Is Social Validation Important in Online Marketing?
“In order to win the business of your potential prospect, you have to win their trust, and there’s one key strategy that can help you do it: social validation“……says Jayson DeMers
Most importantly, you need to know exactly what social validation is, especially and how it relates to online marketing.
- In its traditional definition, social validation is a psychological phenomenon where one or more passive individuals follow or conform to the actions of others within a group.
- In a psychological context, one or more people set an example of behavior, and their experience leads a second group of one or more people to follow suit.
- Social validation in marketing leads others to similar behaviors.
- For example, if a user leaves a positive review for a product or a positive rating for a business, other, even non-affiliated users will be more likely to buy that product or work with that business.
- Because one person went on a limb and confirms that the experience is positive, others are likely to take a similar action.
Why Is Social Validation Important to Marketers?
- There are 4 reasons why social validation has such a powerful effect for businesses:
1. New User Research
- When people are looking for something new to fulfill their needs, whether that’s a product, a service, or even a partnership, they undergo a period of research
- If a user finds ample quantities of social validation for a given brand—let’s say one taco restaurant has ten times as many positive, user-submitted reviews as a neighboring taco restaurant—he/she will be guided toward a decision.
- Therefore, improving your social validations can make you more appealing to these inquisitive researchers.
2. Social Connections
- Social validation also gives you immediate pull with the social connections of the validator.
- For example, let’s say a customer who had a great experience with your brand makes a post about it on your company’s Facebook page.
- All the friends and followers of that initiator will see the post, and because of their closeness to the initiator, will be more likely to trust your brand.
- That act of social validation opens a channel of trust that can lead to new interest—and you didn’t have to do a thing.
3. Positive Reinforcement
- Social validation is also a great way to take inventory of your current business operations.
- What are you doing, specifically, that’s leading people to these great experiences?
- What positive elements of your product or service can you emphasize more to other users? And if your social validations suddenly start to dwindle, what could have motivated the decrease?
- Use these reviews, ratings, and comments to gauge your current standings and make adjustments as necessary.
4. Ratings and Reviews in Google
- Having greater instances of social validation can lead to higher rankings in Google across the board.
- Google takes social interactions—such as the total number of likes and shares of your Facebook posts—into consideration when evaluating your brand’s domain authority.
How to Cultivate Social Validation
1. Create a Memorable, Positive Experience
- You aren’t going to cultivate great reviews if you don’t offer a great customer experience.
- Take an audit of your business and figure out, at a ground level, what you can do to give your customers a unique, memorable, and above all positive experience.
- People don’t go out of their way to socially validate just any brand—you have to be something truly special to them.
- Be more personal.
- Do whatever you can to go above and beyond the call of duty.
2. Get Personal on Social Media
- Be personal and conversational on your social media profiles, and respond to every post or comment.
- It lets people know you care what they have to say, and will encourage more people to come forward with their praise or their complaints.
- While it may not seem like the complaints can help you, if you respond to them promptly and with a promise to make things right—they can actually work in your favor when it comes to social validation.
Social validation isn’t the result of mathematical planning and execution. It’s the return on the investment you put into your customers.
If you spend the time and effort to give your customers a truly great and memorable experience, they’re going to reward you with praise and social validation. It’s an ongoing, mutually beneficial relationship that will keep your business thriving and your customers happy.
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To Your Success,