93% of potential buyers read online reviews before deciding whether to buy a product or not. And almost 90% of customers will trust a brand less if it has many negative customer reviews. In short, social proof works.
The type of reputation that a company has online has a huge impact on how successful it can be and how many sales it can make. And that’s why having a strategic process of implementing social proof in your eCommerce digital marketing is a crucial part of running a business in 2021 and beyond.
Build a Social Media Following
Social media is a key part of how your brand is perceived. Many users not only check the social media profiles of the brands they’re considering before making a purchase but actually discover the brands through the content they create and spread through various social media platforms.
Because of that, eCommerce stores that want to have a shot at getting noticed in their market and attract high-quality customers must have a comprehensive strategy of leveraging social proof, integrating new technologies, and showcasing the brand voice through social media.
But not all approaches are worthwhile. For instance, many shady eCommerce stores try to increase social proof by buying vast amounts of fake social media followers. But it’s very easy to see past these tactics, which means you can quickly destroy your reputation.
However, if you can get real Instagram followers, it will not only be a number on your page but will also result in much higher engagement, which is equally important when you’re trying to get your content to reach more people.
By creating unique content that’s designed to attract the right buyers, you can turn social media into a powerful sales and marketing tool. And when new customers stumble upon your pages, they will feel much more confident about buying from you because of the vibrant conversations and like-minded people that they find.
Feature Reviews on Your Site
Even though social media is important, the central place where eCommerce sales happen is your website. So you need to have a process for showcasing positive customer experiences to overcome any objections or doubts your site’s visitors might have.
For example, if you look at the Growthink reviews on their website, the company has created a separate page where they showcase reviews from customers that come from varying backgrounds. What’s more, the reviews themselves address different types of situations, goals, and concerns, providing a more complete picture of the types of services that the customers can expect.
And eCommerce stores can apply those same principles, using a more broad reviews page to showcase the positive experiences that customers have with the brand. At the same time, each product page should have reviews of its own that help prospective buyers better understand what they would be getting and how specific products solve problems.
Leverage Authority Figures
Reviews from customers are great, but they’re far from the only way to build social proof around your brand. In fact, sometimes, a single review from an authority figure that has sway with your audience can be more powerful than hundreds of testimonials from regular users.
There’s a reason why influencer marketing has proven to be one of the best ways to generate sales and increase reach for eCommerce businesses. Influencers have their own audiences that are very responsive to what they recommend, which means that even a single review can provide an influx of hundreds or even thousands of buyers for your business.
At the same time, it’s always good to have reputable experts weigh in on the products that you’re selling. If they can help your audience make a smarter decision about which products to choose, that can boost sales by removing friction and clarifying the best choice in any given situation.
The best way is to start with getting to know exactly who your ideal customer is. That will allow you to understand their browsing habits and the types of people they tend to follow on social media.
You can then use that info to reach out to influencers that you know your audience follows and agree on the terms of the promotion. It doesn’t even have to be an influencer with a large following, as someone with just a few thousand followers can produce great results if the audience is primed to be interested in the products your eCommerce store is selling.
Over time, having more influencers and prominent figures vouch for your brand and products will have a compounding effect, increasing brand trust and making it much easier to make sales.
Social proof is an integral part of running an eCommerce business. If your customers are going to buy from you, they need to know that they can trust your company and that other people have had positive experiences in the past.
With the steps listed above, you can create a comprehensive social proof strategy that provides plenty of reassurance on social media, your website, and the profiles of prominent influencers in your niche.