You might wonder how important social validation is to your business. In some cases – for example, if you’re offering a B2B service – you might not think it’s a big deal.
The truth is that social validation is a very big deal. No business operates in isolation. Just like humans, businesses also develop reputations, and they can be good or bad. Your business, in any industry, thrives on trust. It also thrives on perceived value, and the value of your business is ultimately determined by your customers and peers.
If you’re aware of that, it makes a lot of sense to cultivate positive social validation as part of your business strategy.
The Relevance of Social Validation in an Online Marketplace
Not even half a century ago, you didn’t have the world at your fingertips, digitally speaking. You’d have to rely on hearsay and fragmented information to get a sense of who you were dealing with in business. It was also easier for businesses to get away with selling mediocre products or providing shoddy service.
Now, within a few seconds, you can quickly check the credentials and reviews of a business from virtually anywhere. Take a moment and consider what you might find:
- Positive reviews, a great web presence across social media and industry sites, and a solid rating on Google as a verified and trustworthy business.
- Articles popping up about someone who received terrible service, or people asking unanswered questions about a business that doesn’t seem particularly well represented online or anywhere else.
Now ask yourself: would either of these discoveries influence your decision to buy from either business? The answer – obviously – is of course it would. Even though you don’t know any of the people responsible for the reviews or opinions you read, you tend to trust them.
That’s the power of social validation.
Social Validation is a Powerful Business Tool
There are several ways that social validation can have an enormous impact on your business. It’s not just about affecting sales or reputation, either. You should be viewing social validation as a critically important marketing tool.
There are 3 key areas where you can instantly benefit from positive social validation:
Be Visible to New Users
When you go looking for a new product or service, where do you look first? Most everybody does a web search as their first port of call. So, logically, you need to manage what people find when they’re looking for you.
To put it simply (and bluntly), if you’re on page 3 of Google’s search results, you aren’t even in the game. It’s not that your business is bad or untrustworthy. It’s simply that if you can’t compete for visibility, you’re not regarded as a competitor or a leader. Why would people choose your business, then?
To increase your business’s social validation, your first task should be to increase your online visibility and profile. Here are just some ways you can do this:
- Ensure that your website SEO is optimized for search results. Get a skilled SEO copywriter to check your site ranking, keywords, site structure, and other key factors to increase your search visibility. A higher search ranking implies better social validation. Use an SEO Pyramid Strategy to do this.
- Have your copywriter ensure that you have a proper link building strategy for your website. Good link building elevates your site’s prominence and domain authority.
- Ensure that your business social media is well-integrated with your site and that you’re consistently posting fresh, relevant content.
Forge Social Connections
It’s not enough to merely attract and impress potential customers. Ideally, you also want them to spread the word.
For that to happen, you need to engage with your customers socially. Social media plays a huge role in the perceived relevance of any modern business. Having your business represented (and active) on social media makes you instantly accessible. It also means that other people see what your interaction is like and base their impression on that. If you’re slow to respond or are dismissive of a customer, you’ve got problems. On the other hand, if you’re a social media superstar, people will share your material and tell others about you.
Your choice of platform is also crucial. Tailor your offering to the appropriate social media platform. What you post on YouTube or Facebook shouldn’t be the content you use if you’re doing it for the Gram.
Collect Ratings and Reviews
You want as many people as possible to talk about your business. That’s because word of mouth is still the best sales tool you’ll ever use – especially on social media. Invite people to submit reviews and comments. There are several ways you can stimulate this:
- Run competitions with giveaways for creative feedback on a purchase.
- Personally invite customers on your mailing list to respond with feedback.
- Publish a positive review and incentivize customers to share it online.
Give in Order to Get
There’s one thing to keep in mind as you work on building social validation for your business. It’s this: you can’t fake being good!
There’s nothing more dangerous than trying to create a ‘persona’ for your business that isn’t real and factual. So, be prepared to put in some work and time:
- A good reputation isn’t built overnight. True, it can be greatly helped along, but you need a track record.
- People only talk about things that affect them personally. So make sure you deal with your customers in a personal and likable manner.
- Invest time and attention into looking after your customers. Resolve problems or queries quickly. Do the things your competitors aren’t doing and remember to follow up after you’ve made the sale.
Constantly Talk to Your Customers
To achieve great social validation, you need to be constantly talking to your customers. How?
- Blogging is vitally important. Get a good copywriter to produce articles for you that are relevant and interesting to your customers. Publish snippets and invite them to read more. Open a conversation by inviting feedback or comments – and keep it going.
- A YouTube channel may also be an option. Make sure that every video links back to your website!
- Become a customer service superstar. Have someone on call who can assist your customers – above and beyond the call of duty.
Get Dedicated Assistance
If you don’t have enough time to attend to building your company’s social validation strategy, you might want to consider getting help. A skilled virtual assistant can handle social media, customer feedback, and even website maintenance.
Book a discovery call today and claim your free trial. A professional virtual assistant is a cost-effective way of leveraging your time, and building social validation for your business.