Use Social Proof to Get More Business
This week’s post is from one of our most in-demand business growth speakers, Ford Saeks. Ford consistently earns rave reviews and the feedback we receive most often is how practical, tactical and immediately implementable his tips and tools are for franchisees, area developers and multi-unit owners.
Check out Ford in action below.
Use Social Proof to Get More Business
By Ford Saeks
You see examples of social proof every day. Social proof builds trust, credibility and helps gain a competitive edge. Beyond client testimonials, case studies and customer reviews, it’s in the star ratings on Amazon, the number of likes on Facebook, the video views on YouTube and the followers on Twitter.
Recent statistics tell us that 74% of consumers trust peer recommendations (social proof) and only 14% trust advertisements. Even if you don’t agree with the stats, you’ll agree that you’re influenced by what your friends, peers and independent recommendations say more than advertisements.
This is why each concept my integrated marketing firm develops—from a website to an entire brand overhaul—includes social proof.
Here are four ways you can use social proof to ramp up your franchise’s business:
It’s hard to ignore the power of recommendations from people with whom you’ve done business. Buyers want to purchase from someone they feel they can trust; by displaying testimonials, your prospects are getting a third party endorsement which helps them feel confident they’re making a sound decision.
Text, audio and video testimonials should be used like spices…salt and pepper them throughout your website and marketing materials—just don’t overdo it.
- Media Exposure
Without going too far off topic, it’s important to recognize that “media exposure” can be categorized into two main types— traditional media and social media methods. Social proof includes both types.
When your prospects read your name in print, hear you on the radio, or see you on TV, it helps to influence top-of-mind awareness. They come to regard you as an expert resource, and ultimately, someone they might like to do business with.
Now for social media…If your franchise doesn’t have its own Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn and Pinterest account, you’re missing out on business! And I’m not just talking about your franchisor’s Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn and Pinterest—I’m talking about your franchise, specifically. A franchise’s local social media strategy has become an increasingly important aspect of searching on Google, Yahoo and Bing.
Remember, social media is where your customer and potential customers are interacting on a daily basis. Your franchise’s likes, shares, re-tweets and +1s are the new way to drive traffic to your business.
- Visible Buzz
If you or your franchise have been published or featured in traditional media sources, then showcase it (tactfully). You can do this in a number of ways: create a news release, add the appearance to a media section or media page on your website, or display the source and media logos on your website and in your marketing materials.
- Mystery Searching (a.k.a. Mystery Shopping)
This is a simple exercise that you can do right now: Just go to your favorite search engine—Google, Yahoo or Bing—and type in your business to see what shows up on the Search Results Pages (SERPS).
Along with your website, do your social media profiles appear? Research shows that potential customers or clients are now aware of and concerned with your franchise’s number of Facebook likes, blog comments, re-tweets on Twitter, connections and recommendations on LinkedIn, and views on uploaded videos.
So what do you think? Remember: your prospects are influenced by what your friends, peers and independent recommendations say more than advertisements. Could you utilize just one or two of the ideas above to provide your potential customers with the social proof they need to make a buying decision? Utilizing social proof is a sure way to ramp up your franchise’s business!
Ford seems to have and endless supply of practical, tactical tips and we know from experience, your franchisees will thank you for bringing Ford in to help them grow their businesses!
Let us know if you are interested in bringing Ford in to work with your team.
P.S. Here’s a note for a recent client on Ford’s impact with their team…
“Ford Saeks was our guest speaker at a recent Area Developer Retreat and our attendees absolutely LOVED him! His material was ‘spot-on’ for what we wanted delivered and his actionable take-aways truly resonated with our team. What impressed me the most was the amount of homework that Ford did to really understand our company, our culture and our content objectives for the Retreat. Logistically, he was a dream to work with from our initial planning call to texting us with updates on his travel, Ford never left us guessing. The only thing I would change would to have been able to give him more time on our agenda. I know he has so much more he can bring to our team! We look forward to using Ford again in the near future.”
— Karen Halman, Director of Training, Liberty Tax Service