Most major brands are now allocating larger parts of their overall marketing budget to custom content. With content marketing on the rise – a record $43.9 billion spent in 2012 according to The Custom Content Council – companies are looking for new and creative ways to maximize content to drive revenues.
One of the most innovative ways is using customer generated content, especially the use of customer testimonials and stories to drive consumer behavior and increase revenue. Testimonials are powerful marketing tools. While Amazon.com has long been the gold standard of driving consumer behavior through testimonials and user recommendations, the authenticity of such online recommendations have come into question.
Online consumers don’t want to be sold to and have become increasingly cynical about the authenticity of the type of user-generated testimonial that we see being demonstrated on Amazon.com and other e-commerce sites. Consumers don’t know if a good review is truly a reflection of a good product or simply a falsified comment meant to boost sales. For this reason, the traditional testimonial or recommendation is harder to trust.
Social media testimonials, i.e. someone posting a positive review about a brand or product as a random tweet or status update, on the other hand, are harder to fake because they are backed-up by a real person’s social profile and history. The social media testimonial is much more credible and may actually help search results for a brand and promote a company’s biggest brand ambassadors.
Here are two examples, of social media testimonials from Ann Taylor and Zappos:
Collecting, curating and promoting positive social testimonials like these can significantly boost a company’s reputation and increase revenues. Social media testimonials are more credible, authentic and allow companies to cultivate better relationships by promoting their best brand ambassadors. The challenge for companies will be determining the best ways to sort and leverage these positive social reviews.
Top 3 Ways to Boost Sales With Social Media Testimonials
Here are the top 3 ways your company can boost credibility and sales by leveraging online customer testimonials:
- Use the social testimonials you already have. Source and collect positive reviews and testimonials posted by your clients or customers on social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, Linked, Pinterest, etc. For example, you can use Twitter’s “favorite button” to star and instantly save any tweet that mentions your brand in a positive review. Then re-tweet the testimonials to your followers. It’s instant social proof that boosts credibility and ultimately, can boost your sales.
- Get more social testimonials. Gather more social testimonials by Linked In’s recommendation tool or just post an update or tweet asking your fans or customers for instant feedback on one of your products or services. Filter out the not-so-desirable reviews and re-post the great ones!
- Display most effective testimonials. Take the best social testimonials and display them on your website, blog, sales page or simply re-tweet or share them with your fans and followers.
Looking for an easy way to collect, automate and promote your social media testimonials so you can benefit with greater credibility and sales? Check out 12 Ways to Get Social Proof for Your E-Commerce.