How to Get Social Proof for a New Business
Once you’re clued up on all things social proof, you might be left wondering how to get it in the first place. Indeed, it’s one of those “between a rock and a hard place” scenarios.
Especially as a new business owner, you might not even have a sale behind your name yet – but you have a brand new website that’s waiting to be decorated with rave reviews (hopefully). And as you may know by this point, leveraging a third-party influence to sway prospects into becoming paying customers is an essential element in the internet marketing world.
Fortunately, all new business owners are in the same predicament and there are some creative ways around this.
Give it away for free
Identify the influencers in your community or industry that you can approach to send your product or service for free, or find members of your target audience and send it to them.
Generally, this is done without any expectation. Chances are, you’ll get organic feedback simply from providing value. Once you do receive that feedback, you can reach out to ask for a more formal testimonial or for permission to use their quote in your copy content.
This isn’t always the most viable method, giving away your product or services free of charge, but it is an entry point to reach your target audience.
Paid endorsement and sponsorships
It’s extremely common to scroll through any influencer’s social feed and see the use of #ad or #sponsored on their Instagram posts. This is an indication to consumers that the brand has approached the influencer for a paid endorsement of their product or service.
Although this is declared as a paid ad, consumers are willing to assume good faith based off of their relationship with the influencer – it’s the backbone of influencer marketing. It’s assumed for the most part that if an influencer is willing to attach their name and reputation to a brand, then it must be something of substance.
While larger influencers that work with agencies might be out of budget for a startup, there are many micro influencers with an audience of 1,000-10,000 followers. Given the correct match, you could easily partner with a micro influencer to have affordable access to your niche.
Backup the bigger picture concept
This is particularly useful if your product or service is trendy, and requires well-timed execution to reach a hot market.
That means you might be on a time crunch and do not have time to build social proof. In that case, find a celebrity endorsement of the overall concept – instead of specifically promoting your product.
With some compelling copy, you can craft a story that highlights the USPs of your product and how it fills the gap in the market.
Follow up with non-reviews
It’s not enough to send out an automated even after delivery asking for a product review, you should also follow up with non-responders. Emails get lost in between all the junk mail, and not everybody will open the reminder at a convenient time.
Of course, not everybody that makes a purchase will leave a review, but it’s worth giving it a shot through setting up a sequence in your autoresponder.
Respond to social media mentions
Whether positive or negative, it’s important to take the time to react to all social media comments and mentions. In fact, negative social comments present an opportunity for you to solve a problem and highlight your customer care experience.
You’ll want to pay attention to who’s talking about you online and respond promptly.
Keep content updated
Content is king when it comes to your digital marketing efforts. Your website, blog, and social media accounts all need tending to on a regular basis. If you fail to update or post something, it will look like you’ve either gone out of business or don’t care enough.
There has to be some form of life, so think about your online presence and how that comes across to new prospects.
Give massive discounts
Free might not be financially feasible for you, and that’s okay. If you absolutely have to cover your operating costs, then you can offer huge discounts for your products or services.
The most common way of doing so is by setting up an autoresponder that offers a discount on their next purchase after a review is left once the initial purchase has been made. So this works best for a physical product or more than one offering.
Able to write up a decent blog post? This can be your superpower! Your contribution is your time (or you can outsource it!) but it’s a great way for almost anybody to build up social proof.
If you’re able to produce high-quality content, it’s a low barrier to entry and you can get yourself published to a wider audience. Then, in turn, you can also use these publication’s logos on your website under a “featured in” section.
Build a professional network
There’s nothing as powerful as authentic relationships with peers in your industry. Actively engaging with their content on platforms, and importantly, purchasing their products or services! Most of the influencers that you are seeking an endorsement from have their own offerings, so buy something from them and share that on your social accounts – without any strings attached. It’s the quickest way to get on their radar.
These are some of the easy-to-implement methods to start building your social proof and increase conversions on your webpages. Reach out to your immediate circle, friends and family, if you have to – it will take less than 20 minutes to get started.
So, pick the types that make most sense for your brand and start using social proof today! Focus on just two types of social proof initially, until you’ve made significant progress. Then once you start building up social proof, it will keep rolling in – all different types; as will the subsequent conversions and sales!