If you think all of this social media talk is over rated, read on…as I like many people utilize social media to determine who’s services and products I will purchase. I’ve personally purchased home improvement services, pet services, scuba diving courses and bought numerous items… all based in some form on the information gained using social media… if you want your business to succeed online, now you not only need a website but you need social media… interested in succeeding, read on.

Using social proof involves using proof to show that you’re popular, and it also important to show that people who have purchased from you, like your product, services and customer service.

Some social proof is just about numbers. For example, think about statements you have seen before such as, “500,000 People Can’t Be Wrong” or “Served Over 5000 Clients” which are designed to give the visitor confidence in your product or service since so many people are using it. Never mind whether they were happy or not; it still works. Of course, your customers were happy too. But, if you really want to get great social proof and use it the right way, read on.

Focus on the Positive

When you use any type of testimonial or statement for proof, use the positive statement. That might not make sense when you think about it, but you don’t want to focus on their previous negative experience and then your positive result either. Lead with the positive to get everyone in the right frame of mind; it works better.

Include Pictures and Links

When your audience can see a clear image of the person giving the testimonial, they’re going to trust them even better. Include links if you’re selling to other business owners because they’re going to want to see for themselves that the person is still in business and using what you taught them.

Pick People Representative of Your Ideal Customer

The very best testimonials or referrals come from people that your audience most relates to. If you know your audience, and you should (create a customer avatar to help you), then you will know who to pick. You can also conduct A/B testing to find out which testimonials work best.

Tell Emotional Stories That Connect

When you can connect to your customers in a way that tugs on their emotions in a positive way, you’ll really encourage them to make the buying choice. You can get your former buyers to do that for you by creating a form asking the right questions and enabling them to answer them in their own way.

Find Influencers Who Represent Your Audience

The best influencers you can use should be in your audience, or they should be a guru to their audience who is also your audience. These are the best types of influencers to use, so that when your audience sees them they automatically feel like they trust them. Plus, they already have an audience that includes your audience, so you’ll end up with new people.

Use Several Types of Social Proof

There are experts, celebrities, users, the totality of customers you’ve had, and of course friends. All these types of social proof work well to tell your story and promote your product or service to your ideal customer in a way that resonates with them. You don’t have to pick just one either.

Using social proof the right way in your marketing strategies requires a little thought and work. You want to make it a habit to ask for referrals and testimonials. Ask for shares on social media. Engage with your audience and engage with your customers. The more you do that, the more natural it will become. And, the more effective.

How to Properly Use Social Proof in Marketing
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I've been designing and marketing websites and businesses for over 24 years and prior to this I worked in sales, marketing and big business for almost 18 years... which makes me not only old, but also highly experienced at this marketing and Internet stuff.  I've won lots of awards and helped thousands of people, and this website is a testament to the information I share freely to help others succeed online.

When I'm not designing websites, doing this online marketing stuff or writing. I love nothing more than getting out on a weekend and scuba diving. I'm a qualified rescue diver and love getting wet in the waters around Perth and Rottenest Island. I also cycle, which must be a sight as I'm not the thinnest of people (lol)... and a paddle on a kayak or a swim helps makes most weeks, perfect. At home I have a marine reef tank, which I just love and on top of that I've an awesome dog, called Ziggy.

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