6 Crucial Social Media Tactics And A Dance-Off 3

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Today we have a guest post from Mike Williams. And it’s fantastic. Make sure to read all the way down to the crazy dancing guy who inspires an entire crowd to get off their feet.

When I was 8 years old, I decided to boycott McDonald’s. A little differentiation to, you know, set myself apart from all those other 3rd graders and their lesser minds.

And even though I despised hamburgers, it was still a harrowing decision, because the McDonald’s on Forest Avenue was more than just a burger house…

… It was the arena of my glorious 6th birthday…
… It was the sign post marking we’re home, finally on any long drive…
… And it was the only place I could swan dive into a mesh pit of balls.

And so I made that decision with as much care as an 8 year old could muster. I felt liberated, almost.

No more burgers – who cares?
No more birthday parties – I’ve got laser tag now, big cat.
No mesh pit of balls – try comparing that to the high dive at Taylor Park!

It seemed so easy. But, you know, 8 year olds aren’t exactly long term thinkers. I hadn’t realized how many times we actually drove past that place. And that sign. That god forsaken sign.

Each time we passed, it whispered, even teased, “Over 90 billion served.” A gentle reminder that right now 90 billion kids around the world were swan diving into mesh pits of balls between Mountain Dew refills. And instead of joining in… here I sat, outside on my high horse, looking in.

Slowly, deliberately, it withered my soul and eroded my resolve.

Three weeks and a day later, I was back inside crushing french fries and Mountain Dews between swan dives.

That was my first experience with social proof. It would not be my last. I’d like to explore why it worked so well, and offer a few ways you can use social proof to improve your marketing.

Why Social Proof Works

Humans are pack animals. We want to be part of something bigger than ourselves. We don’t want to go it alone. We fight to fit in in high school. We search for meet ups of like minded colleagues. If others are doing it… yes, we’re more likely to do it ourselves, too.

That’s why the top-rated workplaces are all big on company culture and chasing a mission bigger than profit. Employees stay longer if they feel a part of something meaningful.

With this evolution of the work place and the proliferation of the internet, you might think people are growing more connected. You might think your prospect feels inundated with tribes, and that the offer to join one more would be an annoyance.

You would be wrong.

People–your customers–are growing more isolated, not less. Your prospect has fewer close friends than she did 20 years ago.

And herein lies the opportunity. She needs you. You can give her that tribe to join. You can give her that something to be a part of. You can provide her the social outlet and supporting relationships she so desperately craves.

And if you do that, you will make more money. Here are a few tactics you can use to put this social proof idea into action.

Social Proof Tactic #1: Blog Comments

Simple, subtle, effective.

If you run a blog for your business, comments show your prospect that others find your content compelling, they show others view you as an authority, and they build buzz. (We’re more likely to read a post with 400 comments than one with none.)

Here are a few ways others have used blog comments to as social proof:

In a product launch, it is common to post pre-selling videos that explain your product and/or provide value of some sort. The savvy marketer often finishes these with instructions to leave questions or thoughts in the comments (to build commitment and consistency).

If your launch gets a lot of traffic, chances are you’ll also get a lot of comments. Once this happens, let your prospects know “just how many people are abuzz about the video.” Once she sees how excited others are, she’s more likely to get excited as well.

You can also use the number of comments to establish your authority. Point your prospect to the post “everyone is talking about.” She’ll see the comments and deduce herself that you’re the center of attention.

Here’s how John Carlton did this during his recent launch. Notice the subtle mention of blog comments to beef up perceived quality of his free stuff.

Big day today.

We’re releasing spots in the new Simple Writing System coaching program, starting at 2pm Eastern (11am Pacific).

Those spots are absolutely limited, because of all the hands-on, one-on-one, personalized attention you get from professional teachers.

Life-changing tools and skills… and packed up in one super-fun, totally interactive program that gently forces you to finally nail the simple system for creating every sales message you need. (For your ads, websites, videos, emails, etc.)

However…

… just because we’re such great guys…

… we are still leaving the free lessons (short cuts to making the sale) up on the blog:

www.SimpleWritingSystem.com/blog/

This is killer stuff, just being given away. (Over 2,000 comments have been posted on these lessons… it’s fascinating, game-changing advice.)

But we’re only leaving those lessons up until 2pm Eastern (11 Pacific)… when we turn our full attention to helping people get into the full-on SWS coaching program.

Stay tuned… those spots (and the bonuses — which include a free invite to our next Action Seminar) always disappear fast.

Stay frosty,

John

You can also use number of video views or file downloads the same way.

