How to Make The Best out of Your Online Store’s Social Proof

16 Dec 2015

We wrote previously why creating social proof is important for your online store. Now, we bring you concrete tips and tricks on how to make the best of it. Scroll down fore more and let us know what worked best for you!

It isn’t difficult to agree with the power of social proof.

In a world where we can buy pretty much any product we want, and with hundreds and thousands of sellers to buy from, we all tend to seek for a form of validation of basically every single purchase.

We do this in various ways and with the help of different information, some of them being social following numbers, expert mentions, testimonials, ratings and reviews.

There is also certain power in what’s called proof in numbers: results earned with a product/service, or the number of clients served.

But what is the right way to have an effective social proof, the one that works in your favor helps your conversion rate rise?

We have gathered some examples, expert opinions and tips you can apply to your online store straight away to make your own social proof work for you, too.

Social proof works better with pictures

Just because someone is telling the truth, it doesn’t mean that people will trust them.

It takes a lot more than just being trustworthy to appear that way.

This is why putting a face to the name makes sense.

Research results on “truthiness”showed that adding a picture next to words increased trustworthiness among all participants, even when the picture was “nonsensical” (illogical or meaningless).

Make your pictures good quality, relevant and positive.

Real people in your reviews will resonate with real people that are seeing these reviews, and it all eventually comes down to those people.

ModCloth does this in a brilliant way, by showcasing their own customers in outfits they have assembled.

ModCloth Social Proof

People are influenced by similar people

Aren’t you frustrated when you want to buy a product, but the testimonials you are scanning in order to make a decision are all from people that are in no way similar to you?

Being aware of who is your ideal customer (your buyer persona) can do wonders for your future potential customers in the long run.

So the more relatable you craft your testimonials, the better!

Kissmetrics also mentions things to avoid, and things that have the potential to perform great.

You might believe that saying “Great service!” in a testimonial might be building a good picture about you, but because it is so imprecise, it doesn’t work in your favor.

Instead, get as detailed as possible – present your testimonials in a way that shows a solution to a very real, very specific problem, because that is exactly what your potential customers need.

When your potential customers see how people and businesses very similar to themselves have had the similar problem solved, they will easily see you as a solution for their own issue, too.

Low social proof works against you

In a world where we’re bombed with an incredible amount of content, we often tend to look for validation of its quality by looking at the number of social sharings.

That can be misleading – but it’s all we got, so when we see a low number of social sharings, we often disregard the content.

This is why Rand Fishkin of Moz and Anne Stahl of Visual Website Optimizer make their cases about the low social proof making more damage than good.

If there is a number of blog posts or parts of your website that don’t show a social sharing number high enough to make people read it and share it, just exclude it – otherwise, it will do you more harm than good.

Your results can speak for themselves (a lot)

The number of clients you have helped, the results they have achieved, the amount of people that has purchased a product or a service from you (in the last week/month, or ever) can say a lot.

It says people want to do business with you, and it very often tells why.

Think of what your business does for its customers.

Does it save them money, or maybe time?

Does is provide them with a business solution that they wouldn’t get elsewhere?

Whatever you do for your current customers, you can do for your potential ones – so showcase it.

Here’s how Basecamp does it:

Basecamp Social Proof

Trust badges can improve your conversion rate

You maybe haven’t thought about this, but the way you deal with your business, your customers and their orders can tell a lot about your social proof, too.

To become your customers, people need to know their money and their payment details will be handled with the greatest care.

So why not let them you that you will?

There is a case study that has shown some badges to be increasing conversion rates by 30%.

The authors mention that naming a brand on a trust badge are not really representing a technical security feature, but rather an indication of trust from a third party.

They also showcase a heatmap of some recognized names, such as PayPal and McAfee.

Monetize BadgesBottom line: if you are dealing with other people’s money, it’s worth having a trust badge to add the (perceived) security to your business.

When working on your social proof, you want to make sure it represents you in a positive and trustworthy manner.

By following these simple tips, you will assure that there is no unnecessary clutter and that your social proof works in your favor, representing the best achievements of your business – satisfied customers and clients.

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