How Social Proof Can Increase Sales for Local Businesses

Jan 30, 2020

WHAT IS SOCIAL PROOF?

Social proof is validation from a third party that your businesses is awesome.

It's when a person or a brand that you identify with or trust shares their experience or opinion about a business.  This 'social proof' lends your business immediate credibility.

It works because people naturally like to copy the actions of others and conform. They feel good about doing something when they know others are doing it as well. 

In addition, when there's uncertainty, people incorporate the opinions of others to help them make a decision. If a person is unsure about buying a product or trying a service, and they see validation from others, they feel more comfortable about taking the next step. 

If a prospect is evaluating one product over another and one has glowing reviews and the other has none, there's a good chance that person will choose the one with glowing reviews.  This affirmation or 'social proof' can move someone from 'prospect'  to 'customer'. 

Social proof can help your product or service stand out from your competitors, 

A simple example is would you go to the restaurant with nobody inside or the one that's packed? Exactly.

WHY IT'S IMPORTANT 

So much of our marketing and business interactions are online – that makes it harder to judge products, services, location, etc.  People rely even more on those who've already experienced a product or service to guide their choices. 

In our 2020 Moms Online Survey, 89.4% of moms said they are influenced by 3rd party reviews when evaluating a local business for their kids. That's huge. And emphasizes how important it is for local businesses to leverage social proof in their marketing.

WHERE DOES SOCIAL PROOF COME INTO PLAY IN YOUR MARKETING? 

Local businesses like yours can showcase social proof in many ways. Here are a few:

  1. Reviews/Ratings – There are many places online that parents go to look for social proof through reviews and ratings—including your Facebook page, your Google profile, Yelp,  Hulafrog, and others. Make sure you have your bases covered and have positive reviews and ratings on sites that parents visit often.
  2. Testimonials – We all have those customers who love us and would do anything for us. Ask them for testimonials that you can display on your website and use in your marketing materials. 
  3. Social Media – Keep social proof in mind when you are posting on social media or have a paid ad running. Having comments on your post from other parents praising your product will not only tip the scales for a prospect but those comments will also give your post a boost so it gets even more reach. 
  4. Awards/Recognition – Another fantastic form of social proof is showcasing awards or recognition to give prospects added confidence in your business. Media companies often have awards for local businesses. For example, Hulafrog has its Most Loved Awards and the business that wins in their category gets bragging rights all year long with a certificate they can hang in their business, badges they put on their website and much more. Look to see if there are any awards your business can participate in in your area. Or if your business, products, or employees have won any awards in the past, be sure to work it into your marketing as it can go a long way to helping gain credibility and bring in new customers. 

Social proof isn't hard to get - just keep on doing the amazing things in your business that you already are. Don't be afraid to ask customers to help out by providing reviews, testimonials, and just liking and commenting on social media.  

Give your business the best chance you can to make a great impression on moms and improve your customer conversion rate.

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