Word of mouth recommendation will always be the best way to win new customers – as consumers, we are more likely to buy a product or use a service if we know that other people have already tried and liked it. The same concept applies to social proof, too. As consumers, we are influenced by the crowd; rather than researching every product or service we use, we rely on the experience and endorsements of others to guide our decisions. If everyone else is doing it, we’re more likely to do it, too!
As brands we can lean on social proof to convince customers that our products and services are trustworthy. Read on to discover a couple ways you can use social proof on your website to generate more interest in your brand.
Testimonials and Reviews
Testimonials and reviews are the number one way you can show credibility for your brand. Testimonials and reviews answer the base question for users of whether or not you’re providing a good product or service. Although they might sound like the same thing, testimonials and reviews are a little different in nature, and serve two different needs. Testimonials are great for a service-based business; reviews generally work better for a product-based business. Today’s customers are savvy, however, so pay attention to what you’re posting on your site.
Testimonials should have an authentic, personal quality to them. When possible, share a picture of the real user – never resort to stock photography. Pay close attention to the tone of testimonials before you post them, too. Does it sound as if though they were written by a real person, or does it sound a little too perfect? Customers can tell the difference between an authentic review and a company-created sound bite.
With testimonials, you want to cherry-pick the “cream of the crop” when it comes to feedback about your business. With reviews, however, it’s more advisable to let all reviews stand. Customers will be wary if every review of your product is a 5-star glowing endorsement with nothing negative to say. (Granted: if you have nothing but bad reviews about your product, displaying reviews on your site probably isn’t the best idea. But that’s for another discussion.)
Social Media Shares
Social media signals can be a major indicator to today’s user whether or not your brand is one they can trust. One great way to take advantage of social signals is by putting social sharing widgets on your pages. These widgets display the number of shares a particular page has received and are a great way to show credibility. If a user sees that a page has been shared a lot, they are more likely to think that the content on that page (and your brand in general) are worthy of their attention. But be careful – displaying social shares on a page with little activity can work against that trust.
Seals and Logos
Logos and seals act as a visual endorsement of your brand. It’s an easy way for people on your site to know that you’re a credible business without doing a lot of research. Logos and seals can come from a variety of categories: clients you’ve served, associations you are a part of, businesses you partner with. This can also extend to security programs that you might use to ensure the privacy of users on your site.
Although they are an easy to way to show credibility, adding logos and seals to your site doesn’t always result in a higher rate of conversion. To determine if trust seals can help increase your conversion rates, we recommend conducting an A/B test.
Interested in trying out some of these social proof methods on your site? Contact our full-service advertising agency in Kansas City to learn more about our services and how we can help your company meet its goals.