July 9, 2020 Last updated July 9th, 2020 83 Reads share

How to Build Trust With Customers Using Social Proof

Image Credit: DepositPhotos

Before businesses can make sales and grow, they need to gain the trust of their customers. Even the most prominent name brands use social proof marketing to boost conversion rates and see positive results. 

Social proof is when consumers want to copy the purchasing decisions of other customers based on their satisfaction. They want to replicate the feeling, so they’re more inclined to buy products and services they see others using.

When you add social proof to your website, social media, and email marketing, it builds strong customer relationships and brings you closer to achieving your goals.

Why Social Proof Matters

There are many reasons why your business needs social proof to succeed. 

Creates Trust With New Visitors

New visitors need businesses to convince them they’re worth their money before they feel comfortable enough to purchase. When you set up trust factors on your website, email, and social media, it builds trust between your brand and consumers. For new customers, this can be difficult to achieve, but social proof makes it easier.

Builds Brand Credibility

You can’t produce sales or grow your email list without first building brand credibility. If users don’t see your business as legitimate, they’ll be quick to bounce from your site. By using social proof, you give customers a reason to shop with you instead of your competitors. 

Grows Customer Base

The more people who trust and enjoy your brand, the more it’ll grow. Through word of mouth, consumers are quick to spread the word about positive brand experiences. About 69 percent of people use word of mouth marketing to share brand experiences with those they know. If you go the extra mile to gain their trust, they’ll keep coming back and will bring new customers with them. 

Moves Users Through the Sales Funnel

Turning someone from a visitor into a paying customer is challenging if you don’t know what steps to take or who your target audience is. When you use social proof in your sales funnel, you strengthen customer relationships, so they feel comfortable doing business with you. 

There are six types of social proof you can use:

  1. Friends:  Social proof from friends of your website visitors
  2. Crowds: A large number of people who endorse a product or service
  3. Celebrities and influencers: Celebrities and influencers promoting products and services
  4. Certifications: Certificates or accolades position brands as qualified
  5. Customers: Social proof from existing customers 
  6. Experts: Social proof from industry leaders and experts 

Now that we know why social proof is an essential part of your marketing strategy, here are a few ways to add it into your sales funnel. 

Testimonials

One of the most commonly used types of social proof is the testimonial. Testimonials are positive statements from clients that endorse your brand and put it in a positive light. When you have a good amount of them, it’s easier to convince customers to choose you over your competitors.

Many businesses showcase testimonials on their website. Some even display them on a separate webpage, so it’s easy for visitors to see how the brand provides value.

Getting testimonials from clients and customers doesn’t have to be complicated. If they had a good experience, then it should be easy to gather a simple quote that boosts your image. 

If you’re low on testimonials, then ask. There’s nothing wrong with reaching out to satisfied clients and seeing if they can share a sentence or two about doing business with you. 

You can also gather testimonials from emails and social media posts. If a client reaches out to you with positive feedback, ask if you can add it to your testimonials page. Similarly, if someone praises your brand on social media, ask if you can use it on your website. 

Customer Reviews

Did you know that 72 percent of customers won’t take action until they read reviews about a product or service? Customers today dig deep and do their research on potential purchases, and reviews guide their actions accordingly.

Most reviews include ratings and explanations from consumers about their reasoning.  A customer who sees positive reviews from other customers feels more comfortable leaning into a purchase. 

Allowing customer reviews on your website shows visitors that you have nothing to hide. People can be honest about their opinions and share their personal experiences.

Also, don’t shy away from negative reviews and lower ratings. This is normal for businesses. You can’t please everyone, and eventually, someone will come forward with something different to say. As long as you follow up and provide reliable customer service, you know you did everything you could.

User-Generated Content

Social proof is all about copying other consumers’ actions in the hopes of getting the same satisfaction. It’s much easier for people to trust your brand if they see other customers engaging with it in a fun, interactive way.

When companies across all industries use user-generated content, the average conversion rates increase by 161 percent! Not only is it useful to gain consumers’ trust, but it also moves them through the sales funnel quicker.

A great way to collect user-generated content is by running a photo contest. Most UGC is collected through social media, so actively promoting your contest will bring you the most content.

Popular Brand Logos

Most consumers are already familiar with big brands. They’ve likely purchased from them, follow them, and even interact with them. So imagine what could happen if they knew those big brands endorse your business.

Marketers and business owners display popular brand logos on their websites and other platforms to show authority. It’s a big deal when well-known businesses use the products and services of a small or medium-sized business because it expands their visibility. 

It tells new visitors and site lurkers that your brand is good enough for the big brands, so it should be good enough for them too. 

Your Turn

Building trust with new visitors doesn’t have to be difficult. Even the smallest businesses can grow their customer base by using social proof marketing. After this, you, too, should be able to add trust factors to your website and social media to boost conversions and increase sales. 

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Syed Balkhi

Syed Balkhi

Syed Balkhi is the founder of WPBeginner, the largest free WordPress resource site. With over 10 years of experience, he’s the leading WordPress expert in the industry. You can learn more about Syed and his portfolio of companies by following him on his social media networks.

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