What makes you decide to buy from one business instead of from another? When you are considering a purchase from a particular company, how do you decide whether or not that company is reliable, competent, and reasonably priced? Chances are, you check out their website and their reviews on websites such as Yelp. Maybe you also make your decision based on the recommendation of a friend, or due to a particularly thoughtful web design.
All of these sources of information are referred to as 3rd party affirmation because they come from someone other than the business itself. Potential customers usually consider 3rd party affirmation to be more reliable than information provided directly by the company. For instance, if 100 people on Yelp plus your best friend think a certain restaurant has the tastiest appetizer menu in town, you are going to believe that the appetizers are as delicious as advertised.
Because potential customers trust 3rd party affirmation, it is an important way to convince them to engage with your own business. While you cannot control the type of reviews you get on websites such as Yelp (except by making sure you deliver on your promise to be a great company), there are ways to promote your business online through 3rd party affirmation. The key is to become aware of where people are encountering your brand online and to make sure that those encounters are positive ones.
For instance, your web design can contribute to how potential customers think about your business. A polished and professional site helps people to believe that you will conduct your business professionally. A disorganized or outdated website, on the other hand, tells people that you may not do business in a very organized and attentive manner. Often, the first step in creating a positive impression of your business is to make sure that you create a website that is easy to navigate, clearly organized, and visually appealing.
Website Awards and Testimonials
Another way to add 3rd party affirmation to your website is to highlight any awards or testimonials your business has received. For instance, if your shoe store won a “Best Community Business” award in the last year or two, you can create strong 3rd party affirmation by posting that award on your home page. Similarly, you can add customer testimonials throughout your site to support the promises you make about your products and services.
Social Media Campaigns
Sometimes, you can earn 3rd party affirmation simply by placing your brand at the forefront of people's minds through a well-executed ad campaign. When people see your brand over and over again, through ads and other means, they are more likely to think positively of you. As a result, consider launching an ad campaign, particularly over social media, in order to gain exposure to your target audience.
Social media is a smart place to advertise your business, because it allows you to target the people most likely to be interested in your business. For instance, through Facebook, you could promote your shoe store to people who live in the community you serve. Plus, when potential customers see your name pop up over and over on social media, they will be more likely to consider you a reliable source for the products and services they need.
Social Media Presence
Finally, you can improve the amount of 3rd party affirmation you receive by building up your presence on your own social media platforms. For instance, consider posting two or three times a week on your Facebook page, or tweeting once a day instead of sporadically. Plus, make sure the information you post is interesting and relevant to your target audience, and include links to your content when possible.
The result of an active and meaningful social media presence should be an increase in followers, as more people decide that your business is worth reading about. It should also bring about more sharing of your content as people share your links, posts, and tweets. Ultimately, it will also mean more word of mouth recommendations and a greater sense from your audience that you are a reliable and trustworthy company that deserves their business.
Your business will have an online reputation no matter what you do. The goal should be to make that reputation as positive as possible. We here at Distinct Web Design want to help you craft an online presence that accurately reflects the qualities that make you a great company. By helping you to create an appealing website, make the most of your awards and testimonials, build a successful social media ad campaign, and stay on top of your social media presence, we can help you look as credible online as you are in person. Contact us today to find out how to earn the type of 3rd party affirmation that can earn you more business.
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