Social proof is the “I’ll have what he’s having” of marketing. When people are talking about your organization outside of your marketing, unsolicited–be it with friends, with family, or on social media–these are all forms of social proof.
Social proof is also the most important form of marketing while also being the most difficult to attain. It is the one thing you cannot hire someone to do for you over a weekend and something that is completely out of your control.
But that doesn’t mean it’s impossible.
The most successful way to get organic social proof is obvious—be good at what you do and reach a lot of people.
If you’re reading this right now, we’re assuming you’re already really good at what you do, but you’d like to get people talking about it.
Sometimes, no matter how great you are, even your most enthusiastic supporters need a bit of a nudge to start talking about how awesome you are.
Below are a few ways to get people to vouch for you.
Guide people to review you on Google
This is the least effort for you but will reap the highest rewards, SEO-wise.
People often do not think to review on Google. Not naturally. Speaking for myself, as someone who writes for the Internet, I can count on one hand the number of places I’ve reviewed on Google, and it’s usually been for a really, really good reason.
But one of the first things to show when someone searches your business is the Google reviews on the right panel of the page.
Before a potential visitor even clicks on your result, they’ll see your rating.
This can be excellent if the reviews are great, or it could be not-so-great if the reviews are less than stellar.
One way to encourage people to review you on Google is to ask them directly after working with them–whether in person, by email, or by phone. While it might be slightly awkward, people will have no problem leaving a positive review if the interaction was good.
Check out our article on how to get Google reviews for your business for a more in-depth look.
Ask people for testimonials
If someone tells you how awesome you are, you can use that quote on your site (as long as you ask their permission first, of course).
Many of our clients use this to promote specific programs or products as a way to promote a specific thing on their website. For example, one of our clients recently used testimonials to promote specific seasonal workout classes at her gym.
This allowed potential visitors to hear what an actual participant felt about the class–from their own words. It gave direct insight that your website descriptions simply cannot give.
Asking for testimonials is similar to asking for Google reviews, but you have to be more direct about it. You can also use Google reviews on your site as a form of testimonials (reach out to us if you’d like help implementing that on your site).
One quick way to get testimonials is to send an email survey with a comment box right after you’ve finished working with them. You can also ask people directly via email, or if you work closely with them, you can ask them in person.
Get active on social media
While social media can be difficult to master, you will get some engagement if you grow your audience and speak directly to them.
If you use social media to speak directly to your target audience, they will hear you.
The algorithm can keep people from seeing your posts on their feed as it continues to change, but you can give them a reason to visit your page on specific days (for example, if you post certain content every Monday, it may give people a reason to visit your page specifically on that day).
This familiarity can get people to interact with your posts more regularly if they feel like part of the community.
I’ve worked with organizations that interview people integral to their mission–be it relevant influencers in the field, people who have been impacted directly by the organization who want to tell their story, or people within your own organization.
If you interview and write a story about someone, they will likely share that story with their audience. It also gives a human face to an organization.
Overall, the most important thing is to engage with the people already supporting you. If someone feels a personal connection with what you are offering, that is the most valuable thing you can ask for. The best social proof is a strong community surrounding you cultivated by caring about what you do and caring about those you already serve.
Need help on any of the technical stuff we’ve listed above? We’re here to help!