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social media how toDo you want to build trust and influence on social media?

Wondering how to tap into social proof?

Social proof lets you leverage consumer behavior and feedback to give customers a more authentic perspective of your business.

In this article, you’ll discover five ways to use social proof on social media.

5 Ways to Persuade Via Social Media by Sarah Quinn on Social Media Examiner.

5 Ways to Persuade Via Social Media by Sarah Quinn on Social Media Examiner.

Why Social Proof Is Important

Social proof is not a new concept. From a psychological perspective, we’re naturally inclined to do what the majority is doing because we want to conform. The theory goes that the more other people are doing something, the more worthwhile we believe it to be.

This is why including social proof as part of your marketing can help you build trust and influence with your target audience. With 63% of consumers saying that they’ll look up a product or brand on social media before making a purchase, it’s important to build social proof across your social media channels.

Here are five ways to start using social proof on social media.

#1: Share Customer Reviews and Testimonials

One of the best ways to reinforce social proof is to include customer reviews and testimonials on your social channels so visitors instantly see them when they land on your profile.

Incorporate Reviews in Your Posts

As marketers, we already know that people prefer visuals to text, which makes Instagram a great platform to showcase reviews. On his Instagram account, fitness guru thebodycoach features daily testimonials from clients who have used his program.

An Instagram post by the thebodycoach incorporating a client testimonial

Incorporate customer testimonials in your social media posts.

He includes before and after shots, as well as the client’s review, which helps reinforce the credibility of his fitness and nutrition plan.

This tactic can work for businesses in any industry. Next time you get a great review from a customer, transform that text into an enticing image using a design tool like Canva and watch the impact on your Instagram presence.

Let Fans Post Reviews to Your Facebook Page

Facebook makes it easy to showcase customer reviews on your business page because the feature is already built in. To activate it for your page, go to your settings and select the Allow Visitors to Review This Page option.

Enable the setting that allows visitors to leave a review on your Facebook page.

Enable the setting that allows visitors to leave a review on your Facebook page.

Visitors to the Nature Valley Facebook page are welcomed with glowing reviews from customers who have tried the company’s products.

A Nature Valley customer leaves a customer review on the company's Facebook page.

A Nature Valley customer leaves a customer review on the company’s Facebook page.

Use Reviews in Retargeting Ads

Running retargeting ad campaigns across social media can help you pull in followers who have already shown an interest in your business. The idea is that once visitors land on your site or research your product, you can then target them with an ad to encourage them to come back to you.

Many businesses use reviews in their ads to build social proof and influence purchases. For example, Pawstruck.com often features reviews in their sponsored posts.

You can incorporate customer reviews in your Facebook ads.

You can incorporate customer reviews in your social media ads.

Next time you run retargeting ads, A/B test your normal campaign versus your review campaign to see if including reviews makes a difference to your ROI.

#2: Emphasize Customer Numbers

When prospects research your company and products online, they may be wondering how many other consumers trust your product or service. Highlighting the number of customers you already have helps offer people assurance that you’re a trusted company.

For example, the Dropbox post below helps the company build social proof in two ways:

  • It highlights how many people are already using Dropbox’s service.
  • It shows appreciation for current customers in a visually appealing way, making it a more shareable piece of content.
Emphasizing customer numbers in your social media posts can help you build social proof.

Emphasizing customer numbers in your social media posts can help you build social proof.

With 81% of consumers saying branded content has influenced their purchasing decisions, this is another tactic that can attract customers to your business.

#3: Team Up With Influencers

Authoritative figures in your industry who have established reputations with your customers make them the perfect people to help you build social proof.

According to a recent Twitter study, 40% of Twitter users say that they’ve made a purchase as a direct result of a tweet from an influencer such as a celebrity or blogger. For example, David Beckham often posts about his fashion line at H&M, increasing exposure and directing customers to the company’s website.

Team up with influencers to help build social proof.

Team up with influencers to help build social proof.

Although your business may not have the budget for the likes of David Beckham, there are plenty of influencers in your industry who will be happy to post about your product or service, often for free.

BrightInfo recently collaborated on a webinar with content marketing influencer Jeff Bullas. After the webinar, Jeff posted a selfie on his social channels to show his gratitude for the thank-you voucher he received. He tagged the company in the post, helping send his thousands of followers to BrightInfo’s social pages.

Partner with influencers in your industry to expand your reach.

Partner with influencers in your industry to expand your reach.

Check out BuzzSumo to find influencers who post content that’s relevant to your business, and offer a free sample in exchange for a mention.

#4: Get Verified Badges for Your Accounts

A verified badge sends the message that you’re a reliable business, and you can get one on most social platforms including Twitter and Facebook. What used to be a feature limited to accounts with hundreds of thousands of followers is now an option for any business.

To verify your Twitter account, make sure you have some basic information on your account, including a verified phone number, email address, bio, photo, and website.

The Sonos Twitter account is verified and shows the blue Twitter verified badge.

The Sonos Twitter account is verified and shows the blue Twitter verified badge.

To verify your Facebook account, you need to provide a few details and Facebook will contact you with a code so that you can set it up. Once you have the verified blue badge, you’re far more likely to build trust with people who are researching your products and services on your page.

The blue verified badge on Logitech's Facebook page helps build trust with page visitors.

The blue verified badge on Logitech’s Facebook page helps build trust with page visitors.

#5: Highlight Your Customer Service Track Record

As much as we’d love to impress every customer we have, there are times when customers have complaints or need help, and social media is the perfect tool for them to voice their concerns. Social proof is one way to demonstrate that your company is committed to customer care.

Add the “Message Now” Badge to Your Facebook Page

The Message Now badge appears on the left side of your Facebook business page, telling visitors how quickly you reply to messages. The quicker your average reply time, the more impressive the badge will look on your page.

Business Insider’s badge informs people that the company typically replies to messages within a few minutes. This is a fast response compared to most pages and provides further reassurance that the company listens to their fans.

The About section of the Business Insider's Facebook page shows their Message Now badge, which tells visitors they typically respond to messages within minutes.

The About section of the Business Insider’s Facebook page shows their Message Now badge, which tells visitors they typically respond to messages within minutes.

Set Up a Separate Support Handle

To take control of customer issues, create a dedicated support handle that’s separate from your main business page. This lets you deal with customer problems in a different forum and employ a support team that focuses on keeping customers happy.

For example, Uber has a Twitter support handle that customers can turn to if they have problems with the service. When prospects search for Uber on social media, they’ll be taken to the company’s main business page, rather than the support page, so they aren’t bombarded with complaints or issues.

Uber has a separate Twitter handle for Uber Support.

Uber has a separate Twitter handle for Uber Support.

With Twitter, it’s easy to take a customer conversation from social media into a private space. When you respond to customers, include a link in the tweet that lets them send you a private message.

When working to resolve customer complaints through Twitter, include a link to allow customers to send you a private message.

When working to resolve customer complaints through Twitter, include a link to allow customers to send you a private message.

Check out the Twitter Help page for more information on how to use the Send a Private Message feature.

Conclusion

Building social proof can take time, particularly if you’re a new business. But with all of the features and actionable tactics mentioned above, it’s never been easier to start including social proof in your social media marketing.

What do you think? Have you used any of these social proof tactics? How does your business build social proof? I’d love to hear more about this topic in the comments below!

5 Ways to Persuade Via Social Media by Sarah Quinn on Social Media Examiner.

5 Ways to Persuade Via Social Media by Sarah Quinn on Social Media Examiner.

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