Gather social proof & why it's important

Let’s talk about social proof.

If you’re wondering ‘what the heck is social proof’, we’ve got you! To put simply social proof is using the thoughts, opinions and actions of others to help your customers make a buying decision (purchase your product). To break that down even further, social proof are customer reviews, user generate photos, and the opinions of experts or trusted sources.

In this blog we are going to cover:

  • How to get your first product reviews
  • How and when to collect reviews 
  • Influencers and collaborations to gain third-party affirmation for the brand
  • Ambassadors/affiliates, using your customers as influencers. How to create an affiliate programme 

How to get your first product reviewsIts out of your hands, and at customer finger tips!

Unlike all other areas of marketing your brand and product, social proof is the one area you do not have control over. Why? It’s entirely up to your customers to put their experiences into words and ratings!!
While you don’t want to be going viral for all the wrong reasons (and no, we’re not talking about COVID!), you do want your customers leaving honest and genuine reviews of their experience using your product, interacting with your brand and customer service. Ratings and reviews are higher conversion driving tools than price – you read that right – doesn’t matter if it costs a bomb, if the reviews are strong, people will pay to have the same awesome experience they have read all about!
So, when it comes to collecting your first reviews, we’ve got you covered for tips to get started:

  1. Incentivise it – are you able to offer a credit for their next purchase if they leave a review? Do you have a loyalty programme (link to article) that they can be rewarded through?
  2. Keep it simple and easy – no one wants to answer a 7 page survey (for anything, like ever) so ensure it is short, sharp and concise. Try and see if you can use a rating system – out of 5 stars, what did you think? Did the product or service perform to your expectations?

How and when to collect reviews – Don’t be the stage 5 clinger, but don’t leave it too late!

Have you ever been on a website, minding your own business, browsing around and suddenly had a giant taking-up-the-whole-page banner rudely pop up asking you to ‘rate your experience so far’? Have you ever clicked on the ‘yeah-its-great-thanks’ button when that has happened?!
There is a time and place for everything (so they say) and feedback collection is one that needs to be timed appropriately to ensure maximum participation from the customer. You want to ask quickly… but not too quickly like ol’ jump-the-gun website banner.
Your tasks to start… reviewing …your review scheme
  1. Make sure it’s mobile friendly – your customers are busy people and always on the go. If they can’t review the product while they’re ‘watching’ the kid’s soccer game on the weekend or on the treadmill at the gym, then when will they ever get the chance to!
  2. Think about how soon you should ask for feedback – think about your different products and services on offer. You want to find the ‘collection sweet spot’ which is where they have started using it or finished using it, while the experience is still fresh in their mind

Influencers and collaborations to gain third-party affirmation for the brandDon’t take our word for it… but definitely take the influencer’s!!

The word influencer may be new to our vocabulary, but the concept is not! It’s a bit like word of mouth, but instead, the mouth has a captivated target audience that you want to get in front of, and the word is a review or recommendation of your product to that audience.
Rather than building the audience and community yourself (which is costly, not to mention extremely time consuming), you can conveniently tap into one that is already there through collaborations or partnering with influencers. So now you might be asking “but how do I reach out to them?”. This is where your amazing internet FBI and networking skills come into play!
Get the ball rolling by completing the tasks below:
  1. Search social media – depending on which market you’re in and what you sell, some platforms will work better than others. Start with Instagram, Twitter and Linkedin. A quick search for any industry related words will bring up an endless stream of content, as well as profiles of people posting the content
  2. Slide in the DMs – on most platforms you can send a private (or Direct Message) to the person behind the account. Don’t be afraid to reach out, repost some of their work and interact with some of their posts through comments to draw attention 

Ambassadors/affiliates, using your customers as influencers. How to create an affiliate programmeIt’s a bit like a personal remote sales team!

Once you’ve wooed your customers and made them fall hopelessly in love with your brand and products/services, it’s time to take the relationship to the next level… by getting them to join your affiliate programme (jeeze, mind out of the gutter please!!).
Picture this, you have an army of customers who post up a storm about your amazing product and encourage their networks and followers to purchase – but wait there’s more – if their followers purchase, they can use the affiliate code to gain a discount! Like all sales people however, there needs to be something in it for the ‘influencer’ in this case, and it normally comes in the form of commission from products sold, or credits towards the brand’s products. Starting to think an affiliate programme is right for your business?
  1. Think about what types of customers you want to bring in through your programme, and what kind of influencers and affiliates will help you achieve this?
  2. Have a look at what your competitors are doing – find at least 2 with programmes in place that are targeting the same audience you want to. Analyze what channels they use and how their affiliates advertise the programme.

Now you have all you need to tackle your social proof like a pro! You got this!