Social Proof Tactic #2: A Quantity-Based Approach

Maybe you don’t have 2,000 blog comments. How, then, can you show your prospect she’s joining a tribe?

Use the data available to you. How big is your mailing list? How many customers do you have? (“Over 90 billion served.”) How big is your market? How many people search for your keyword terms? Use these to show her she’s become a part of something.

Example:

Dear Jane,

Thanks for signing up to my newsletter. Here’s the first article I promised:

LINK

By the way, did you know you’re the 43,421 subscriber to this list? Crazy.

We’ve got a great community going here – I’m really glad you’ve become a part of it.

Talk soon,
Mike

In this case, I used the data to reinforce and validate my prospect’s decision to join, but you can also use it to compel her to join as well. For example, “We’re a community of 43,420 skiers strong–all sharing our best tips for finding the hottest deals around the country. Would you care to join us? It’s free!”

Social Proof Tactic #3: Celebrity or Expert Endorsement

In this tactic, you borrow the established credibility of a celebrity or expert.

Are there any relevant celebrities or experts in your niche? Who do your prospects hold in high esteem? Do any of them use your product? If so, let people know.

If you show your product is good enough for the niche all-stars, the hobbyist will more likely believe it’s good enough for her. The key is to get endorsements from people she respects or reveres.

Here’s a 2nd approach: Have these experts made any quotes that bolster your claims? Any documented, public quotes are fair game. Is anyone talking about your product’s production process or the approach your solution takes? Again, if you show your product is supported by the experts, the hobbyist will likely follow suit.

Example: Let’s say you’re the first person to build a dishwasher that uses no water. It’s an environmental breakthrough, except you don’t have a lot of credibility because no one has heard of your company. People also have a hard time believing you can clean dishes without water.

So you look through the newspapers and research articles and find quotes from 12 Harvard scientists supporting the water-free technology.

In my ad, I would include quotes from them and tell my prospect that Harvard scientists vouch for this technology… in effect borrowing the credibility of the Harvard brand.

Here’s how Frank Kern did this:

You’ll love this.

I’ve decided to release two of the best parts of Mass Control 2.0 and give them away to everyone who wants them – no strings attached.

And that’s not all.

I’m also going to flat out give you a TON of really incredible stuff in the next few weeks … totally for free.

The reason I’m doing this for you is two-fold:

Reason One: Just to be cool.

I mean hey, why not? I could use the good karma.

Reason Two: Blatant Self Promotion.

I’m about to release a new and ADVANCED training and I’ve decided togive away more cool and valuable stuff during this pre-launch than EVER before.

And the reason I’m doing that is because:

A: It’s fun.

B: The new training is fairly advanced and a lot this free stuff is designed to get you up to speed.

In fact, one of the things I’m giving you is a complete cut-n-paste campaign that’s designed to make you money BEFORE my new training goes on sale …so you can use the proceeds to get the training and still have some left over.

Anyway, the new training is called “LIST CONTROL” and it’s all about how to build a responsive list (starting from scratch) …and then how to sell your list TONS of stuff …while genuinely helping them …and being super cool and nice to them in the process.

It’s the damndest thing you’ve ever seen because they actually ask to buy stuff from you …and then they thank you for letting them give you money.

Awesome.

I’ve been working on these new strategies in secret for the past 18 months …and I used my high-paying private clients as guineau pigs.

(They were cool with that. Luckily, everything worked amazingly well and everyone made a lot of money!)

———————————————————————-

HERE’S THE SCHEDULE OF WHEN I’LL BE GIVING YOU AWESOME STUFF.

———————————————————————-

The pre-launch officially begins on March 8th, but I’ll be hooking you up before then.

Notice what he did in the last few paragraphs?

I’ve been working on these new strategies in secret for the past 18 months …and I used my high-paying private clients as guineau pigs.

(They were cool with that. Luckily, everything worked amazingly well and everyone made a lot of money!)

There’s a lot going on in those 3 sentences. Let’s translate:

  1. That’s right, I get paid vast sums to consult high-profile clients.
  2. I have so much authority they let me test stuff on their businesses!
  3. And if this stuff made them a ton of money, it’ll definitely make you a ton of money, too.

Great subtle use of social proof.

Social Proof Tactic #4: Testimonials

No one trusts you. You’re a marketer. You sell stuff. You’re dirty.

But even though your prospect doesn’t trust you, she does trust the opinions of other customers. Especially if those other customers are just like her. (For example, middle aged women place the most stock in testimonials from other middle aged women, etc.)

As a result of this placement of trust, testimonials are downright crucial to convincing your prospect of your claims.

