Social Proof gives Online Marketing a Boost

By Jim Augustus Armstrong

Part 2 of my three-column series on digital marketing delved into how you can improve your business’ online visibility by being more strategic. The final instalment builds on this theme.

Loss of Trust
Numerous polls and studies show people have lost trust in institutions: government, schools, mainstream media, social media, religion, corporations, marriage, law enforcement, healthcare and so on. It’s not just one or two institutions; it’s a sweeping loss of trust across the board. This massive loss of trust is the backdrop against which every business is operating. When designing an ad, creating a video or developing your website, assume the worst — your prospective customer (who doesn’t know you and has never done business with you) will view whatever your pushing out as if it were coming from a political party or member of parliament. Therefore, you primary job is to overcome this skepticism and build trust.

Trust Building
The biggest trust builder is one that requires very little work because the trust is already built. It’s regular communication with your past customers, their referrals and referral partners. Most floor dealers ignore this group, which is a huge mistake, especially now.

The 90/10 formula is a powerful, effective way to communicate regularly with this group. This means creating content that’s 90 per cent fun, informative, relationship-building and trust-building; only 10 per cent should be about flooring.

Social Proof
What others say about you is 100 times more effective than what you say about yourself, even if you’re 100 times more eloquent. That’s why you need testimonials. People read reviews to help them decide whether or not to visit your store.

Reviews can also be repurposed to help further grow your business. They can be posted on social media, added to your website or e-mail messages and used in printed flyers. Basically, reviews can be utilized in all your advertising and marketing, both online and offline.

Other social proof strategies that will help overcome strangers’ initial distrust and skepticism include photos of completed projects (before and after, when possible); videos of projects (before, during and after); photos of customers; video testimonials from customers; proof of insurance; licensing; and guarantees and warranties. These can all be pushed out through the digital channels you’re currently using.

Jim Augustus Armstrong is founder and president of, a company that provides floor dealers with marketing services and coaching to help them attract quality customers, close more sales, get higher margins and work the hours they choose. To obtain a free copy of Jim’s groundbreaking flooring industry report, Stop Leaving Millions on The Table, visit Jim can be reached at 530-790-6720 or [email protected].

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