You may have heard the term ‘social proof’ floating around. But do you know what it means and, more importantly, how to incorporate it into your social strategy?

Simply put, social proof is the influence that other can have on our decision making. This could be a recommendation from a friend, checking TripAdvisor for reviews ahead of dinner, or a #ad you’ve seen whilst scrolling Instagram.

Here are just a few of the ways you could be leveraging social proof within your social media marketing to help gain the trust of your audience.

Reviews

Do you read the reviews before you book a holiday, pick a restaurant to eat in, or try out a new beauty product? The answer is probably yes and your potential customers are likely doing this too. In fact, research shows that 91% of people trust online reviews.

It’s pretty easy for customers to leave reviews, whether it be via Facebook recommendations, TripAdvisor, Trust Pilot, Google Reviews etc. Which means it’s also easy for your audience to find them too. However, you want to make sure potential customers are seeing the ones that best represent your business and product / service, so it’s important to make sure you’re sharing these reviews to your social channels too!

Influencers

Whilst it can sometimes seem like social media is saturated with #spon and paid partnerships, influencer marketing is still an incredibly powerful tool. In fact, over half of women have made a purchase based on an influencer recommendation!

It’s simply about finding the right people to work with. It’s important to partner with influencers whose views and content align with your brand and whose audience is your audience.

It’s not all about the numbers either, with many brands turning to micro-influencers over those with hundred of thousands of followers. Whilst they may have a smaller following, their content tends to be more specific and the smaller audience size means it’s easier for them to communicate and build relationships with their followers. Perfect when it comes to building trust!

 

Engage with your audience

We can spend a lot of time putting content out, crafting the perfect caption and working out what your audience want to see – but it’s important not to forget to engage with your audience too! Make sure you’re keeping an eye on your mentions (especially when it come to any queries or complaints!) respond to customers, ask them questions and make them know that their opinion matters.

Behind the scenes

This may not be relevant for everyone, but giving your followers a little insight into the people behind your brand can be a brilliant way to gain trust. It can be all too easy for people to forget that there’s real people behind an Instagram account or a Twitter feed, but letting them see the names and faces within the company can remind them that you’re people too! Whether you’re giving an insight into office life, hosting a Q&A with your company’s founder, or showing the behind the scenes of you latest campaign, it’s sure to make people feel involved.

UGC

UGC is a simple and effective way to create authenticity and trust with the customer. In fact, according to a recent survey, consumers are 2.4 times more likely to see UGC as authentic, compared to brand-created content! UGC can be made up of anything from a customer photo on Instagram to a tweet on Twitter which you then choose to re-tweet and share for your audience to see.

If you want to incorporate UGC into your social strategy (and we think you should!) then check out our more in-depth blog post here!

Here at South Coast Social we’re all about working with our clients to create authentic and on-brand content, whilst creating communities of engaged followers. If you think you’d like to learn a little more about what we do, don’t hesitate to get in touch!

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