reviewer because the endorsement feels authentic — it’s not a sales pitch.
 
If you sell products from your website, add a user review feature. Depending on your business, you can also monitor review sites like Yelp and Trip Advisor where the business owners are able to respond to positive and negative reviews. A good response to a negative review can sometimes turn a situation around and give you another chance with that customer.
 
Testimonials
A testimonial tells a customer experience story. It describes how the user’s problem was solved with a product or service, and allows others to imagine themselves in the same situation and believing the same solution will work for them. One study showed 92 percent of consumers are more likely to trust non-paid recommendations than any other type of advertising.
 
Video testimonials can have a bigger impact than text versions, but for some products or services, a testimonial can take the form of a written case study.
 
Numbers
Incorporating numbers in your marketing – number of customers, number of products sold, number of services performed, years in business – is an effective way to inform the public your business has social proof.
 
One of the most well-known examples is McDonald’s statement of the number of hamburgers sold on their signs, but many other businesses have boasted about their numbers in very creative and attention-getting ways.
 
Customer Photos
The practice of posting customer photos on a wall has long been practiced in physical locations, but can be adapted to a website or social media. Photos work for a wide range of businesses from restaurants to veterinarians’ offices to manufacturing plants. When people see photos on your wall or on your website, they are drawn on an emotional, instinctive level to engage in business with you – they too want to be one of those smiling faces on your wall.
Drop me an email to set up a  complimentary coaching session. 
About the author,

As an ActionCOACH Business Coach from Chicago North Shore, I understand that time is your most valuable asset. Now, I can help you recreate your dreams and vision…and accomplish the goals you first set out to achieve with your business. Ultimately, you will experience a better quality of life because of your commitment to invest in yourself with the help of an ActionCOACH Business Coach and personal mentor.

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