We use social proof as a shortcut in our real-world decision making every day. Things seem easier to buy when others validate that it’s a smart option. Social proof is powerful in situations where people don’t have the facts they need to make an informed decision. To help resolve uncertainty, people look for clues in their environment to help them determine their best guess at “truth.” They assume the actions of others reflect the correct behavior for them, too.
Here are 5 ethical ways to “prime the pump” on social proof and improve the perceived credibility of your content:
- Promote your content “As seen on …”: Have you been quoted or featured on a well-known blog, newspaper, or television show? Don’t keep it a secret.
- Request endorsements
- As your friends and family to Like or Follow you
- Collect and highlight testimonials and reviews
- Collect kudos tweets: When people tweet nice things about you, start saving them as a “favorite” tweet. Then you can link to the list of nice recommendations as an entire stream of public, published social validation, as in “Don’t take my word for it, click here to see what others are saying about my (book, blog, podcast …).”
– from “The Content Code” by Mark Schaefer