Receiving glowing online customer testimonials is one of the best things that can happen for your business. As a business owner, it validates your purpose and builds your confidence in your value proposition. Positive customer or client reviews also boost your leads and increase your sales. When you showcase your online testimonials to your users, you are harnessing the power of social proof, which is proven to nudge a visitor into a lead and a paying customer.
Companies are now recognizing the power of social proof and how it can shape the future of their business. A Neilsen study reveals that 92 percent of customers are likely to trust non-sponsored recommendations, such as website reviews, more than any other form of advertising.
In this article, we discuss what is social proof and how you can use it to boost your brand and how showing off your online reviews can help grow your business.
What Is Social Proof?
In marketing, social proof is any type of recommendation, such as positive online customer or client reviews, that influences others to buy the same product or service.
Social proof is based on the premise that people will follow the majority and conform to gain social acceptance and because they believe that other people know more than they do.
A study, the Solomon Asch Conformity experiment, found that people are greatly influenced by a group of people with the same opinion. In social proof marketing, it is believed that humans are influenced by others when it comes to making purchasing decisions. So, more positive website reviews means more sales.
Website customer testimonials, client reviews on third-party review sites and social media platforms are examples of social proof that have the power to influence others to buy a product or service.
Advanced digital marketers use social proof software and social proof platforms to manage reviews and monitor customer feedback across different sources. Data is gathered using these tools and a social proof marketing plan is implemented to focus on increasing review ratings and generating more positive reviews.
Why Should Businesses Care About Social Proof?
So, what is social proof going to do for your business and why should you care?
According to a recent survey, 82 percent of consumers check online reviews for local businesses. This means business owners can no longer ignore bad reviews about their business because other people are reading them online.
Some businesses have used the dishonest tactic of writing fake reviews for their competitors in an effort to increase their review ratings. Being on the receiving end of this practice can greatly damage your reputation and affect your bottom line.
How To Use Online Reviews To Boost Conversions
As mentioned above, social proof like third-party reviews from Google or website customer testimonials can significantly increase your leads and conversions.
When people publish client testimonials about your business, it becomes fresh content that search engines are drawn into. As your social proof grows, so does your website’s SEO quality because of updated website reviews. Search engines like Google take these reviews into consideration when ranking your website.
If you have a collection of glowing client testimonials, you need to let everyone know. Be proud of your existing reviews and take advantage of them in any way possible.
Here are some ways you can leverage social proof in the form of online reviews to increase sales and grow your business
Use Your Customers for Social Proof Marketing
One of the easiest ways to use social proof without having to do much work is simply telling your customers to share their positive experience with your product or service on their social media profiles. For sharing on Instagram, you can assign a designated hashtag that your customers can use when talking about your brand.
This method grows your brand’s visibility on social media organically. People trust other people’s opinions more than ads and brand promotions, so there is a great chance that these kinds of customer-generated feedback will result in new customers who are already convinced that they should buy your product.
Highlight Happy Customers
Share your customer’s excellent experience with your product or service. This can be done with a social media post on Facebook or Instagram. It can be a video or photo of a customer enjoying your product or service. Reach out to customers who are willing to share their story with others and let them show how great your business is.
Positive customer reviews instantly create a trustworthy image for your brand. Online reviews and website customer testimonials are strong social proof that your business delivers its promise to its customers.
A BrightLocal survey found that people are more likely to click on local ads with higher review ratings. This proves the theory that great customer feedback and client testimonials are strongly linked to customer trust and getting more leads for any business.
Use a Review Widget for Website
Have a page on your website dedicated to showcasing positive customer testimonials. You can have a professional web designer add this page to your site or use a review widget for your site.
A review widget for website use is great because it’s easy to install and use. You don’t need to pay hundreds of dollars for a web designer, and it can be done fairly quickly.
Rize’s review widget is a free social proof software that can display multiple customer reviews from Google, Facebook and the Better Business Bureau (BBB).
Here are some of Rize’s excellent review widget features:
• Customized review feed with your branding
• Integrates with most websites
• Mobile-friendly design
• Full website widget management
Display Real-Time Stats on Product Pages
Potential clients who visit your website because of positive reviews become leads that are more likely to convert into customers. These people have already read great things about your company, so there’s a better chance of them becoming a customer themselves.
You might have seen this strategy in online stores. When viewing a product page, a small pop-up on the bottom of the page shows someone from a certain location has ordered the product. Other times, there’s a small note on the bottom of the product description showing how many stocks are left or how many have been sold.
These subtle but effective visual elements are made with social proof software and social proof platforms designed specifically for eCommerce sites.
Displaying real-time statistics on a page strengthens your social proof marketing strategy and improves your conversions as a result. It does a great job of pushing hesitant shoppers to click on the Add To Cart button.
Convincing people that your brand is the best need not be too difficult. With the help of a sound social proof marketing strategy and the right social proof platforms, you can boost brand awareness, gain customer trust and grow your revenue in no time.
Understandably, managing a business might not give you the luxury of time to focus on your brand’s social proof. In this case, hiring reputation management experts might be a more suitable solution. A reputation management company like Rize can handle your customer testimonials and manage them so you can improve your review ratings and achieve better social proof.
Ready to get help with your social proof marketing strategy? Contact Rize today.