2 Genius Ways To Use Social Proof To Boost Your Startups Credibility

November 2, 2016

8:30 pm

By showing social proof for your company’s product or service, consumers are influenced to make more rapid decisions. The more forms of social proof you can cultivate the greater chance you will have to increase credibility for your business.

Gregory Ciotti, the marketing pro at Help Scout, had this to say:

“In 2013 and beyond, social proof will gain in importance because customers are becoming more informed all the time. With the power of the internet at their fingertips, customers can know an immense amount of information before ever speaking with a salesperson.”

The goal is to increase conversions by giving evidence that you are accepted by others. Visitors, influencers, subscribers, and buyers all trust you. This kind of “informational social influence” is a simple and powerful way to improve the initial value judgment of your landing pages, your site, and your company.

1. Customer Ratings, Reviews, and Testimonials

As a business owner, you should think of the most creative ways possible to get consumers to leave feedback and tell their experience about using your product or service. It is one of the best ways to use social proof to make your business look trustworthy.  Paid advertisements do not necessarily mean your business is legitimate, but reviews from users will go a long way to get your customers trust meter up.

The power of testimonials rests in their objectivity. When someone outside of the brand does the talking, in theory, the credibility is higher. Product and service reviews become particularly powerful when the opinions of larger populations are accounted for.

Customer reviews and testimonials are becoming important forms of social proof in consumer decision-making. According to a 2012 Local Consumer Review Survey, 72 percent of consumers trust online reviews more than personal recommendations. Sixty-five percent of review readers view 2-10 reviews, and 58 percent trust a business with positive online reviews.

2. Social Likes and Shares

According to Alexa, three of the top ten most globally visited sites are social websites. Topping the list are Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, with the social video-sharing platform YouTube in the mix as well. The rest of the list is comprised of search engines and Wikipedia (another site considered social). Robert Swisher, the Chief Technology Officer at had this to say:

“As the search engine landscape constantly changes and engine algorithms are continuously refined, one signal is clear: user engagement is of the highest value. Sharing more of your company's content means more visits, engagement, and link-sharing from others in your network.”

As you share more, the domino effect ensues. You share more, and then your network will share more, assuming you are spreading relevant content. It's social proof. If you can get your network's network to share, that's how content goes viral —the gold medal of content sharing.

Sharing creates links, clicks, visits, brand impressions and engagement, all of which lead to a positive impact for your company. It is easy to add social media share and like buttons to your blog to show the number of tweets, likes, and shares for every post. This social proof could backfire if you don’t have many votes of confidence. It's a two-way street.


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Dr. Shuford is a 5 time Published Author and has been featured in the Upstart Business Journal, Jacksonville Business Journal, and Huffington Post, to name a few. Dr. Shuford also runs a veteran-owned and operated technology company (Tech From Vets) and contributes to over 15 major publications.