Gone are the days when big businesses can create campy campaigns and sell themselves. “brand Ambassadors”, “Influencers”, “Thought Leaders”, are all a result of the need for social proof. Consumers do not have to go far to investigate the truth about a company. They would rather hear it directly from the horse’s mouth. Social Proof is the way consumers vet a business online. Below are six ways you can generate social proof via social media for your small business.
- Create a great purpose, vision, mission, brand, target audience, and social media channel goals.
2. Produce a great customer experience
3. Write up questions. Keep it between 3 and 10 questions. I categorize my questions by “brand statement.” I also ask questions in chronological order.
4. Ask customers if they would be willing to share their experiences with others in an authentic way. (Yelp, Google, Facebook, an interview for YouTube, or a Podcast).
5. Take pictures throughout your project, service, customer experience
6. As soon as the project or service is completed, set a date/time for the customer to meet and share their experience. If they are sharing online, provide the link. If it’s in person, be on time.
7. Prepare a “script”, “syllabus”, “talking points,” ahead of time. Not exactly what they are going to say, but what you are going to ask.
8. Prep your audio, visual equipment. It’s embarrassing for your mic to not work on site. With COVID, make sure you are trying your best to interview from home. I use Tap-A-Call to interview customers from home.
9. Ask your questions!
10. Edit your interview, audio, visual, music, pictures, logos, format for YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, Etc.
11. Get permission to share
Why is this company good? Why should I trust them? What sets them apart? These are the questions consumers have in their minds when deciding to buy or not. Yelp is an easy way for consumers to answer these questions. After your customer testimonial, requesting a Yelp review comes naturally. Your customers have already been given excellent service all around, and now they have an opportunity to share it, and also foster more growth. It’s ok to tell your customers that Yelp reviews are valuable ways to support their business. Always thank them for these when they occur.
I create programs to empower consumers to advocate for, cheer on, praise, share, and celebrate their favorite small businesses online. Pinterest is a great way for other users to contribute to your brand. You can communicate to them that you see, hear, and understand their vision, Create boards to help communicate your audiences wants and needs, to gather their thoughts. Use Pinterest boards to help your customers know that you understand them. Then, when they share your board that you made for them with their friends, they provide the proof other audiences need to continue to trust you as a business.
Social proof is the proof people need to give you their business. Consumers follow the masses. They trust the crowd and they trust their friends, more than they trust big businesses. Instagram is an easy way to develop this proof. Users on Instagram are fun, looking for happiness, positivity, and enjoyment. Use Instagram to highlight employee success, job accomplishments, successful projects. The more visual the better. The more authentic the better. If you make your clients look good on Instagram, they will more than likely share your content with their audiences, thus generating social proof.
Generating social proof is not easy. It requires a great company, great products, great service, and an all-around great customer experience. If you have these elements, social proof comes naturally. Podcasts are easy to create after the customer testimonial project. The audio is easy to transfer over to a platform such as an Anchor. Podcasts are the way for the future. People listen to them while driving and cooking. They also create AUDIO GOOGLE VOICE CLIPS. With Alexa and “Ok Google”, and Siri, your business is MISSING OUT ON FREE ADVERTISING by not getting audio onto the internet via a podcast.
Facebook may be under a lot of pressure right now, but it is the easiest way to communicate information. Facebook users want to learn and expand on interests that they like. Facebook users like to read, skim, and show support. Use Facebook to generate informative content. Facebook users twill share content they find valuable, hence creating more social proof
Good luck on generating social proof with your small business. I am starting a new social proof program with my newest client today, and I am so EXCITED to get to work! I love meeting new customers and sharing the stories of small business owners. Here is a sneak peek at what is in store for my newest client. Please let me know if I can help your small business grow online!