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5 Ways to Build Social Proof For Your Business
Modern consumers now want to see that a product or service has been endorsed by other people before considering buying it. Such endorsements are social proof that something works as advertised. We live in a world where many marketers don’t have a moral compass and will not hesitate to put out misleading campaigns designed to make their products appear better than they are. The only thing that matters to them is ROI.
Social proof is how legitimate businesses stand out and achieve unprecedented levels of success. It is what helps consumers make well-informed purchase decisions and avoid getting ripped off by phoney companies.
If they see that product has been widely accepted by other people who are just like them, then they become more welcoming to it. This article will go over five ways to build social proof for your business and show that you’re the real deal.
Five simple ways to build social proof
1. Collect and display reviews
Studies show that up to 85% of people with internet access search for products and services online. Reviews are often the first thing that catches their eye.
Take some time to come up with a strategy on how to collect reviews for your business. In most cases, all it takes is politely asking for them from your customers.
If you have a physical storefront, you can set up a Google My Business page. Every time somebody visits your store, Google will automatically send them a request to submit a rating and review. You can also set up pages on listing platforms and directories that allow reviews. The more positive reviews you have, the easier it will be to convert customers. There’s no better way of showing credibility on the internet.
2. Get featured on well-known publications
Getting featured on popular blogs and magazines is a surefire way of making your business appear more authoritative and trustworthy. It also enables you to market yourself to a new audience.
Many entrepreneurship blogs are always on the lookout for new stories to cover. If your business has a unique selling proposition or an inspiring story behind it, they would be more than happy to cover it. You can also sign up on platforms such as HARO to find interview opportunities where you get to share your opinion on matters related to your industry. A lot of media outlets such as Mashable and TIME Magazine use HARO to find stories.
Essentially, whenever people Google your name, one of the first things they should see are your featured articles and interviews. That gives you instant credibility.
3. Run monthly contests
Contests are a great way of engaging with your followers and giving them something to get excited about every month.
In this case, you can run social media contests where your followers have to share a post from your page to enter a draw to win something. The more times the post gets shared, the more awareness it will drive to your business.
For example, if just ten people with around 1,000 Facebook friends share your post and use your hashtag, it would be seen by a possible 10,000 people who probably never heard of you before.
It’s a very effective way of building social proof, getting people to talk about your business, and most importantly, driving sales. Up to 76% of social media users have made a purchase decision because of something they saw in a post.
4. Start a referral program
Referral marketing is a popular strategy where businesses pay their affiliates a small commission for any sales that they drive. It’s a great way of getting other people to promote your products to their social circles actively, and in the process, give you credibility and social proof.
Affiliates are typically not employees and are therefore not subject to receiving salaries or any other benefits (besides their commissions, of course). The risks on your side are very minimal because you’re only paying for the sales generated.
You can get affiliates to sign up for your referral program by offering attractive commission rates and performance-based bonuses and running an ads campaign to drive awareness of the program.
Cross promotions are an effective way of marketing small businesses through mutual referrals. All you need to do is to partner with other companies that are in a different niche, however, have a similar target as you, and refer each other to your respective audiences.
For example, if you are a graphic designer, you can partner with a business that does web development and commercial printing. Both are likely to have customers who might be interested in graphic design services. Now all you have to do is promote each other across your various marketing channels.
There’s no limit as to the number of partners you can have. The more credible and established they are, the more social proof you will gain from their referrals. It’s a very simple strategy, but it can work wonders.
About the author
This article was written by Emmanuel Soroba, founder and lead editor of Growth Strategies 101, a digital marketing consultancy and business blog for startups and small businesses.
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If you require a more detailed guide on how to create your profile or your listing, then we highly recommend you check out the following articles.
If you enjoyed this post and have a little extra time to dive deeper down the rabbit hole, why not check out the following posts on building an online reputation.
- Why Online Customer Reviews Are Still Important For Businesses
- Leverage User Reviews to Increase your Conversions!
- Facebook To Block Ads From Businesses With Poor Reviews
- 5 Types Of User Generated Content Spam