Here are some tips for maximizing the selling power of your testimonials:

  • Focus on results. “I made $100 using Mike’s system” is far more powerful than, “Mike’s system is superb!”
  • Be as specific as possible. Be specific about results, time to get those results, etc.
  • Include a hard-hitting headline that gets the main message across quickly, like, “My Acne Disappeared in 23 days” or “I Saved $96 My First Phone Call.”
  • Attach as much testimonial-giver information as possible to increase the credibility: name, location, business, picture, etc. * The most powerful testimonial is one from someone just like the reader, so get them from customers that represent each set of needs, objections, demographics, etc of your target market.

Here’s an example of a testimonial I got from a freelance client. It was perfect for showing other potential clients. Notice how it is specific, punchy, and straight to the point.

“Return on Investment of Over 1000%”

“Michael Williams is one of the most brilliant marketers that we have ever had at MindValley.

Month after month he came up with excellent new ideas on how to grow our online business and executed the plans flawlessly.

I can easily say that we got a return on investment of over 1,000% from engaging Michael and would strongly recommend him to anyone.”

~ Mike Reining, founder of MindValley.com

Here is a good guide for how to collect powerful testimonials.

Social Proof Tactic #5: Testimonial Case Study

Instead of confining testimonials to a short paragraph, you can also take an expose approach to your customer’s experience. This is perfect for combating objections and fears because it goes deep into the journey from problem to salvation.

And the beauty of these is your prospects often find them valuable. It delights them and sells them at the same time. Call up some past customers, interview them about their experiences, and package these as recorded interviews, videos, or short reports. Your prospects will take value from the stories, and you’ll have an excellent sales tool focused purely on proof that other regular people are loving your product.

Here are some questions I’ll use to guide these interviews:

  • What was your life like before you got the product?
  • What fears or hesitations did you have about buying it and/or using it?
  • How did your experience compare to those fears you had?
  • What specific results did the product provide you?
  • What were the key factors to getting those results?

Depending on your niche, collecting these could be tricky as it requires your subject to document her results as she goes. Communicate with your customers early on, deepen the relationship as they use your product, and this won’t be a problem.

Social Media Tactic #6: Media Appearances

Similar to the expert endorsements, media appearances borrow credibility. This guy must be credible if he’s been on TV.

Perhaps you haven’t made any appearances yourself, but has any part of your product (your ingredients, approach, market, or trends) been spotlighted on TV? It follows the idea that, if you’re credible enough to get on TV, you’re credible enough for the hobbyist.

These make great pieces of sidebar content.

Final Tips:

As we’ve seen, social proof is powerful in and of itself, but here are a few ways to maximize its influential power:

  1. Match each “piece” of social proof to its related claim or benefit. If you claim you’re the fastest, follow it with testimonials proving it. If doctors recommend you, follow with supporting endorsements.
  2. Load the proof up front. Give your prospect reasons to believe you. Show her that other people like her have come before… and reached salvation by reading your ad.
  3. Your prospect will be looking for testimonials from people like her. Figure out the main subsets of your market, and provide testimonials from people that reflect each subset’s characteristics.
  4. Save some strong ones for your close. People often go straight to the end of your ad, so hit them with reputable, enticing proof. And don’t forget to use your social proof to seal the deal at the point of action.

One Last Thought

The great Gary Bencivenga once said, “Without proof, nobody buys” Proof was the critical element of his copy. And social proof specifically was a big piece of that.

But let’s go one step further. Click play on the 3 minute video below and watch the power of social proof unfold right before your eyes (with explanation as it happens):

Your prospect is skeptical. She’s lonely. She’s looking for purpose. Use these tactics to show her others have already paved the way, that her purchase will provide her a tribe, and chances are she’ll follow suit just the same.

Mike Williams is an entrepreneur in Jersey City, New Jersey. He runs an online hookah shop and teaches copywriting tips to other entrepreneurs.

3 thoughts on “6 Crucial Social Media Tactics And A Dance-Off

  1. Reply Trent Krupp May 13, 2010 10:30 am

    Although, I work in the recruiting industry, which is a bit different, I think your comment on testimonials is very true. Its one of the only barrier’s to entry in the recruiting industry.

  2. Reply Mike Williams May 13, 2010 10:30 am

    Thanks again for letting me riff with your readers. Let’s keep spreading the gospel of these useful tactics.

  3. Reply Knocks Feb 2, 2014 6:18 am

    MacDonald’s doesn’t serve Mountain Dew. Credibility blown in the first paragraph :)

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