When brands say it, it’s marketing.
When others say it, it’s social proof.
With the deluge of interruption marketing tactics aimed at us each day, we have grown very skilled at tuning them out. Forbes recently shared an estimate that Americans are exposed to 4,000 to 10,000 advertisements each day. Overhyped product messaging from the paid mouthpieces of businesses has grown tiresome. We watch TV and see the car that is going to make us cool. We listen to the radio and hear about the best cup of coffee to begin our day. We drive to work and see countless billboards promising to regrow our hair. How much of it do we really pay attention to anymore? Public trust in brand messaging has eroded as fast as our trust in politicians, media, and institutions.
Where is the trusted voice? When we are researching a product of interest, we often seek out the product opinions and experiences of others. The authenticity behind a customer’s personal brand experience is more trusted and influential than traditional advertising. That is why customer reviews are everywhere across the internet. There are entire sites dedicated to reviews within targeted industries. Social media is flooded with real (and some planted) public opinion on brands. We are paying attention.
The smartest brands are amplifying the voices of their biggest fans and closest friends. The fact is, it’s marketing – and it’s social proof marketing.
How is it done? How can the opinions of your brand champions be consistently louder than the ever-present negativity of malcontents, moaners, and groaners? Well, without question, social proof marketing is easier for excellent brands and products, those who have earned the loyalty and repeat buying of customers by consistently delighting them. Brands need to be intentional about prioritizing and planning social proof marketing.
Here is a selection of impactful social proof marketing strategies that brands should try.
This is the most popular of all social proof. Let the best of your product reviews lead your social proof marketing. If you receive a compliment via a phone call or email, consider responding with something like this, “Thank you, you just made my day! The experiences you describe are exactly what we aim to provide our customers. I would love for more of my colleagues, as well as potential customers, to hear from you. Have you ever left a Google Review?” It doesn’t have to be Google. Suggest the most prominent review site for your brand. By doing so, you have not only affirmed to that person that their opinion is valued and appreciated, but you are also social proof marketing.
Key relationships may welcome your request for testimonials that can be promoted within your digital presence. You may want to consider producing video testimonials, as they can provide an added level of personal connection and authenticity. Testimonials can also be shared via social media or traditional advertising campaigns.
Pick the social media channels that make the most sense for your brand and use them to celebrate your product success, affirm values and culture, build trust, appreciate customers, and add value. Social media provides an immediate and accessible way to connect with customers. Listen to your social followers. Create polls where they can share opinions on trends or product considerations.
Awards, Accolades & Certifications
You and your brand work hard to garner awards, accolades, and professional certifications. Show them off. Find a spot on your website to highlight badges of merit. Tell your brand’s story of achievement and why it should matter to your followers on social media. These earned commendations can influence purchases as well as recommendations.
Partnerships & Endorsements
Brands can be associated with the company they keep. Be certain that those associations are positive ones. Share partnerships and endorsements from established, respected, and recognized brands and institutions.
Other social proof marketing strategies used effectively by some industries include case studies, user-generated content, earned media, celebrity endorsements, as well as methods to display popularity and scarcity that elicit fear of missing out (FOMO).
Social proof is, indeed, marketing. It is also true that it is not only marketing. Engaging your best customers and acknowledging their trust in, and representation of, your brand has always been great for business. Leading brands are successfully engaging their audiences to better understand their preferences and interests. It takes courage, but Americaneagle.com can help your brand confidently engage in today’s social arena – then amplify the voices of your brand champions with social proof marketing.