Need a powerful tool to help boost your pet business? Believe it or not, you probably have a lot of the necessary content to leverage social proof on your website and social media channels. When used correctly, social proof will help ease the minds of worried customers, which is most important in the pet industry. If your friend had an exceptional experience with a service provider, there is a good chance you can be persuaded to use them too.
WHAT IS SOCIAL PROOF?
Before we jump into why you need to leverage social proof for your boarding kennel business, let’s answer the questions some of you might be wondering. What is social proof? Well, social proof is when you borrow third-party influence to sway or persuade potential customers to purchase your products and/or services. Sounds interesting, doesn’t it? Think about how likely you are to take the advice of a friend, family member or colleague when you are looking for a professional service provider. Very likely, right? Your potential customers are doing the same thing when they are looking for a place to leave their furry friends while they enjoy their vacation or workday. Third-party influence is essential for developing trust and growing your business.
WHAT IS NEGATIVE SOCIAL PROOF?
While positive social proof can be very beneficial, negative social proof can be damaging to your brand. If people are suggesting not to use your service or buy your product, that can really hurt your company. Also, if you are bashing a competitor, that negative energy can actually backfire. Stick to being positive and focus on why your company is the best solution and not why your competitors are inferior. Now that we got that out of the way, how do you use social proof to find new customers and grow your pet business?
TESTIMONIALS AND REVIEWS
This is probably the most common type of social proof. Real reviews from your current client’s on platforms like Google, Facebook and Yelp can increase the credibility of your business. Don’t be afraid to ask your customers for reviews after they praise your service. Make it easy for them to write a review by giving them a direct link or adding it to your automated thank-you messages, as we recommend to our ProPet Software clients. Cross-promote reviews across multiple platforms and be sure to share your client’s posts when they mention your business on their social media accounts. On the contrary, negative reviews aren’t necessarily bad; sometimes it gives you an opportunity to display your values and many times they can be turned into a positive.
According to a research done by Nielsen, 92% of people will trust a recommendation from a peer, and 70% of people will trust a recommendation from someone they don’t even know. This right here shows the importance of social proof and social media is a significant medium where people go for advice. They may post on their Facebook wall or in a local Facebook group; this is when you need your clients to have your back and be an ambassador. Leveraging a referral program could help encourage your clients to promote and refer your business on social media more actively. You can also encourage social proof by posting photos of watermarked pets in your care encouraging your clients to share them!
You may notice that when you land on a website and see that a celebrity endorses a product or service, you immediately think it must be good if they use it. Same when your clients land on your website and see that their veterinarian recommends your business. Have you been mentioned in a local news article or mentioned in the media? Maybe you were endorsed by a local celebrity? These are all trust icons that can be added to your website to gain trust and boost your credibility. Other trust icons can be added to your site to help set the level of standards for professional pet care in your area. If you have won a prestigious local award-winning, are CPR trained, have achieved top rated status, your business is insured and bonded or have other credibility boosters, add them to your homepage.
Have you reached any milestones that make your kennel standout? Your website is a great place to announce impressive stats. Maybe you’ve cared for over 50,000 dogs or trained 250 aggressive dogs to a state where they were adoptable. Gather your hard facts and use them as social proof.
Social proof can really make your business stand out as a leader in your community. After reading this blog, have you realized that you are not using social proof entirely in your marketing strategy? What social proof strategies have you used for your kennel?