In the digital age where misinformation and fake news abound, social proof is more important than ever. Having verifiable testimonies about your business from a number of sources shows clients that you’re a brand they can trust.
Below, we explain what social proof actually is, why it’s important, and nine killer ways that you can use it to your advantage. Let’s start with a definition.
What is Social Proof?
Social proof causes people to act in certain ways based upon the behavior or actions of others. At the heart of social proof is the understanding that such behavior is ‘correct’ and should be followed. When used appropriately, social proof is an effective tactic for marketers, as it’s an excellent way of winning customers and showing them that a particular product or service is just what they need. The most common form of social proof in the digital age is online reviews left by individual customers.
Research shows that 87% of customers check out reviews of local businesses online before visiting. What’s more, 66% of customers are more likely to buy a product or sign up for a service if the reviews are favorable. What’s more, verified online reviews are known to boost sales by up to 18%.
In other words, social proof is crucial to your website and will help you convince customers that yours is a brand that they can trust. With this in mind, below are nine examples of social proof that you should consider adding to your website to drive sales page conversion.
9 Killer Social Proof Examples for Your Website
1. Customer Testimonials
Product descriptions only go so far when it comes to enticing a customer to buy your product. But customer testimonials are trusted by as many as 88% of customers, highlighting just how important these testimonials are when it comes to winning business online.
However, when you’re putting together customer testimonials, you need to make sure they are detailed and accompanied by a picture or external link if possible. After all, anyone can fabricate a customer testimonial, so you need to try and make them verifiable.
Some businesses link customer testimonials to Google accounts, while others link the reviews back to the business or customer that has worked with them in the past. However you do it, adding customer testimonials to your site will help to build trust when you’re hoping to land new clients.
2. A Portfolio
One of the best ways of showcasing to your clients that you can actually do what you claim is to develop a portfolio on your website. Portfolios serve as an excellent opportunity for you to show off the work that you’re proud of, no matter the medium on which it was created.
Visual portfolios with links and customer testimonials are ideal, as they build more trust than merely uploading your favorite projects and saying little else about them. You might also want to consider adding video footage or testimonials to your portfolio to really bring it to life.
Depending on the type of product or service that you’re selling, you might find that case studies are more effective than a portfolio, but they work in the same way. Make them as detailed as possible and try and include a review or testimonial from the person or brand that you worked with.
3. Customer Reel
When you visit a website for the first time, you might notice a carousel of logos moving on the home screen. This is a great way for lesser-known companies to build trust with potential clients, as it shows who you’ve worked with in the past. It’s a good idea to build links into the logos, so your clients can follow the trail.
Typically, the better known the company that you’ve worked with, the more chance you have of attracting more of the same clients. If a press release or blog article was written about your involvement with the company, link out to that instead of just adding a link to their homepage.
After all, the more trust you can build with potential clients, the more likely you are to secure their business.
4. Featured Publications
Similar to a customer reel, you can add a list of publications that you have featured on your homepage. You might have been featured in a prominent magazine or newspaper, for instance, whether it was an organic news article or a paid collaboration.
Equally, your brand or one of your products may have featured on a prominent blog that operates within your niche. This is an excellent way of building trust within your segment of the market, as your potential customers will recognize the brand that you’re associated with.
External publications are an excellent form of social proof as they speak volumes about your credentials without you saying a word. So, if you’ve been featured anywhere, make sure to link out to the relevant sites to show off to your clients.
5. Awards or Certifications
There are so many awards and certifications out there these day and they’re another way of layering social proof on your website. For instance, you might be selling a food product that is USDA organic, which you will want to advertise on your site.
Equally, your tour company might be a TripAdvisor Recommended Business for this year, which is an excellent way to build trust with your potential clients. Whichever award or certification you have, make sure it is from an established source that is renowned for quality.
Adding badges and certifications to your products from unknown entities doesn’t help your brand, and they just serve as a distraction.
6. External Reviews
Although similar to customer testimonials, external reviews come from a trusted platform like Trust Pilot, Google, Yell, or TripAdvisor. They indicate that your business has been used and approved by people independently of your website.
While customers can find your listing on these sites themselves, you can actually build these reviews into your site as a way of showcasing your reputation on an external source. As far as social proof is concerned, external reviews are actually a better option than client testimonials, as they’re much easier to verify.
If you can incorporate external reviews from a trusted platform like Trust Pilot, you will find that potential clients are much more likely to work with you.
7. Influencer or Celebrity Endorsements
Depending on what type of product you’re selling, 89% of marketers agree that the ROI from influencer marketing is better than standard marketing channels. Endorsements from people already in the public eye work wonders for building trust and suggests to clients that you’re a brand that can be trusted.
If you partner with an influencer or celebrity, it’s important to put their testimonial about your product or service front and center of your website, as it will play a huge role in conversion.
8. Social Media Feed
It’s helpful to incorporate your business’ social media feed into your website, as it allows your potential clients to look at your interactions with customers and the updates that you have been sharing.
Social media is also an excellent place to go for user-generated content, which in itself is an extremely good example of social proof. If you can showcase other customers interacting with and benefitting from your products on your website, you will almost certainly increase your customer base as a result.
9. Expert Approval
In some niches, expert approval is just what you need to give your clients that little push they need to complete a transaction. Whether it’s a medical review from a doctor or an industry-leading expert saying that your product has helped them in some way, approval from an expert is another excellent piece of social proof to add to your website.
While independent reviewers and even influencers can be wrong about products, customers place a lot more trust in the wisdom of experts and are much more likely to trust your brand if you can back up your claims with a review from an expert in the field.
Including social proof on your website is a vital strategy if you hope to drive sales page conversion. After all, the more you can persuade people that they can trust your brand, the more likely they are to buy from you.
Hopefully, the above nine examples of social proof show you that you can build trust in lots of different ways, and you’re now in a position to increase sales conversion on your website as a result.