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Social proof is a concept in online marketing that defines the credibility of a person or business online. It is also a factor that impacts how the search engines view and rank your website. Social proof is a measure of trust among your customers and potential customers, and a way of establishing your integrity and expertise as a business owner.

So how do you earn social proof?

Social Proof Starts with Being Social

With the growth of social media like Google+, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and others, you must be social when it comes to online marketing. Friends of friends actually do care about what their friends and family are doing, saying and buying. The actions of the influencers in your life actually help determine the actions you might take.

Friends Contribute To Your Net Worth

Studies show that your closest friends influence not only your happiness but also your net worth. Who you connect with online does matter. Seek to connect and build relationships with others in your market. This will boost your status and visibility. It can also help when you want to share your products and services with a wider audience.

Word-of-Mouth Is Imperative

Word-of-mouth recommendations for products and services are the most trusted type of marketing or advertising. If your best friend says she likes something, you can usually be sure you’ll feel the same way. If someone you trust says they found value in something, you feel confident that you will too.

Social Proof Takes Time and Effort

Developing and increasing your social proof happens through interaction on social media, blogging, and participating in your community. It doesn’t matter if your community is online or offline, being an active participant will go far in creating the social proof that you need to be seen as a trustworthy source of information. The more people who start quoting you, the more people who friend you, follow you, and retweet your information, the more social proof you collect.

Use the Tools of the Trade

Create content and share it. Create branded social media URLs, along with a consistent image and profile information. Once a person reads, enjoys, likes, shares and comments on something that you have written, they’ll be more likely to see search results that your work appears in.

Before online marketing we already knew that customers were more likely to tell people if they had a bad experience or disliked a service than if it was good. The tide has shifted somewhat in how people behave now that we have online communication and social media. Today, a person who likes something is likely to share with more than 1000 people over time due to the connections of others. Earning social proof is not something you can ignore if you want to market online successfully.

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