How to Use Social Proof to Boost Sales
Social proof is one of the most effective persuasion techniques out there and it’s something everyone can use to boost sales. Social proof involves the use of customer and user testimonials, reviews, and other input to convince new customers to make a purchase. Social proof is effective because it proves to customers that a product or service works and is worth the money. Social proof often relies on word of mouth but companies can also post testimonials from customers on their site and in sales letters.
Understanding Social Proof
Social proof can come from a variety of sources. It might be a comment casually mentioned from one friend to another. Or it could be a review on a website like TripAdvisor. It could also be testimonials from customers written out in a sales letter. Social proof can also come from experts and famous figures endorsing your products. And with the rise of Facebook and Twitter, comments and tweets made through social networking sites can now have a ton of impact.
Why Social Proof Works
Despite what you may think, many customers do not like to part ways with their money. A purchase is a risk for any paying customer. What if they spend the money but receive little benefit? What if it’s a scam or rip off? Sadly the Internet is filled with people trying to scam money and when you shop online you don’t get to test the product or see it up close. Social proof reduces these risks by relaying the experience other people have had with the product. When potential customers see that a lot of other people enjoyed the product they can feel confident that they too will enjoy it.
Results Are What Matter
Customers don’t buy products out of charity. They want results. So if someone is looking to purchase an Internet Marketing book they don’t want to just see statements like “it’s a helpful book!” or “very well written!”. Instead they will want to see comments like “this book helped me raise my sales by 20%” and “the tips and suggestions were clear and concise.” This lets potential customers know that they too could achieve these types of results.
And if you can get video testimonials or testimonials written with a Facebook profile displaying the user and their actual picture, that’s even better! People love to see the face and hear the voice behind the testimonial.
So you want your customers to write a testimonial? Have you tried asking them? You might be surprised but many customers who enjoyed your products or services will be more than willing to write up a review or provide a testimonial. After they make a purchase you should send them a message asking how they enjoyed your product or service, and if they did in fact enjoy them go ahead and ask them to share the news. And if a customer sends you an email with compliments go ahead and ask if you can use the email as a testimonial. This saves the customer from extra work but you still get a great review.
People love free stuff. If you are looking for a way to encourage people to provide a positive testimonial you can give away samples of your product and ask that in return they provide you with a testimonial. This is a great strategy if you are trying to sell a book or launch a new software platform.
Keying In On Social Media
You are probably already aware of the fact that social media is revolutionizing the Internet. It is also changing the entire shape and nature of how social proof can be generated. Now when people log onto a site they have the choice to show off their purchases to friends. Not only that, they can post comments, pictures, and links regarding your products and services, spreading the message around their networks! Social media is immensely powerful so it’s easy to understand why so many companies are dedicating serious resources to building a social media presence.
Be Honest and Accept Criticism
Social proof and any other type of feedback is written by your customers to you. It will almost always reflect the real opinions and beliefs of the customer, and it’s the customer’s right to feel however they want. And don’t take negative feedback negatively, use it to improve your products and services. On the other hand when your receive positive feedback make sure you analyze why people are happy and how you can expand those positive attributes.