Social proof has become an important quality, or rather a signal of trust and relevance for both B2C and B2B companies. Leads simply love to see how others have rated a company before they embark on any kind of journey with it.
However, incorporating said social proof on your landing pages can be somewhat of a challenge: how do you add all those positive reviews, without it coming off as bragging?
Here are seven examples to illustrate how you can still use social proof on your pages effectively, without turning a lead’s nose up and provoking any unwanted reactions.
Types of social proof
Let’s first briefly touch on the different kinds of social proof sources you can work with:
- Customers – testimonials or case studies involving existing customers
- Experts – renowned individuals in your industry
- Influencers – celebrities or people with large social media followings
- Third parties – websites and communities where companies are rated
Make it real and don’t aim for perfection
Some websites strive to incorporate only the very best reviews and make themselves look flawless.
However, since there is absolutely no realistic chance that a business will provide the exact same stellar experience to every customer (and this has more to do with the customer than the business), trying to come out perfect can often only backfire.
Let’s take the positive example of Cubefunder, a short term business loan lender, who have listed a 4.1 review from Trustpilot on their page: this is far from perfect, yet it is real and honest, and it does a good job of converting visitors.
Incorporate more than one source
Incorporating testimonials from your customers is a great option. However, it can come off as a bit staged, especially if all you do is quote some of your most important and high-profile customers.
If you don’t refresh these testimonials and always rely on the same set of them, you won’t be adding any real social proof value to your pages either.
Here is an example from Forms on Fire, a mobile forms app for businesses, who have incorporated reviews from four different review sources on their landing page. This offers their leads a chance to check out a plethora of reviews, all from third-party and reliable sources.
Showcase the success of others
You will often see amazing conversions when you manage to inspire people to take an action they have always wanted to take, but needed some motivation and drive.
Shopify, an online ecommerce platform, has an entire section of their website dedicated to showcasing the success stories of their own customers. This does not only raise the profile of these brands, but it also provides some great motivation for other brands in the same market segment and industry who are only looking to start their own ecommerce store.
Of course, you don’t have to make your social proof as elaborate as this – but you can use it to your advantage to a smaller degree.
Leverage media mentions
You’ll notice that a lot of websites like to point out that they have been featured by Forbes, The New York Times, Esquire, and other major names in the digital or offline publishing industry.
While this is an excellent way to grab some attention, if you just slap the logo of a major website onto your landing page, you are not actually showing your leads how you have been featured and when.
Focus on solutions
It’s one thing to utilize social proof to show that someone was satisfied with your service, your product, or your customer service team – and another to show how what you offer has changed someone’s life or business for the better.
Here is the example of Basecamp, a project management tool, who have created a very nifty page showcasing the befores and afters of their satisfied users. They are choosing to focus on the solutions they provide, and the way their tool has made their customers feel, rather than delving into the specifics of what it can do.
Trust seals and security measures
If you collect your customer’s sensitive data (this especially applies to credit cards), including a trust seal on your pages (especially your checkout pages) can do a lot to promote more purchases and reduce the number of your abandoned carts.
You can use a software like Norton, Avast, McAfee, and so on, to ensure that your website is as safe and secure as it can be, and advertise this fact prominently – but do make sure that your security is in fact top-notch, as you don’t want to experience any unwanted issues after relying on the trust seal to close more deals.
Social share counters vs. click to share
Social share counters were once very popular, but are more of a spam alert nowadays, as there are plugins that can be tampered with to show more shares than you actually have.
On the other hand, knowing who has already shared an article is a great way to inspire additional shares, so your best option is to make sharing easy, without resorting to a counter.
You can do this via a click to share and click to tweet button, and you should, by all means, incorporate an easy share option for different social networks at the top or bottom of the post – but use a counter only if all of your posts are getting decent shares (as a whole lot of zeros can be quite discouraging).
While social proof is certainly a great way to inspire more conversions, do bear in mind that it’s not the most important aspect of your landing page. Having a lot of recommendations will not count for much if the service or product itself is not represented well, and if your potential customers are unsure of what they are getting.
Focus on the design and copy of your landing pages first. Once you have that aspect down, think about the best ways to add social proof to the page as well – and remember that you don’t need to utilize it on every single landing page. Do some A/B testing and see how different pages with or without social proof perform, and take it from there.