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5 Ways Startups Can Use Social Proof to Gain Credibility With Their Audience

Posted by Kanika Sinha

May 1, 2017

Your customers want to know what people think of your startup before they make a purchase. It’s part of human nature.

And, this is why social proof is an integral marketing tactic for your new company.

Here are five ways startups can use social proof to gain credibility with their audience. First, let’s look at social proof.

What is Social Proof?

It’s a psychological phenomenon. Social proof is based on the idea where people assume the actions and behavior of other people in order to reflect the “correct” behavior.

Social proof is based on conformity. For example, let’s say you sell business consulting services online. Before Susie signs up for your service, she hits the Internet to see what others think of you.

If she sees a positive review on your website, that’s social proof that someone finds your startup worthy. If she finds a bad review on social media, she rethinks her decision and digs deeper into your reviews.

When you use social proof, you are borrowing someone else’s influence to convince potential customers to buy what you are offering.

Let’s look at five ways you can use social proof.

#1: Customer Reviews

This is the most common type of social proof.

People believe what you have to say if they see that others feel positively about your startup.

In fact, more than two-thirds of people say they trust customer reviews online, and that number is growing every month.

When it comes to reviews, Google is king. Make sure that you have claimed your Google+ business page listing and filled out your profile because this is where your Google reviews live.

Make it easy for people to leave you a review on your website by posting a link to review sites like Google, Yelp, Facebook and others.

#2: Endorsements

Let’s say your startup sells high-end perfume. Can you imagine how powerful it would be if an A-lister actress endorsed your products?

Endorsements by celebrities and influencers are another powerful form of social proof.

If a well-known person compliments your product, make sure you share this on social media and your website.

Tip - consider sending samples to a targeted group of influencers and ask them to review your products.

#3: Badges of Approval

If an organization has given you their seal of approval, you want to showcase this on your website.

This could be the Better Business Bureau or a professional organization related to your business. It could also be the logo of any certifications you’ve received or a secure shopping badge.

A good place for these is the footer and about us and contact pages of your website.

#4: Subscriber Counts

If people have to sign up to use your service, you want to post information on your website saying how many people use it.

“Sign up for my consulting services,” doesn’t pack quite the punch as “Join 5,000 business owners just like yourself when you sign up for my consulting services.”

Your customers feel more comfortable in a crowd, so be sure and let them know just how “crowded” you are.

#5: Client Logos

Our final form of social proof is using the logos of others.

Display the logos of businesses that use your products or services. This lets people know that businesses just like theirs have trusted you.

Final Thoughts

Leveraging social proof to gain credibility with your audience is a good thing.

Social proof is a big influence on potential customers. Why does it exist?

It exists, because as humans, we want our actions validated. We want to know that others are okay with something before we try it.

After all, it’s much easier to make a decision because others think it’s a good idea than stepping over the ledge on our own.

Remember that social proof is a powerful force, and you want to use it to gain credibility and grow your business.

Are you a new startup ready to succeed? Are you looking to get your new business off the ground and watch it rise to success? We are here for you. We can help answer your questions and guide you through the process. Outsource your HR duties, finances, payroll and more to us. Contact Escalon today to get started.

Image: Anna Dziubinska


Kanika Sinha
Kanika Sinha

Kanika is an enthusiastic content writer who craves to push the boundaries and explore uncharted territories. With her exceptional writing skills and in-depth knowledge of business-to-business dynamics, she creates compelling narratives that help businesses achieve tangible ROI. When not hunched over the keyboard, you can find her sweating it out in the gym, or indulging in a marathon of adorable movies with her young son.

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