Put yourself in this scenario:
You and your friends are craving spaghetti, and you’re trying to decide between two different Italian restaurants. One has been recommended by a friend and has a 5 star rating on Yelp. The other has a slightly lower price point. Which restaurant does your group choose to go to?
Chances are, you’ve chosen the first restaurant. The recommendation and positive reviews are examples of “social proof.” Social proof is a powerful and influential selling tool.
So what is social proof, exactly? Wikipedia sums it up as “a psychological phenomenon where people assume the actions of others in an attempt to reflect correct behavior for a given situation.”
When we are unable to make a decision, we tend to favor taking an action that is backed up by others. For website owners, social proof can build credibility and increase website traffic. For business owners, social proof can significantly increase conversions and sales. Here are four ways to harness social proof to your advantage:
1) Post positive reviews of your business right on your home page.
Don’t be afraid to brag- if you’ve got it, flaunt it. Collect reviews for your business through email, social media pages, blog comments, etc. Try placing a 1-4 short reviews on your homepage, or create an entire testimonial page dedicated to the glowing praise that you’ve received.
With the Website.com editor, a great way to incorporate reviews into your website design is to add a chat bubble for each positive review. Just click Add > Shapes & Lines > Chat Bubble, and customize the bubble and text with the appropriate colours and fonts.
2) Allow social sharing and liking.
When visitors see that your website is popular and well loved, they’ll be intrigued to know what the buzz is about, and be more likely to turn into a fan. Include social media icons on your header or footer.
An easy way to do this in the Website.com editor is to add social media buttons. After you’ve created your social media profiles, add buttons on your website that allow users to follow or like your page. Choose Add > Social Media and add the social media buttons that you need. Pretty soon, you’ll be getting Facebook likes, pinned on Pinterest, or tweeted about on Twitter!
3) Create a blog and encourage comments.
A blog can help you build up a fanbase, and also lets visitors know that your site is active.
You can add a blog right within the Website.com editor. Just hit Add > Blog. Be sure to enable the comments in the blog settings!
4) Create profiles on review sites.
Visitors regularly flock to the internet to see if your services and products are reputable and trustworthy. Create profiles on review sites such as Yelp so that curious visitors can read reviews about how wonderful you are.
How are you going to incorporate social proof into your website? Let us know your plans!
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Brent Gilbert says (Dec 16, 2016):
Thank you for making this dummy proof!!!
Website.com says (Dec 16, 2016):
Glad you enjoyed the read, Brent! Although we're sure you're no dummy ;)