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The Importance of Social Proof

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With that said, join our team who takes pride in hustling harder for our clients. 

What is Social Proof?

People now make their buying decisions using Social Proof through a series of investigations, education, and collaboration. Your audience wants to know that they can trust your brand, so they inspect your brand. Social Proof is comprised of multiple elements, but it’s possible to keep it simple and focus on what works.

social proof with social media

Boost Your Reputation

Positive reviews from real customers will boost your brand and increase your credibility. When people are uncertain about what to do, they tend to look at what others are doing to help make their decision. According to Trustpilot, a popular review hosting platform, nearly 89% of consumers around the world read reviews before making purchases in 2020. This solidifies the idea that having as many reliable, positive customer reviews as possible on go-to platforms like Yelp and Google is elemental in social proofing your brand. 

Having a multitude of positive reviews across the internet is crucial. However, the authenticity of these reviews is also a main driver behind your brand’s positive reputation. Authenticity boosts the likelihood that your clientele will grow, along with your sales. In 2020, 62% of the global consumers that relied on online reviews said that they were less likely to trust a brand that moderated and censored their reviews by trying to hide negative ones. Consumers know that transparency is key when sifting through reviews. It’s important to leave negative reviews visible and have a plan for responding to them in a professional manner, rather than only showing 5-star responses. 

Your Response Makes a Difference!

Most consumers don’t post reviews just to benefit others. Often, they do it with the expectation of a response from the company itself. More than half of consumers in a 2018 study expect companies to respond to negative reviews within a week of posting. Because of this, it’s apparent that customers seek the same timeliness from a brand’s response that they would expect in person. 

Besides, when researching your products or services, online shoppers aren’t only looking at reviews by other clientele. They’re also looking at how you handle the complaints. Customers assume that if they were to also have a negative experience, they would get the same level of professionalism. This makes it all the more crucial to be attentive and considerate in responding to your clientele’s thoughts. 

Trust the Numbers

Lastly, it’s important to note how much it helps to have customer reviews on your own web pages and catalogs. According to a 2018 study from BazaarVoice, product pages with reviews have 3.5 times more conversions than those without or with only external company reviews. Having reviews readily available for browsing shoppers helps your brand to appear professional, while also boosting your pages’ SEO. 

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Website

A high-quality website that looks and feels modern increases your online credibility. Keep it super simple. Put yourself in your customer’s shoes. Is it easy to find what you need? Or, have you accidentally created a web of confusion that is certain to frustrate any visitor quickly? 

Get Your Website Seen

Optimize Your Content

One of the most important factors in the quality of your website is how quickly your site’s pages load. This is crucial not just for computers, but also phones and tablets. We, as internet users, are quick to get agitated when faced with a page that takes beyond a few seconds to load. So to optimize the number of users that stay on your site (and their eventual conversions), it’s best to optimize images and compress your site’s content.

Because of this, you can optimize the images you include by organizing their placement according to format. GIFs are best for minimal color and detail, such as for logos and icons, JPEGs are the choice for lots of color and texture, like professional photography. PNG is perfect for larger, transparent images.

Compressing your website’s content basically means using HTTP compression to make a site’s data smaller and easier for a computer to process, while the site itself looks and functions the same. Most internet servers and web browsers have already started doing this more and more over the years. However, it’s still a good idea to have you or the person in charge of your brand’s website be compressed to its full potential.

Simple is Better!

Next, to keep your site as user-friendly as possible, it’s key to keep the number of interactive choices on a single page to a minimum. Psychology studies show that the more choices a person has to interact with, the more time it will take for them to make a decision. The more interactive choices that you implement into a page on your site, the longer your consumers will take to interact with them.  They will then take longer to make decisions such as purchasing your product. Focusing on one central call to action while keeping the number of menu items on your site to the minimum needed pages. That and limiting form fields are the best practices for keeping a page easy to read through and use. 

Direct the Eye

Further, the best way to keep your consumer’s attention flowing to the most important parts of your website is to direct their eyes using visual queues. This can be done both directly and indirectly through imagery and graphics. We as humans are prone to paying more attention to images of people or animals staring back at us. However, we spend less time concentrating on the call-to-action or the words next to the image. When we include images of subjects looking towards crucial information or even arrows, our attention is more easily directed. This also applies to interactive fields, such as forms for giving consumer contact info. 

