Laryssa Wirstiuk, Joy Joya
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If you’ve been struggling to get the results you want from your paid advertising efforts, you may want to try an entirely new form of advertising: social proof. Ron Kaufman, an expert on customer service, once said, “Delighted customers are the only advertisement everyone believes.” Your target customers are less likely to pay attention to you when you “toot” your own horn. However, when someone who’s not being compensated by your brand tells other people how much she loves your jewelry, then that truly means something.
If you haven’t already taken the time and effort to gather and promote social proof, then you’re potentially missing out on major opportunities to engage with your customers. When we refer to the term “social proof”, we mean this: often times, a person in a new situation or environment assumes the people around her know more than she does. As a result, she defaults to their expertise as “proof” that the situation is worthwhile.
How does social proof relate to selling jewelry? Consumers who aren’t sure what to buy will look to influencers or experts for advice about purchasing jewelry. As a result, jewelry brands with social proof get the most attention from customers who are seeking guidance and reassurance.
According to articles from TechCrunch and OptinMonster, there are six types of social proof. They include 1) expert social proof, 2) celebrity social proof, 3) customer social proof, 4) crowd social proof, 5) friend social proof, and 6) certification as social proof. Continue reading to find out how your jewelry brand can gain social proof in each one of these areas.
Expert Social Proof
One way to gain expert social proof for your jewelry brand is to be recognized by an industry expert. For example, you can try to get your jewelry featured by one or more of the most influential jewelry bloggers, like Gem Gossip, Katerina Perez, or Diamonds in the Library. In addition, you can also try to get your jewelry examined by gemologists, who can provide you with quotes about your top-quality materials, or by design experts, who can comment on your innovative design.
Celebrity Social Proof
If you browse Irene Neuwirth’s Instagram feed, you’ll see again and again that celebrities are not only wearing the designer’s jewelry – but looking absolutely radiant and stunning in it. If you don’t have access to an A-list celebrity or a stylist who dresses an A-list celebrity, then you can simply redefine your definition of “celebrity”. Every community or region has its own celebrities, and they come in the form of local media personalities, socialites, government representatives, and business leaders. Think about how you can create relationships with those people and how you can find opportunities for them to wear your jewelry in public.
Customer Social Proof
Your customers are your best advocates, and you should treat them like gold. Are you encouraging your happy customers to leave reviews on Yelp or Facebook? Are you asking them to write testimonials? Are you sharing their user-generated content on your social media platforms? Consider offering incentives in exchange for this content, like a special coupon or other reward. If you’re not doing these things, you could be missing opportunities to boost your brand with some of the most valuable social proof.
Crowd Social Proof
The crowd is a powerful form of social proof, and today the crowd usually refers to a hefty social media following. We don’t recommend you buy social media followers, simply to provide the illusion of crowd social proof. But you should be doing everything you can to boost your social media following, since the crowd is clout.
Friend Social Proof
People trust recommendations from their friends and loved ones most of all. Do you have a referral program in place? If you incentivize referrals, then you’ll likely inspire your happy customers to tell their close friends about your jewelry. Another way to boost friend social proof is to run a social media contest that requires all entrants to tag one or more of their friends.
If you haven’t done so already, then you’ll want to make sure you obtain any certificates and accolades that are relevant to your brand. For example, if you sell jewelry with GIA-certified diamonds, make sure your customers are aware of that fact – and that they know what the certification means. In addition, entering – and winning – jewelry design contests is a great way to “certify” that your brand is worthy of the attention.
Once you have the social proof, you’ll need to share it and make sure that your prospective customers can see it. When appropriate, pull quotes from your social proof. Then, repost these quotes on your social media platforms, feature them on your blog and in your press materials, and include them in an email marketing campaign. If you have testimonials, put them on your website, and if you have video/audio social proof, be sure to include it where appropriate, whether on your website, YouTube channel, or other platform. Also, consider using social proof in your ad copy.
Your supporters are worth more than what they buy from you. Their true value is in what they say about you, and you need to do everything in your power to ensure they’re delighted.