Social proof is vital when it comes to your marketing – Here’s how to use it in your copy
“I’m great at what I do. I provide the best service in town – I’m punctual, committed and very reasonably priced. If you hire me, you won’t regret it.”
“Falulah is great at what she does. She provides the best service in town – she’s punctual, committed and very reasonably priced. If you hire her, you won’t regret it.” – Tarquin Jones, CEO of That Company
Which is more powerful?
Which do you believe?
A study showed that 92% of people rated “recommendations from people I know” as the source they would trust when it came to brands, services and products.
Despite the huge amount of cash businesses splash on advertising, most people report trusting ads very little, if at all.
Think about the last time you visited a restaurant, booked into a hotel, or planned a day trip. I bet you asked around family and friends, or checked out TripAdvisor – and if you read a horrible review, or sat through your Father in Law’s story of the suspicious looking hair in the soup, you probably stayed away.
Why Social Proof Matters
As a business owner you know that what you’re offering is bloody marvellous.
And in order to, you know, actually succeed in your business, you need to let other people know that too. Thing is, people are pretty savvy nowadays and may suspect you of just saying you’re marvellous to convince them to buy.
But when other people say it? It actually means something. A glowing review on TripAdvisor, Facebook, TrustPilot or Yell is worth 50 social media posts saying exactly the same thing but in your own words.
How to Use Social Proof in your Copy and content
It’s great to get those reviews on external sites, but don’t miss the opportunity to use them in your own content too. Have a specific Testimonials page with all your brilliant reviews in one place, and scatter them throughout your copy as well.
If you’re talking about a specific product, include a quote from a satisfied customer in the middle of the text.
Use a snippet in the meta description for the relevant page, turn them into a pretty graphic and share them on social media, or just quote them in a post and link to the original review.
When people love what you do make sure the world knows!
Make your Testimonials relevant, specific and personal
We’ve all seen dubious “client testimonials” that just don’t ring true – “This is the world’s best product or service – A.B, England ” We all know it’s not genuine and it kills trust.
Don’t be that guy. Even if you’re doing it accidentally.
Make sure your testimonials and reviews are 100% believable by including as many details as possible. Use the client’s full name, their photo, the product or service they bought, and where they’re from or their job title and company, as much as is relevant and applicable to what you do.
OBVIOUSLY, you need to have the client’s permission for all of this – don’t just Facebook stalk them, nick their profile pic and publish it on your website! But the majority of clients, especially if they’re giving you brilliant reviews, will be more than happy for you to do this.
How to ask for testimonials
Ideally, you’d provide your awesome product or service and your happy client would immediately skip off to leave glowing reviews all over TripAdvisor, TrustPilot, Yell, Facebook, LinkedIn and every other corner of the internet.
In reality, people are busy. And they’re forgetful. So while they may have loved what you did for them, telling the world about it might not be their main priority (I know, rude!).
So it’s totally fine to ask them outright. It might feel weird or cringey at first, but as long as you’re not pushy about it, people honestly won’t mind.
How you ask will depend on your business and the way you connect with your clients. Here’s how I do it:
- Throughout my communication with a client I keep a note of anything positive they say about me and my work. When a client told me recently that I’d made her feel valued and looked, after I jotted it down (after I’d gone all heart eyes at how lovely my clients are) to use later
- When our project is delivered, approved and signed off, I send a quick thank you email to my client, saying how much I enjoyed working with them and letting them know any next steps they need to take. The email includes a few specific questions that I ask them to answer about working with me. I let them know how much I appreciate and value their feedback, and that it lets me improve my service. I ask them to be totally honest (gulp)
- I also include links to my Facebook and LinkedIn page and let them know how much a review there would help. If a client has really loved what you’ve done for them, they will want to help you and your business. If it’s relevant for your business you could include links here to Google Reviews, Trip Advisor etc. Usually, this one email is enough. If not:
- I wait.
- If I don’t get a reply within a week, I’ll get in contact again. I’ll usually hit reply to my last email so they get the thread, and just include a short note checking in to see if they received then email, and reiterating how much I appreciate their feedback
- I wait. Again.
- I may follow up a second time, either via email or with a quick phone call. If there’s no reply or they’re really cagey then I’d leave it here. It hasn’t happened to me yet, but sometimes you don’t get feedback and you just have to move on.
- Assuming I do get a reply, and the client has confirmed I can use their comments, name, photo etc in my marketing materials (as well as those positive comments I noted down earlier), I will pop that baby right up on my website, and all over the socials
When you do get that social proof – show off about it
Do not hide your social proof light under a bushel – shout it from the rooftops!
Do you use social proof in your copy or are you worried about blowing your own trumpet?
Do you routinely ask for testimonials or are you scared you’ll be knocked back?
I’d love to hear your thoughts! Leave me a comment below, or get in touch