Solving Problems

Most searches are related to finding answers to problems. Focus on helping your audience. If you do that, the traffic will start to flow to your website and social media outlets. Your website is one of the first places potential buyers go when inspecting your company. Thus, it should clearly focus on solving problems while establishing high levels of credibility. Most businesses try to showcase their features and benefits without drowning their audience. 

Most of the success with directing users’ attention to the answers you’re providing comes down to the layout of the website. We’ve discussed this more in-depth above, but there are specific (and often overlooked) techniques for arranging your site to help them find what they’re looking for. And by them, we mean everyone.

Show Your Expertise

Accessibility

By this, we mean accessibility. Though many businesses are great at providing in-person services to those with disabilities, many websites still lack accessibility. Basic accommodating features and techniques are actually quite easy to incorporate. These can make a world of difference for your business and potential consumers. Adding website images with alternative (ALT) text that describes the image in detail helps those with screen reading technology to interpret and read through websites. It also boosts your SEO! Tables of information are often difficult for screen readers to describe to these customers as well. It’s best to keep them to a minimum if possible and use alternative ways to organize your info. Making subtitles or manuscripts available for hard of hearing and deaf customers for video and audio content is just as critical. 

Making your platform accessible and keeping these things in mind when putting out content can drastically grow your clientele. It makes you look professional and considerate of your community as a whole. The better-suited your website is for your audience to quickly solve problems, the more likely they are to return. 

Consider the Bigger Picture

Having your website and social media designed to solve the problems of clientele with your products and services is important. Yet, it’s also important to look at the bigger picture of how a brand itself is solving the problems of its clientele. Our clients’ businesses from all different industries and what they advertise as a company are so much more than what’s written on a receipt. 

Having your website and social media designed to solve the problems of clientele with your products and services is important. Yet, it’s also important to look at the bigger picture of how a brand itself is solving the problems of its clientele. Our clients’ businesses from all different industries and what they advertise as a company are so much more than what’s written on a receipt. 

social proof apps

Social Media

As we move through the social media-focused era, it’s crucial to build and cultivate your brand’s online presence. This is one of the most essential social proof tools. Social Media that provides high value and high engagement with your fans proves you are part of the community. 87% of buying decisions start online. 74% of Americans are on Facebook daily, and 60% are on Instagram every day. Meaningful content provides your company an avenue for articles to be shared. This will, in turn, increase your web traffic, and give your website more credibility with SEO.

Stop the Scroll

Stick to a Schedule

The first step to building your best online presence through platforms like Facebook and Instagram is to form a scheduled plan. Specifically, putting together the branded content your audience is looking for. This includes taking and editing photos, recording and editing video and audio, putting together graphics and writing SEO-fueled captions. Your plan should also include having a schedule for when individual posts go out. Most digital marketing professionals suggest “batching” content when possible. This means dedicating days and times to either shooting/recording or editing various posts at a time so they’re ready to go. 

What Do I Post?

As far as what to post on these platforms, there’s a huge range of opportunities for content. What will work best for your brand is going to depend on the kind of business you’re running. For eCommerce, you can put together an inexpensive photoshoot station and get a lot out of posting very polished product images. For a restaurant, it’s a great idea to let your audience see how the outside of your establishment looks. In addition, showcase the wonderful food and drinks you provide. This is to project the great service and atmosphere you have at your business outward online.

Caption Your Content

Captions are going to be the strongest component for getting your content to new people. It’s good to think about using a broad range of hashtags and trending keywords. Form a clear call to action that draws your audience in. Think, “click the link in our bio to find more about our…” or asking a question, “comment below and let us know what your favorite flavor of ice cream is!” *ice cream emoji*

Invest in Engagement

Lastly, not only is producing content a big focus of social media marketing, but engaging online is big as well. Follow accounts that relate to your business, like and comment on other posts, respond to your follower’s comments, etc. If you consistently engage with your community throughout the week, you get engagement back.

