If you Google the term SOCIAL PROOF, one of the top definitions you find speaks to it being a psychological phenomenon of influence based on the actions of others. Big words!

Simply put, social proof can most clearly be defined as WORD of MOUTH. In short, we solve a problem by choosing the right product or service based on the opinion — the influence — of others.

And because we live in the Internet era, we most likely go online to seek out this influence. This is social proof!

So if you’re an entrepreneur who wants your product or service to be top-of-mind, then you need to understand how to cultivate social proof.

The following list shows how you can start small and work your way up towards building social proof for your business:

1. Credentials

If you’re a sole proprietor, link back to your relevant education and work experience by using the logos of the institutions and businesses where you honed your skills.

We’re proud to be OCAD University grads! Graduating from Canada’s largest and most comprehensive art, design and media university in Canada means we’ve been able to design the careers we love.

Where applicable, get certified or verified in your area of expertise and promote your achievement in your online profile.

Every business should measure its milestones: number of customers, partner brands and/or level of social engagement. If you’re an award-winning enterprise, be sure to share your achievements in social posts and in-store.

2. Testimonials

Make sure to include tools and tactics for inviting positive feedback about your business into your marketing strategy!

Each positive testimonial that you earn is a vote of confidence that cultivates social proof for your business:

  • Client testimonials on your website
  • Glowing customer reviews on third-party websites
  • 5-star ratings on your Google My Business profile
  • Positive client comments on your social posts
  • Positive social shares of your social posts
  • Blog posts featuring real-life case studies
  • An online portfolio or gallery illustrating client projects

Download Julabrand’s easy-to-use workbook to guide you through the process of developing a solid marketing strategy. It will help you take your brand to the next level!

3. Earned Media

Complimentary press coverage is a great and highly cost-effective way to build social proof.

If you can craft or cultivate good-news stories from the products or services you sell, they will go a long way towards building brand awareness for your business.

Always include or request a backlink to your website to harness the reach of viral marketing.

4. Wisdom of the Crowd

Invite your friends to try your products or services. In turn, their stamp of approval will spur an ever-increasing circle of friends to follow you on social media and buy from you, too!

As you earn the attention of an ever-increasing following and client base, your social proof will grow exponentially.

5. Endorsements

If you can engage an expert — an industry leader or influencer — in giving your product or service the stamp of approval, you’ll ride on the reach of their social stream. Sometimes an online shout-out or chat is all it takes.

If you can earn the endorsement of a celebrity, you’ve hit the jackpot!

Recommendations from people we know and trust carry far more weight than other types of promotion or advertising.

If you get good at inviting and engaging positivity online, you’ll build the social proof you need for business success!

Photo: Captured this billboard in Times Square, New York City.

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