Curate social proof & create more sales opportunities for your handmade business

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You have an amazing brand you’re proud of with beautiful products. Heck, you even have a great social media strategy and a cohesive Instagram feed! We would all love it if people would buy our product the moment we announce what we’re selling. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work like that (it’s not magic). Most of the time, you’ll need a little bit more than that.

That’s where social proof comes in.

You see, you know you have a great brand, and a fantastic product. But beyond telling people how great what you sell is, they might need to get an extra push. Perhaps they’d be sold (and your products too!) if they hear that it won an award, or that it’s the most acclaimed product in this category. Maybe they’d be more inclined to buy your product after they hear that their friends or that influencer they love bought or used it too.

Social proof in social media marketing comes in various forms. This can be comments from other people saying how much they loved your product. It can also be by the amount of followers you have or who actually follows you. Let’s say you’re selling chef knives and among your followers are people like Gordon Ramsay, Giorgio Locatelli, Jamie Oliver, Nigella - this definitely increases the value and trustability of your knives. Other times though, you might need to ‘blow your own trumpet’, and share all that social proof on social media.

Curate the social proof you have about your brand or product.

Shout-outs and mentions

Whenever someone mentions you positively on social media, after having purchased or used your product, keep that. Save it in a collection on Instagram, save the post on Facebook, or screenshot it and save it in a folder. If you’ve added these to your Instagram Stories (when someone tags you), include them also in your Highlights so people can view past the 24h mark.

Testimonials and products reviews

Any reviews that people have left on your Facebook business page or sent in an email to you, screenshot these to share. Ensure you don’t let out private details (like the email address of your client!) or other personal or sensitive information. You can also create a graphic with the happy reviews from past clients using Canva and share that instead.

Influencer marketing and collabs

Have you worked with influencers, or partnered with other great brands? Share these too. This helps to reinforce the trust and sense of belonging in people’s minds. For instance if Jake is your ideal client and is doing his best to live waste free, he’d be more convinced to buy your product if he knows you’ve partnered with Bea Johnson, the ‘queen’ of the zero-waste home movement. Likewise if you sell beauty products, and your ideal client follows makeup tutorials from a popular YouTuber with whom you’ve collaborated, the authority and influence of that YouTuber rubs off on your brand too, and the way it’s perceived. People also buy because the majority of people are buying - if their friends, peers, and ‘tribe’ are all using that product, the’ll want a piece of that too! It is human nature. It helps us feel like we belong, and are part of the same community. #FeelTheLove

Press features or articles

Been mentioned in the press or featured in a gift guide on a blog? Do keep clippings or snippets of these and share them regularly to your audience. It is a big deal to have your product mentioned, or talked about in the press. Whether it’s in a magazine (print or digital), blog, newspaper, keep these and highlight the parts you love about the article. You could include their logos on your website, or share these as Stories on Instagram/Facebook, in social media posts, or even include it in one of your blogposts (with a link back to the feature/article).

Other ideas that build trust

If your product is brand new on the market or you don’t have any of the above, you might want to collect other happy notes from people who interact with you.

  • Happy notes - it can be someone simply commenting “Thank you so much for all the information you’ve shared - this has been helpful” when you explained about your online store/ product. Maybe it’s a happy customer who says “wow, that delivery was fast! Super efficient” - this helps demonstrate what an efficient business you run.

  • You can also share things or small convos that give people a taste of what it’s like ordering from you, buying from you, or simply by the experience they have when they interact with you or your brand.

  • Workshops and other appearances you make on the market or in your industry. Being a guest at an event which would be appreciated by your ideal client or simply hanging out where your ideal client goes too helps build trust.

I hope you have found the above tips to be helpful in curating your social proof. At the end of the day, it comes down to how much you know your target audience and ideal clients. Getting extreme clarity on this will be invaluable to you because it can help in your decisions of who to partner with, which magazine to be featured in, and have your strategy be aligned to reach these goals.