You’ve probably heard of the term social proof, used to describe how people will often look to others to help validate and influence their decision making process. People tend to believe marketing or brand information more when it is endorsed by a peer or trusted friend versus a business or a first person endorsement which can come off as supercilious. In fact in a comparison report of Trust and Advertising in 2007 vs. 20013 presented by Nielsen, “Recommendations from people I know” was the top trusted form of advertising with 84% of people trusting that channel, growing 6% from 2007. Check out the rest of Nielsen’s report comparing 19 forms of advertising and their trust levels below.
So how can you utilize social proof to build trust for your brand?
1. Find Your Brand and User Advocates
People trust people. We trust other consumers more than we trust brands, so leveraging user generated content from social media, blogs and reviews is more believable than what a brand says about itself.
2.Use Mentions and Endorsements from Experts
Expert industry bloggers or critics may give you the stamp of approval on their own personal blogs, in a tweet or in a press quote. To grab content, such as a press quote, from a website you don’t manage check out our WebClips App in Content(Ctrl) for an easy way to add an endorsement to a webpage or email.
3. Use Pictures
Adding a face to the digital world makes the commentary seem more real and more believable. In addition, a picture is very believable. Find pictures of your customers using your product or service and use them in email, or on a social wall in social posts.
4. Better Yet, Use Video
A video capturing a customer or expert review is as close to actual word-of-mouth as you’ll get in the digital world. People can now post videos on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Vine and other social media outlets, so run a quick search of your brand using a hashtag or mention Don’t forget the popularity of YouTube Channels and bloggers who love to voice their opinion via video.
5. And Don’t Forget Social Share Buttons!
Adding social sharing buttons to all your content will help boost your exposure and in turn build trust through shares. Share buttons also makes it easier for your fans to share what they love about your brand with their peers. A win win and most of them can be added for free! Yippee!
What are some other ways you use social proof to help your brand?