Social proof will multiply the effects
A crucial part of Customer Lifecycle Marketing is seeking feedback from your audience. This feedback can be used not only for your own data analysis, but also as social proof in the form of reviews and testimonials that tell prospective audience members what they can expect from you. Social proof brings so much valuable feedback about your customers that is shouldn’t be overlooked.
Why Social Proof Matters
Social proof is the most powerful promotion you could hope for. Rather than you, the business itself, telling people how great you are, someone else is singing your praises.
Reviews and testimonials help people make buying decisions. Most of us read reviews before making major, or even minor, purchases. Your goal as a marketer isn’t to sell, but to help people make the right buying decisions. This is what leads to customer satisfaction. Social proof lets your customers educate each other.
The feedback you get through social proof is also valuable in itself. With a number of honest reviews, you’ll start to see patterns of things you do well and areas you can improve. A negative review gives you a chance to respond and help a customer fix a problem. Others will see this, and your stellar customer service will make you stand out from the crowd.
Finally, when a person writes a review or testimonial, they’re taking a step towards deepening their relationship with you. This form of engagement makes them feel more invested in the relationship with your brand.
How to Get Social Proof
Find the right places to ask for social proof. People will sometimes write reviews spontaneously, but you’ll get better results if you simply ask. Right after purchase is usually a good time to ask, but you may find that other places work just as well or even better. For example, someone might be very happy about some of your content which helped them solve a key problem they faced.
Reach out to your most vocal advocates. These are the people in your audience who have big social media followings and write often about the brands they love. Try to find bloggers who’d be willing to blog about you.
Make gathering and publishing social proof part of your regular routine. Many business owners get reviews and testimonials to adorn their websites and then never update them. It’s important to have fresh content, so make it a regular part of your marketing activities.
You can offer incentives as a way of saying thanks for a review, but don’t bribe people. You never want to be buying your reviews and testimonials – in order for them to be effective, they must be honest.
For those of us who perhaps struggle with the more traditional marketing activities, Customer Lifecycle Marketing is a more personal and organic way of marketing. Since it focuses on relationships, social proof is a major key to its success.
Other posts in the Customer Lifecycle Marketing series:
Want to learn more about using Customer Lifecycle Marketing to benefit your bottom line? Check out our Marketing through the Customer Lifecycle 30 minute webinar. You’ll be glad you did.