The marketing landscape has tremendously changed over the recent years. From modern technologies to increased consumer skepticism, change is imminent. Consumer buying habits and effective marketing tactics are entirely different from how they once were. Social proof is the social and psychological event where other people’s attitudes, beliefs, and actions influence people’s behavior.
The Social Proof Theory: Coined in Robert Cialdini’s book “Influence” states that if a person doesn’t know what the correct behavior is for a situation, they’ll seek others to guide their actions. Individuals follow what the masses do and if a large group shows a specific behavior, people perceive and believe it to be correct. In the digital marketing arena, this idea is used to guide consumers toward buying brands’ products or services by offering online social proof that other clients have tested and approved these products and services.
"Often we don’t realize that our attitude toward something has been influenced by the number of times we have been exposed to it in the past."
There are many types of social proofs, including customers, experts, certifications, crowds, celebrities, testimonials, reviews, ratings, friends, social shares, and connections. Essentially, human beings take statements at face value. They investigate and look for evidence to confirm the statement making social proof crucial to any business, including nonprofits. By incorporating social proof into your digital marketing strategy, you can reap many online and offline benefits.
- Improving search rankings via blog content, reviews, and website testimonials
- Building trust with customers
- Increase conversions
- Improving SEO and web traffic
- Boosting credibility and conveying value
- Increasing online reputation and brand awareness
- Growing social media following as more people see the value in the brand
To ensure you leverage the full power of social proof, this article will discuss how you can showcase your social proof, where to put testimonials, awards or recommendations, and social media testimonials.
Showcasing social proof can significantly increase your nonprofit’s appeal by taking advantage of the existing support to encourage action and increase popularity. It will trigger actions like, “Wow! All these people donated. I should too.” Or “My favorite celebrity shared this nonprofit’s post and is following them on Twitter. I should share and follow too.” Social proof is a catalyst for action and conversions.
It’s a simple but effective strategy that many organizations often overlook. By adding social proof to your nonprofit website, you could see a spike in donations, social engagement, and an increase in the number of volunteers- all great things that would positively affect your organization. With such benefits, you must do more with it, and below are a few ideas to help you better showcase social proof in your website content.
Strength in Numbers
Instead of using the normal call-to-action- “Sign up for our newsletter,” “Donate now,” etc. - you can rephrase them to impact more. You can do this by showing the number of people that have already taken action and invite others to follow suit. By doing this, you’ll be relaying a message, “See, all these people are doing it already. This is a good thing and you don’t want to miss out.” It also shows that you’ve already set up a community of supporters that others will want to join. No one enjoys being an outsider.
Evidence of support
Allow the audience to see your work is more effective than speaking for them. Show people how long you’ve been in operation, the partners you have gained, and the donations you’ve received. Testimonial shows impact and proof to prospective supporters that their time and money wouldn’t be wasted if they supported your organization. You can strategically place these throughout the website, especially near calls to action, to show that your organization is making a difference. Group and display testimonials based on the targeted groups, such as volunteer and donor reviews, to attract each group.
Where to Put Testimonials
You’re already aware of how effective testimonials are in your marketing strategy. Positive feedback from previous consumers on a website is a tested and proven strategy to increase conversions. Putting testimonials at crucial areas in your audiences’ browsing journey can help convince them to act. Here are four locations you must consider:
- Homepage: this is a perfect place to place your testimonials as it gets the most hits of any page on the website. This means that visitors will see your positive customer feedback, even if they don’t browse further. The testimonials will often prompt them to explore more. Besides, positive testimonials will help you establish a good first impression.
- Projects pages: Project pages showcase your past, present, and future projects. By placing testimonials on these pages, you’ll establish credibility in your projects and show your visitors that you’re using actual people for the success of your projects.
- Donation page: this is a crucial location to place your testimonials. You should place your testimonials using numbers to motivate other donors to support your cause. It will prompt potential donors to act after seeing the number of people who’ve already and are currently donating on the platform.
- Landing pages: it is essential to place the relevant testimonials if the website is running paid advertising campaigns. These testimonials will reach more people attracting their attention and persuading them to act. They’ll help establish a great first impression as well.
If your business or organization has been ranked on top lists or won awards in your industry, show this stuff off. It’s a perfect way of letting visitors know that the organization is known for its excellence and is performing. Consumers would rather connect or buy from a certified and award-winning brand rather than one without proof of merit. Include testimonials about previous donors and volunteers on your nonprofit’s site to show public gratitude and recognition for the help received.
Social Media Testimonials
Social media is a powerful marketing tool with billions of users around the world. Gathering reviews on social media is one of the most effective ways of helping with social proof. These social media testimonials can be shared or integrated into the website using plugins. Besides, the Google My Business feature allows businesses to create a directory that shows up when visitors Google the business. This provides a perfect avenue for clients, donors, and volunteers to leave reviews. It also creates a featured snippet in Google search results where reviews can show up, pulling reviews from Facebook and other directory media platforms as well. With impressive social media testimonials, you will attract more partners, volunteers, and donors, which will improve your sign-ups and donations. Adding testimonials next to a call-to-action (CTA) can improve follow-throughs for the CTA and prompt more people to donate or sign up for your course.
Social proof is key in any online and offline marketing strategy. It is especially important for nonprofits to influence potential customers, volunteers, partners, and donors by leveraging external customer advocacy and validation. It empowers your real customers to tell your story, which will pull in more consumers. This enables you to build trust with customers, improve search rankings, increase conversions, boost credibility, convey value, and increase your online reputation and brand awareness, among other benefits. Knowing how to showcase your social proof and where to place your testimonials will ensure you get the maximum benefits.