Social media marketing for all companies takes a bit of continual trial and error. Experiment and act on what works with your audience. Base this on the ebb and flow of your analytics without focusing so much on other companies’ numbers. It is the best approach to keep in mind.

Staying Relevant

Remember your potential new clients are inspecting your competitors too. Keep current and remain relevant. There are many different ways to stay relevant for the sake of social proof, the most important of which include keeping up with current events, pop culture trends, and industry trends and policies. This could be as simple as creating your own spin on a popular meme or as difficult as complex and ongoing as engaging with different social issues.

Keep it Fresh

Update Your Audience

The most common way brands stay relevant is to update their audience on specific changes within the company. Some examples are rebranding, new employees, shifting policies, and company growth. Rebranding by giving your company an aesthetic makeover can be refreshing to your audience, and a lot of times they enjoy being able to comment on it and interact with the change via social media. More and more companies have been featuring new employees and a bit of fun info about them on their socials in order to come across as human-like and relatable. Lastly, and most obviously, you should take full advantage of marketing new growth in your company whether that be more merchandise or services, a new location, or new leadership.

Be Outspoken

If you’ve branded your company to be outspoken about different social issues and human rights advocacy, it should be easy for you to stay relevant as you use your platform to speak on various movements and shifts in these issues. Outwardly voicing your opinions along with these movements and showing support with every new step is a wonderful way to show how connected your brand is to the world around you. An example of this is showing your support of marginalized groups, especially during times when they are attacked or under scrutiny by society around them. 

Public Policy & COVID-19

Lastly, one of the best current examples of staying relevant as a business by keeping up with public policy is following the ever-changing COVID-19 mandates in 2021. Be transparent about your policies via social media and other marketing efforts. Brands of all sizes all over the country have been producing/commissioning all sorts of signage and graphics detailing their shifting “masks-only” and social distancing policies all throughout the pandemic. This consistency and consideration of public safety can instantly boost a brand’s positive reputation as much as it can gain traction on social media platforms through the power of SEO.

Educate and Dominate

Content that teaches your audience will prove you are an expert in your industry. There are many fun and useful approaches to educating your audience. Whether that is the goal of your business in its entirety or if the information you want to foster is supplemental to your brand’s central product or service, they make a big difference. 

Provide Value

Find Your Voice

One of the best ways for your audience to be able to receive the information you’re providing through marketing outlets such as social media posts, blogs, and other web copy is to have a strong and consistent brand voice. It’s important to note that brand voices that are distinctly more humorous or positive in nature make it a lot easier for their audiences to be able to consume the information they put out. This is especially so if the topic of this information is a bit on the dry side. When interacting with your clientele online, preparing written content that includes on-brand humor, anecdotes, or on-trend material will separate you from competitors’ content. It will also put you at the top with a relatable, unique brand identity. 

Create Interaction

Another successful approach to marketing information for your online audience and relevancy is producing content centered around direct audience interaction. This is done mainly with social media. Live streams, responding to messages and comments, and posting polls over all social platforms has become increasingly impactful. All of these interactive opportunities that have been growing in popularity stick to the same goal as all other marketing material — a clear call to action. Being able to have your audience directly interact with your brand about its products and services forms a sense of community between you and them. Interaction will make them more receptive to the information you’re providing as well.

Keep it Diverse

In closing, it’s important to keep your social proof strategy diverse when it comes to putting out information to your audience. Forming a routine for producing a diverse range of content across your brand’s website and social platforms helps to both get traction for a broader following/clientele and educate your audience in a thorough, immersive way. If you mainly focus on putting out blog posts or press releases, it’s probably a good idea to also experiment with diversifying your content.  Original video, audio, and photography can drive your online presence forward. 

Social Proof for Your Business

Social Proof is simple to understand but takes diligence, expertise and follow-through to keep current. Keeping these six elements of Social Proof top of mind and incorporated into your business routine is essential to staying relevant, top of mind, and trusted.

KARMA jack is a hard-working Social Media Marketing Agency in Detroit. We know that generating more leads is the key to helping small businesses grow. We are grateful to partner with some fantastic companies and value their feedback.
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