If someone told you she was a world-class juggler but never juggled so much as three apples in your presence, how likely would you be to believe her?
Granted, you’re probably not too concerned with whether this person can juggle, but what if there were money on the line? What if you needed a great juggler for your child’s birthday party, and the purported juggler wanted a $300 deposit up front?
(Well, we’d probably say you’re paying way too much for a juggler, but that’s another issue entirely.)
The fact is, most people don’t want to dole out their hard-earned cash simply on your promise that you can do something. They want to see examples. At the very least, they want to hear endorsements from other satisfied clientele.
This is where social proof comes in. If the juggler in question had endorsements from the World Juggling Federation (we have no idea whether that’s an actual thing, but we hope so), you’d feel much more comfortable giving her your business. If her juggling skills had been reviewed extensively (and positively) on Yelp or a similar site, you would know you’re getting a juggler you could count on.
Social proof makes potential customers comfortable frequenting a business. It could be a line outside a nightclub, a local trend on Twitter or Facebook, a citation from a well-regarded local media outlet. Whatever it is, it tells the consumer that you can do what you say you can do—and not just because you’re saying it.
When people visit your landing page, they don’t know whether your offer is any good. This is when you need to sway them with quotes from happy customers, embedded tweets, Better Business Bureau citations, etc. It adds authority and trustworthiness, establishing your business as the real deal.
Here are some great ways to put social proof to work on your landing page:
Testimonials: We’re not reinventing the wheel here, but you’d be surprised at how many businesses never even think to elicit short quotes from their happy customers.
Whenever possible, boost the credibility of these testimonials by including a full name, company, and even a photo. Fake testimonials are easy to drum up, so they’re essentially worthless. Make sure your visitors know these are real people.
Case studies: You can add even more legitimacy to testimonials by pairing them with case studies. If your services solved a substantial problem, write up a short case study that explains exactly what you accomplished, including key details.
Social sharing buttons: These are most useful if information your page is being shared on sites such as LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook. The buttons show how many times your page has been Liked and shared. That’s its own form of social proof. You can add social sharing buttons to every piece of content you create.
Embedded social media posts: Monitor your social media presence regularly to find tweets, Facebook posts, Instagram posts, and other social media mentions that positively reflect your brand. Embedding these posts display your reach and authority.
Trust seals: We mentioned the Better Business Bureau badge earlier. Use this and other trust seals to help potential customers feel more comfortable in filling out contact forms and considering your business.