What is social proof? I’m sure you’ve probably heard about it or experienced it at some point in your life.
Social proof is a concept about how we are influenced based on different social behaviours.
An example is restaurants. Which places would people usually choose to grab a bite at?
Typically, people like to eat at restaurants they know must be good. Their decision can be influenced by hearing great reviews about the place or seeing that it’s always packed with customers.
Social Proof & Social Media
Social proof doesn’t just end in our daily experiences. In fact, because it’s such an ingrained piece of human behaviour, it has become a part of our online presences as well.
It can be a powerful tool to utilise, in order to strengthen your brand and bring more customers to your business.
In this blog post I’m going to quickly cover some strategies to boost your social proof, in the eyes of your followers on social media.
Ratings & Recommendations
Have you ever jumped online to find a local business or product? If you’re like me, you usually gravitate towards the page with the largest amount of positive reviews.
It’s a pretty straight forward idea, but as humans we start to generalise that if a product has all these positive reviews then it must be good (or at least better than the alternatives).
Unfortunately, I see a lot of business owners take a passive approach to generating ratings & recommendations.
If you’re getting customers to your business, then you’re being handed the opportunity to delight and make that customer an advocate.
Firstly, you need to deliver the best experience to your customer. People typically only leave reviews when they’ve had an exceedingly good or bad experience.
Secondly, you need to take an offensive approach to generating reviews from your customers. Want to know the best thing you could do to get reviews? Ask for them!
If you’re following the first step, and you know your customers are delighted, there is no harm in asking them to help you out with a review.
Also make sure it’s an easy process for them. Nobody wants to waste their time searching up your business and trying to find the right spot to leave a review. Make it easy for them.
Send them the direct link if you’re asking them through email or online. If they’re with you in person, have the page up on their screen, ready to log in and leave a review.
As you slowly start to build up these reviews and ratings overtime, you will begin to stand out from your competition. Your competition may be businesses who have just been waiting around for reviews to come to them.
Have you ever jumped onto Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram and noticed pages with the blue tick? That little badge is a symbol of status to some, and for good a reason.
It’s used to identify that your account is authentic. You are who you say you are.
To some influencers, it’s a symbol they work tirelessly over to achieve (even going as far as there being an Instagram Verification Black Market).
As a business, being able to get verified across your social platforms is a great way to make a stand. It’s a way for you to clearly state, “Hey, we’re a legit brand right here!”
Depending on which platform you’re going for, it may be harder than others to obtain verification.
I was able to verify our Manexo Media Facebook page in a couple days just by following the right steps.
It’s a small symbol and may just be worth the effort, to prove you’re worth stopping for and engaging with.
User Generated Content
One of the hardest things about running your own social media is all that content you’re creating. That can easily eat away at the hours in your day or week.
User generated content is a unique strategy you can aim to implement, that will not only help you cut back on content creation, but will help you boost your social proof.
User generated content is specifically content created by your users, customers and followers.
This type of thing works better for some businesses than others. So firstly think about whether there are areas in which you could get your followers to create content, that would work for your social media.
I think a great example once again is restaurants and cafes. It’s so easy for them to get user generated content, because people are constantly snapping photos of their food and posting it.
Take this example from Paradiso Cafe. They were tagged in this coffee photo from @tastytucker_fnq, and now could post that photo to their own page.
So how does user generated content help with social proof?
Well think about it. If people are checking out your business on social media and see that people are constantly taking photos of your products – while using them or visiting your store, how does that look?
To them, it’s unconsciously saying that a lot of people interact with your business. If others are having good experiences and sharing it online, they’re likely to be having a good experience too.
Another easily overlooked form of social proof, on social media platforms, is engagement. When people see a piece of content getting a tonne of engagement, such as likes, comments and shares, it makes them more likely to engage with it also.
Aside from creating better content that gets shared more, you can also focus on using calls-to-action to promote engagement.
Take this example below from The Burger Barn. They used a call-to-action, asking their followers to pick between chicken or beef burgers, thus promoting engagement.
With more and more people commenting, it tends to create a snowball effect and encourages others to comment too.
Now it doesn’t need to be purely comments either. You can ask users to like a post if they agree, or ask them to share with a friend.
Having a strong focus on getting engagement on your posts will also make you popular with the social platform algorithms.
These are the algorithms of each social media platform that determine which content to show. It’s been noted that a lot of them favour posts with lots of engagement.
So there you go! A few quick insights into how social proof can help you level up your social media presence.
The great thing is, most of these strategies aren’t all that hard to do either. You could easily start asking more satisfied customers to review your, or incorporating calls-to-action to promote engagement.
I encourage you to take the action and find one way you could start improving your social proof.