If you were in a physical store and saw a crowd gathering around a product demonstration, you would want to know what the excitement is all about. If those same people shared their experiences about that product, you might want to try it yourself. This is social proof.
As social creatures, humans are drawn to places and activities where they see other people. We tend to trust each other’s experiences, encouraging us to try something for ourselves.
Social proof exists in the real world, and it also influences behavior online. It works for small businesses and large across almost every industry — home services, HVAC, kitchen & bath, plumbers, hospitality and more.
Benefits of Social Proof for the Home Services Business
Social proof is so effective at helping home service businesses grow because it:
- Increases conversions.
- Across industries, social proof increases the conversion rate by 161% — home services (158%), food services (203%).
- Encourages buying.
- 71% make buying decisions because someone on social media suggested it.
- Increases brand awareness.
- 52% of Gen Z and 26% of Gen X actively turn to social media to discover new brands.
- Earns trust.
- 87% rely on customer reviews when evaluating local small businesses. Nearly 80% say they trust a brand more when they respond to negative reviews.
- Increases customer lifetime value (CLV).
- Customers who buy because of social media have up to a 100% higher CLV.
- Matters most in home services and hospitality.
- 80-90% of customers needing these services check reviews.
Types of Social Proof and How Local Businesses Use Them
Social proof doesn’t just happen. Local small businesses apply certain strategies to increase it and get the most out of it.
- Reviews and Testimonials – Home services businesses actively manage their reviews, especially on critical sites like Google, Yelp and Facebook. They encourage reviews and respond promptly to negative reviews professionally, trying to “make it right” when possible.
They also create video testimonials. You can display these on your websites and share on social media to demonstrate to potential customers that other people like them have chosen you.
Place reviews strategically on your website at pivotal moments in the buyer’s journey to generate a lead, encourage them to schedule an appointment, etc.
- User-Generated Content _ Encourage your customers to post images and videos of themselves enjoying your services. For example, if you’re a kitchen remodeling company, prompt them to share photos of themselves in their new kitchen with a branded hashtag. Track this hashtag so you can comment on their post and share it on your social media profiles.
- Social Media Following and Engagement – There may have been a time when marketers struggled to show the ROI of social media engagement. However, the above statistics show it’s important.
Home services businesses that are effectively using social proof strive to increase the number of followers they have and how engaged they are. They regularly share content that their followers and lookalike audiences will find valuable and want to interact with.
For example, plumbers can share tips for saving water, maintaining pipes, and even making some smaller plumbing repairs. Now, they come to you when they realize they’re in over their heads.
- Influencers – Influencers fall into two primary categories: celebrity and expert, with some overlap. Both can effectively encourage those who follow them to choose your home service business. Local businesses will use influencer marketing a little differently than big national brands:
- Ask for a shout-out from a local celebrity who used your service.
- Sponsor a local celebrity’s YouTube videos if they have a local following.
- Obtain a review from a celebrity and put it on your website.
- Showcase publications that have featured or discussed your business.
- Discuss your most well-known customers’ recent project (with their permission).
- Do a search to see if someone’s been talking about your services online and suggest a collaboration.
- Collaborate with local experts and non-competitors to share each other’s social media content or recommend each other (e.g., HVAC with electricians). Host joint events.
- Share Buttons – Place share buttons prominently and strategically on your website. Then leverage psychological triggers to encourage sharing. As it turns out, “wanting to be helpful” is one of the top reasons people share.
This particularly works in the home services company’s favor. Focus on creating helpful content to increase sharing.
Take the Next Step
Is social proof the critical piece that your marketing strategy is missing? Actively generating more of it could transform your marketing performance and home service business. Dream Local can help. To learn more, schedule your FREE marketing consultation.