The Importance of Social Proof and Why It’s Vital For Your Business

What is social proof?  Why is it important to you and your business?  

In this episode, Chris and Ryan are joined by Damon Burton to talk about the value of social proof and strategies you can employ to get better engagement with the right fit customers for your business.

Damon Burton,
Damon Burton

Today’s guest is Damon Burton. He’s the founder of SEO National, a regular contributor on Forbes and the author of “Outrank: Your Guide to Making More Online by Showing Up Higher on Search Engines and Outranking Your Competition.” Damon was on a previous episode on the podcast in Episode 9 – The Critical SEO Pillars Every Business Needs with Damon Burton

Here are some podcast episode highlights:

Damon Burton: “So I think where the value in social proof is, is very related to what we were just talking about, about being top of mind and showcasing your expertise. And then the other thing with social proof. So what do you mean by social proof? It’s just, you know, being online and being present and staying top of mind, so consistently putting out content. Now, what you don’t want to do in social proof is me, me, me. I’m cool. I’m amazing. I do these things, but instead you want to educate and solve problems. So here your posts should be, here’s the answer to this one thing, or, you know, here’s this amazing result that I drove for somebody or here’s a solution to your pain point and actually give away the answer. 

Don’t send them to a funnel, don’t send it to the lead magnet, like give them the answer. So if you go look at the majority of my historical content on LinkedIn, there’s a ton of posts that are just straight answers to SEO questions. And I have zero call to action at the end. So when I get on social media and I’m engaging with somebody, if you want to consider this a linked prospecting strategy, I don’t live in the private messages. And the DMs, what I do is I reach out and I connect with people. And then during the outreach message, I straight up tell them, Hey, I’m not going to pitch you anything.

I want to tell you a little bit about myself and I’m gonna let you go one. I do that because then it kinda, they kind of let their guard down and go, Oh, okay, he’s not going to pitch me. And then two, when I say that, I’m going to let you go. They’re like, yeah, he’s serious. And so that gives you the opportunity to connect with people a little bit better early, skip past that first gate where you usually get shut out. Then after they follow up or engaged, then I, then I say, Hey, you know, I told you, I’m gonna tell you a little bit about myself.” 

My goal is to get them in my network, because once they’re in my network, then they’re going to be exposed to my content. Once they were supposed to be exposed to my content, then I can showcase my expertise. Then I stay top of mind because I can’t force somebody to need SEO, but I can educate them that I’m one of their best options. So then when they do need SEO, I’m top of mind. And so then I focus on content, content content.”

Chris Casale: “Chris Brogan wrote a book years ago called trust agents, which is about establishing trust and being sort of that thought leader. You also hear the term thought leadership and authority often. Is there a risk in not living in the DMs and having everything out there? Do you ever run into any, you know, PR issues where, you know, we’re, we’re going through some, some tense times right now as a country where, you know, if you say the wrong thing or do the wrong thing, and obviously it’s a little different than what’s going on right now, but generally speaking, if everything is public, is there a risk that you’re facing?”

Damon Burton: “No, because I don’t go to that level. I’m a very private person. So for me, I find that balance of being as public as I’m willing to, I don’t sacrifice my own privacy. You know, a good example would be Facebook. So Facebook’s obviously a little more personal than LinkedIn. So I proudly talk about, you know, my affection for my wife and my kids, but you won’t find a single picture of them on Facebook. So I found my balance of be public, be Damon showcase the family side, give away as much detail as I want that can benefit my audience and establish personality, but I’m not going to sacrifice, you know what my heart lines are.” 

Social Proof comes in many forms

Ryan Smith: “Another example of social proof, which we talked about with Damon is celebrity endorsements. When it’s someone like Kim Kardashians, that would be a celebrity endorsement again, providing social proof. Additionally, what can be more important is taking your customer testimonials, people who have used your product or service, getting them to leave a review and get on video, create something where they’re telling their story and their success with your product or the solution that your products and service provided.

That again is another mean of social proof. A couple other areas that you look at, and we talked about the very beginning of this would be the wisdom of the crowd that is seeing large crowns waiting outside of some sort of establishment. We talked about the beginning, you know, with the long lines around lunchtime of Chick-fil-A, the long lines that wrap around a Starbucks. So that’s wisdom of the crowd, another social proof, wisdom of friends. When people see their friends mentioned a product let’s say on Facebook and everybody likes it and shares it.

You see a whole bunch of other people comment on it…That is social proof. And then lastly, certification certification is almost like validation. When you see accounts on Twitter, Facebook, and they have that blue check Mark next to it. That again is social proof. So we didn’t get too deep into the different ways and areas of social proof, but after our conversation with Damon and we thought it was important that we talked about all the ways that there is with social proof and something to think about in your business when you’re creating your plans.

And you’re looking over your analytics, one of the things that we want you to review is, okay, what are people saying about you? What is that social proof?”

Chris Casale: “So I actually want to take a minute to tie in social proof and some of the examples that Ryan provided and to some of the things we’ve talked about on our previous podcasts, namely the five steps to a marketing campaign. One of the things that we talked about was understanding your audience and knowing what your audiences needs are well, social proof works with that as well. So using some of the examples that Ryan provided testimonials, for example, when you’re looking at a product and you see a list of testimonials or you’re on a website and you see the slider combined, that’s got, you know, the photo of the individual along with a star rating and their comments about it.” 

Full episode transcript

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