“Smart marketers know that social proof is the marketing tactic for easing the minds of worried customers.”
Social proof is the new cornerstone to a focused marketing campaign, because it’s the type of collateral that connects happy customers to prospective customers – and with the bombardment of modern marketing messages, this will strike a chord faster. According to a Nielson report, 83% of consumers in 60 countries say they trust recommendations from friends or family over any other form of advertising.
Why Social Proof is the Driving Force of Your Marketing Plan
Before we get too far ahead of ourselves here – what exactly is social proof?
Social proof is a psychological phenomenon where an incredibly strong force influences our behaviors. It’s where people assume the actions of others in an attempt to reflect correct behavior for a given situation – you are essentially conditioned by other people around you.
For example, when a really hot restaurant is booked up, all of a sudden you’re dying to try it. Or when a software provider gets named as a preferred marketing solution by a household brand name – it makes headline news. Or when your friends’ real estate agent navigates a successful close by getting over the asking price, you’re ready for an introduction to see what they can do for you.
Why is this so you ask? People trust other people. And they trust people they can relate to. This influential form of marketing is effective because it hits close to home. For instance, developing a case study or gathering testimonials from happy clients in your neighbourhood and using it to nurture prospects will go a lot farther than telling them why you’re a perfect fit for them. The mentality of a client is – “well if they did that well for our neighbors – what will that mean for me?”
Which is why you show – rather than tell.
How to Arm Your Social Proof Arsenal
In the real estate world, upwards of 60-80% of your business can come from referrals, making your Sphere of Influence (SOI) the lifeblood of your livelihood. Which is why it’s important to build the foundation of your core network and start squeezing positive marketing collateral from them.
Here’s how to get started.
- Listen on Social Media
In this digital arena, there are conversations going on all around you. When you receive a positive comment from a happy client, be sure to send them your thanks and ask if they would agree to you using their comment as a testimonial.
- Survey Clients After You Close
When the moment is still fresh, and you’ve had a successful working relationship, ask if they would provide a quote, or be willing to use this experience as you develop a case study. Don’t wait until a few months later to ask – jump on it when the emotions are at their peak!
- Go Local
You can also have what they call in the marketing world; “celebrity social proof” which is when a prominent figure vouches on behalf of your brand or product and you can use this for your own benefit. Now you don’t have to have Denzel Washington speaking up for your brand – but rather look locally if newspapers or business associations have given you praise.
For example, “See why The Globe and Mail chose us as the top Real Estate Brokerage for the Toronto area!” It can add a lot of weight when a reputable publication writes about you – so be sure to highlight that testimonial and company logo across all of your platforms.
- Just Ask!
Simply put, you miss 100% of the shots you don’t take. The worst thing that can happen when you reach out to a client for a testimonial is they will politely decline.
Where to Use This Social Influence Strategically
So we understand the why and the how – now it’s time to discuss where to use this powerful artillery of social proof. The short answer is that you can use this on every digital touch point of your brand.
There is a full range of areas where you can showcase this social proof:
- Client testimonials are snackable quotes that can be used everywhere,
- Develop a full case study story on the end-to-end work you did for a client,
- Have it prominently displayed on your website in the “upper fold”,
- Take advantage of a compelling quote in your email signature,
- Use quotes on your social media cover photos.
Stories really connect with consumers because we remember how we felt when we heard a story. They are more persuasive and trustworthy than statistics because numbers get thrown around far too often and it’s hard keeping track.
This is the peer-to-peer revolution where the consumer takes back control and uses information as power when evaluating a real estate professional to work with. This is a new digital age where people have a sea of data to research while doing their homework before executing on a decision. The conversations are happening all around you, and it’s wise to corral some of these positive interactions to start using them strategically and sharing them with your prospects!
Store and use this social proof interchangeably all in one place with a high-powered real estate CRM and be able to call on them in a moments’ notice.