When a user lands on your website, they are looking for two things: credibility & trust. They are looking for any proof that proves you’re the best company to work with. Aside from using excellent design and relevant content, social proof is the best way to convey that level of credibility & trust.
Aileen Lee simplifies this concept perfectly by stating, “social proof is the best way for new users to learn why your product is great, and to remind existing users why they made a smart choice.” In other words, it’s a powerful way to attract attention multiply the discovery of your brand and offerings. Using testimonials, client logos, social share count icons, etc., you are able to provide users with another resource to help them better understand how you can solve their problems.
How to improve your website with social proof
Consider the social proof of a line of people standing outside a brand new restaurant, waiting to get a table. The crowd of customers makes most people passing by want to find out what’s worth the wait. This also does more than provide a sense of intrigue, and if done right can instill a sense of fear, or FOMO, and encourage others to find out for themselves what the hype is all about. How exactly can you ensure your social proof sparks interest in users?
Keep it positive
We know that sparking a sense of urgency is a powerful persuasion tool for getting users to take action. However, some marketers have tried to use negative social proof to try and warn users of the risk of missing out. This doesn’t work. Think of it…when you tell someone NOT to touch the stove because it’s hot, the first thing they want to do is see just how hot it really is. As a brand, the hot stove is like your strongest competitor and that is the last place you want to direct your user.
CMB uses client testimonials to show how they can help solve their client’s toughest challenges.
Make it visible
Aside from a dedicated page for testimonials or client success stories, it’s also important to place them in the places that will help drive users to your end goal. This includes your homepage, blog and landing pages to help encourage users who aren’t completely sold on your company yet. Prime Surgeons has successfully made their social proof visible right on their homepage and throughout their entire website.
By now, most of us can immediately tell when a photo is a stock image or a real life photo. Because of this, it’s critical to paint a realistic picture in your user’s mind. Whether that is done with the use of a photo or video, it’s important to keep it real. While not every company will be able to provide a photo for each client, including their real name and current job title will do more than “CEO of leading construction company in Nebraska”. Remember, you want to provide solid proof and it simply can’t be done with generic photos and statements. See how Plubirus Networks and Steven Winters Associates leverages real social proof perfectly.
Does your website leverage social proof?