What Is Social Proof Marketing? 6 Ways to Sell With Customer Reviews
10 min read
How to Use Social Media to Help Build a Relationship With Customers
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Need an extra push on your website and social media to increase your revenue?
This one simple trick improves lead-generation rates online for small businesses and service companies. It’s taking advantage of social proof to promote your reputation.
What is social proof? It’s when you use customer reviews and other customer touchpoints in your marketing to show potential customers why they should hire you.
Social proof is marketing material that validates customers’ decisions. When they’re looking for a service provider, they want someone they can trust.
You’re “proving” to your online audience with customer reviews, testimonials and buyer actions why they should choose you.
You might be the best landscaping company in Knoxville, TN. But how will homeowners looking for a new backyard believe that from browsing your website or Facebook profile? Wouldn’t every landscaper in Knoxville call themselves the best?
Social proof solves this problem. It tells your website visitors “don’t take my word for it….” This is important because 84% of customers trust social proof more than anything else. This includes things like advertising and sales brochures.
Social proof psychology works because social proof is a form of persuasion.
It’s natural for humans to want unbiased information about your company before deciding to submit a lead form. If a Knoxville homeowner is looking for a landscaper, they’ll turn to what others say about your landscaping company.
That’s why social proof works well on a psychological level. Homeowners want to feel comfortable in making the right choice. You help them feel this way when they read positive online reviews, know your company’s reputation and see when other homeowners buy from you. At this point they become far more likely to contact your business.
Now that we’ve got a good handle on social proof and its importance, let’s look at five social proof marketing examples for your small business.
Use reviews as social proof as an easy way to promote your services on your website.
With a dedicated Reviews page, users can see on your website all your top Google and Facebook reviews.
Here’s an example from Hero Service Landscaping in Calgary, AB:
Showing reviews on your website can make a big difference on your conversion rate. For example, one study showed that
74% of people were more likely to contact a business from a webpage that shows customer reviews compared to one that doesn’t show reviews.
Adding reviews to a website is a simple yet powerful way to use social proof and persuade your website visitors to become customers.
A feature testimonial is a testimonial review from one of your best customers that you feature on your website’s homepage. These testimonials work best right below your “hero image,” a prominent banner displayed front and center on your homepage.
Feature testimonials are another example of social proof reviews that work well because they isolate a positive review where it’s sure to attract a lot of eyeballs.
Below is a great example of featured testimonials on the homepage for Integrity Cleaning in Vancouver, WA:
At NiceJob, we wanted to see how feature testimonials impact your website’s performance. So we conducted an experiment to test feature testimonials below a website’s hero section.
Our results show that feature testimonials outperform sales copy in generating leads by 56.2%!
Facebook is a massive source of leads for any service business, so it makes sense to have an active Facebook Page for your company.
A Facebook Page also provides another channel to share customer reviews online and promote your business. This is an excellent example of using reviews as social proof.
But copying and pasting reviews on Facebook and other social media platforms becomes time-consuming. Automation can make this process more effective.
Automatically sharing social proof reviews with photos of the work you did to your Facebook Page increases post engagement by 3x compared to plain-text reviews.
Here is an example from Sunrise Custom Fence in Suffolk County, NY:
As noted above, it’s one thing to say you’re the best, but it can be difficult to prove.
Unless your customers think like Buddy the Elf, most people will be skeptical if all you say is, “Best Exterior-Cleaning Company in Greenville, SC.”
But if you have reviews to use as social proof, then you’ll have ammunition to share social posts that instead say something like, “Highest-Rated Company” or “Top-Rated Company.”
With a simple language tweak, you clue in your audience to a quantifiable reputation that can back up your awesomeness.
Let’s look at an example from an actual cleaning company located near Greenville, SC that promotes its reputation on social media.
Below is a screenshot of a LinkedIn post from Curb Appeal Solutions:
Sharing that you’re the “highest-rated exterior-cleaning company” is an excellent example of using social proof as reputation marketing.
Sure enough, potential customers discover that Curb Appeal Solutions boasts over 300 Google reviews with an average five-star rating. And their sales haven’t looked back!
One of the most powerful ways to engage your audience is by showing them social proof on your website in real time.
What does real-time social proof look like? With one simple line of code, you can have a discreet website popup to show reviews or other customer actions—as they happen.
Here is an example of what social proof widgets can look like in a bottom corner on your website:
This kind of social proof increases website conversions by at least 10%—and often more—so they are very effective at bringing in new sales for any service company.
To maximize your return, look for a reputation marketing software like NiceJob. These tools help you automate how you share social proof.
NiceJob is the easiest way to get more reviews, referrals and sales. Now you can take your review marketing to the next level and become the top-rated business in your local service area.