By Kate Wilson
–Kate Wilson works at JetFeeds and writes about small business and marketing. Here she explains why social proof matters.
Here’s the situation: You’re craving noodles. Real noodles. We’re not talking the 10-for-$1 package of Ramen ones you used to slurp down in your dormitory. You want noodles that are authentic and made by people with a true love for Asian cuisine. So what do you do?
If you’re like most people, you perform a geo-targeted search on Google, check out the Yelp ratings and head to the restaurant that fits the bill. Easy-peasy.
Hold on there. How in the world did you know where to go? Why did you choose one eatery over the other? How is it you trusted your palate to the whims of the Internet? In two words: street cred.
Street cred is that thing that makes us feel comfortable picking one product or service over the other. It’s the reason you’re so-so about purchasing generic cereal, but will scarf down even the weirdest-sounding breakfast item with a Kellogg’s label. As an entrepreneur or small business owner, you can harness the power of street cred and build your business. Here’s how.
7.) Show your shares
If I see a post you’ve written or a video you’re showcasing and it has more than 200 shares, I’m probably going to get curious. Why did so many people like it? Why didn’t I know about it sooner?
Note: There are platforms and software that allow you to only show your shares if they are above a certain number; this means content that wasn’t as popular won’t reveal that fact to viewers.
6.) Get happy customers to speak up
Ah, the testimonial. What would we be without it? Whenever possible, gather testimonials from happy clams and put those testimonials on your site. Check out these three examples. The more well-written, emotional and detailed your testimonials, the better.
5.) Give ‘em something to consider
Does what your company offers clients lend itself to illustration in the form of a case study, such as interior designs, mobile devices, improvement in processes? Then what are your waiting for? Get pictures, gather data and use it to convince readers that you’re really as good as you say you are. Case studies make people feel like they can trust you to bring them a similar outcome.
4.) Add a ticker for number of users, clients served, etc.
Numbers motivate – why else would McDonald’s put emphasis on how many burgers they’ve served over the decades? You can add tickers to tell your readers anything you want, from how many clients you’ve helped to how much money you’ve saved your customers. As long as the number is legitimate and a little impressive, you’re on your way to street cred.
3.) Have active social media accounts
Be sure to keep your social media accounts up to date. Use them, engage with your customers and don’t let more than a few days go by without logging on. There’s nothing more pathetic than a business Facebook page that’s updated once a quarter. The more people you can get to talk about you, the more free advertising and credibility you’ll reap.
2.) Encourage endorsements
Know someone who has had a great experience with you or your business and who’s an influencer in his or her sphere? Ask for an endorsement on his or her blog or social media pages. Remember what happened when Oprah — one of the biggest influencers ever – would talk about a new book? That can happen with your organization, too, if you get an influencer to rave.
1.) Get a sponsor
Specifically, this refers to Facebook sponsorship. You’ll pay for the service through Facebook ads, but if your content is strong enough, a Facebook sponsored post can go viral. It’ll be seen in relevant newsfeeds, and will help build name recognition.
Never underestimate the power of street cred to give your company a lift. It’s exactly what can make the difference between having a terrible year or a bang-up one. Pick the bang-up one – your wallet and employees will be happier.
Image credit: Social media images are shared under CC licenses vs PhotoPin.
About the author
Some might call me a digital wordsmith. Okay, I might call me a digital wordsmith. I write things on the internet to motivate people to be the best version of themselves. Follow me on Twitter @kateowilson for more on writing and inspirational words of wisdom.
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