3 ways to “social proof” your business

What is “social proof” really, and why does it matter to your business? If you’ve ever used Urban Spoon ratings to decide where to eat, Angi to decide which contractor to hire or followed a recommendation given to you by a trusted friend, you have already seen the power of social proofing your business.

Today’s guest post comes from Ali Rittenhouse: Digital Diva + Tech Cheerleader.  She recently entered my orbit through – wait for it – a friend’s recommendation (see, this stuff works!) and shares 3 tips on how to social proof your own business. Read her wise words below:

Have you social proofed your business lately?

Social Proof is more important than having a fancy-schmancy website with all the bells and whistles or catchy copy lingo that you paid someone a whole lot of moola to write for you.

Consumers look to other consumer’s opinions to make their purchases.  We use Social Proof to make our decisions.   We want to know that someone has gone first and had success before we try our hand at it. (Tweet this!)

As a business owner, Social Proof is just what your customer is looking for before they hand over the credit card info.  It’s kinda like virtually wrapping your potential customer up in a soft, warm snuggie!  When someone is considering investing money or making a big purchase you want them to feel confident, warm and snugglie about purchasing from you!  Rather than uncomfortable, unsure, and uneasy because this leads to shopper’s remorse and refunds.

You can create social proof in many different ways. Below are 3 tips and examples to Social Proof Your Business:

1.  Testimonials of Success.

Do the testimonials you have from clients reflect the success you brought to them through your coaching, writing or product?  A testimonial should provide social proof to the reader.  Having a testimonial that simply states “Alicia Rocks” is NOT Social Proof.  Be sure to always include a headshot along with links to their website when you display their testimonial.   If you can get them to do a video – even better!!  People will connect with them

You can display testimonials in many different ways on your website and social networking sites.   Ask for them from those that have downloaded your freebie or enjoyed your free tips from your blog.  Let them know that it will be a great opportunity for exposure for their business as well.

2.  Social Media

Hook your website up to provide your social media social proof (say that 5x’s fast!).  Install a Facebook Like Widget on your sidebar that displays info from your Facebook Page.  You can set it to show the purdy faces of your Likers – it will by default show their friends faces first!  Twitter also has plenty of widgets that you can add to your blog or website that will pull in your feed.  Use Tweet-stimonials to display your favorite tweet-stimonials of success to your website.  LinkedIn offers a feature for people to recommend you that does mimic testimonials.  Ask your clients to make recommendations of your services or products on LinkedIn.

Don’t forget you must also establish yourself as The Expert or The Go-To person for your fans and followers.  You can do this by participating on their pages more than your own.

3.  Be Creative!

There are several different items that I gave consideration to for this last tip but I am going with BE CREATIVE!  Come up with creative ways to incorporate Social Proof into your online presence.  Be a guest blogger for a well-known website, ask to interview a well-known guru that your viewers can benefit from, or display pictures taken with high-level professionals in your industry.

About Ali: Ali Rittenhouse is a Digital Diva + Tech Cheerleader.  She has a talent for unpacking digital mysteries into simple steps even non-geeks can master. Ali is on a mission: to activate a new generation of tech-powered trailblazers–women who bust stereotypes, break glass ceilings, build six-figure empires from their living room sofas, and show the world who’s boss.  She offers training and coaching for women entrepreneurs and their tech-savvy assistants. Check her out at – http://aliciarittenhouse.com/.

Now it’s your turn: What have you done to use Social Proof to your advantage? Please share your testimonial of success in the Comments below.

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