Just Ask A Friend
When it comes to the impact that social proof has in our lives, the examples are more than abundant. Asking a friend, family member, or coworker about their experience at any given business is a basic interaction that we practice on almost a daily basis. These types of reviews are all around us and are vitally important in the digital age where social media is driving customers to businesses. Two of the top companies in the world, Google and Facebook, have a review system built into their platform so that each and every business can be reviewed and judged based on their performance. Social media has become an extension of that, where sharing our opinions, gripes and satisfaction about a business with our network is all too common. Whether we like to admit it or not, all of these “micro reviews” have an impact on how we perceive our own possible experience with a business and therefore determines our likelihood to spend our hard earned money with them. And if you’re one of those people who have never taken someone else’s opinion or a review into account and have never given your own opinion on any businesses ever, than I’d love to have a meeting with you at the rock you’ve been living under since the internet was born.
The fact is social proof is powerful, it’s not going anywhere anytime soon, and if you aren’t leveraging it to get your business more customers than you do not have a sustainable business. Don’t just take my word for it, let’s just look at some research in regards to social proof. In a case study by Hubspot.com, the lead generation expert platform revealed a small business made $1.2 Million through social media. Triumvirate Environmental managed to generate $1.2 Million in revenue with only 300 twitter followers when this study took place. Now you might be saying to yourself right now “Wow I my business has a much greater following than that!” but the question is how are you leveraging that following? I will tell you how you can utilize your social equity, but not just yet! Looking further into Triumvirate Environmental they have less than 10 overall reviews on Google for their 3 location but all of them are very good. Do you think their high ticket clients looking for a reliable partner saw those reviews compared to their competitors? You can bet your last dollar they did and that is the undeniable edge social proof gives in the business world today.
So how can you effectively utilize your social equity, especially online, to gain more profits for your business? It should go without saying that depending on your business space you should have a fully interactive social media presence across all platforms. Facebook is essential, Instagram is for aesthetically pleasing business types, and twitter is for high volume interaction with your ideal customers. Every platform you are on should be a daily part of your business priorities. Networking, customer outreach, related interaction in your community and space, and promotion should all be on your to-do list of social media priories on any given day. This process of building your social media presence is vital in creating the new storefront of the digital age, which is your social proof identity. Once you have a solid following you can start to understand leverage and the key behind your leverage will have to focus on to goals. The first goal is getting your ideal customers; those customers who are a perfect fit for your business because they are long term and return to work with you for a long time. The second goal should be keeping those long term customers. Now each business is different so once you identify your ideal customer, focus on what you can provide them in order to keep them because nothing will win you customers, other than social proof, like unmatched value. When working with my clients I am able to identify their ideal customer very quickly and then I look at the amount of value their business provides compared to their competition. There is many tactics you can use to give as much value as possible to your customers but the best way to decide what to offer is look at what is working right now. Take Amazon for example. How did they create return customers? By creating the prime membership that contains a plethora of incentives to continue to shop with them. Maybe memberships don’t fit your business type but that’s not the point, look at what other companies are doing and think incentives for your ideal customer. You aren’t going to reinvent the wheel, so don’t try.