How to Activate Social Proof Marketing for the Year-End
Social proof is a marketing principle that indicates the strength of one's peer group, network, or nonprofit. It's a marketing tactic that highlights positive recommendations from your donors. By displaying these reviews or testimonials on your website or social media, you give new potential donors confidence in your organization.
In the digital age, social proof has more importance than ever. The fear of supporting an organization that doesn’t make an impact is a primary concern for donors. So, the concept of social proof counters those concerns. Nonprofits use it to build trust with potential donors. It shows them other donors who supported the organization and found them trustworthy.
What is Social Proof Marketing?
Social proof is the psychological experience where the behavior of others influences people in making their own decisions. When people consider donating, one of the most important factors is the feedback from other donors. In short, we look to see what others do and whether it worked for them. Nonprofits use social proof marketing to showcase the number of donors who support them so potential donors can see that others love the cause.
As a marketing principle, social proof indicates the strength of the nonprofit’s network. It's a marketing tactic that highlights positive recommendations from your donors and third parties. By displaying reviews or testimonials, you give potential donors confidence in your organization. Also, by sharing proof of impact (i.e., statistics, data, testimonials, endorsements), you demonstrate that your organization is worthy of support.
Why Is Social Proof So Important?
While you may think your nonprofit’s the best, without proof, it's impossible to know. You might make a significant impact, but no one will know if you don’t take the time to show off your strengths. That’s where social proof marketing comes in. You can boost your donations by displaying proof (e.g., social media, review sites, etc.) that your nonprofit’s effective and trustworthy. Social proof marketing also lowers your cost per donor lead as unqualified leads get screened out, meaning more donations at a lower fundraising cost.
How to Activate Social Proof for the Year-End?
You can activate social proof marketing for the year-end by focusing on the most common and effective ways to do it.
1. Showing the Number of Donors for Your Product
The first and most basic way to show social proof is to share the number of donors who support your nonprofit. But it’s also vital to share it on social media and pin it to the top of your feed. Another key place to put this information is on your site, of course. Sharing the number of donors can happen visually or with words. For a visual, for instance, you can use a widget as a counter, which could say, "5,000+ donors have supported us.” Doing so gives donors a sense of security that others have donated to you and are happy with it.
2. Showing Donor Reviews
Showing customer reviews on a product page helps build trust for businesses. But, it also makes sense for nonprofits. For instance, people review nonprofits on Google Reviews, Give Well, Charity Navigator or Guidestar by Candid. So, asking your supporters to review you on social media and some of these sites makes sense. The most important thing to remember is to ensure authentic reviews. For social proof marketing, getting your supporters to write reviews about your organization is an easy ask.
3. Showing Influencers and Your Nonprofit
Social proof marketing doesn't just apply to consumers. You can also use it to prove to potential donors that their peers love your impact. One of the most common ways to do this is to show influencers and your cause photos. When you have an influencer, don't just focus on one platform. For example, not all donors have a Facebook account. So, if you only use Facebook, you may miss out on many potential donors.
4. Showing a Nonprofit Partnership
Donors love nonprofit partnerships. It’s a way to demonstrate community and to your sphere of influence. So, a great way to activate social proof marketing for year-end fundraising is to make some friends. Let’s say your mission is education-related. Perhaps you lead an after-school program. Look to partner with local schools the children in your nonprofit attend. Then, create a unique merchandise line with the proceeds for both organizations. If you want to go even further, you can partner with companies to develop a cause-driven partnership. If you can prove that you contribute positively, donors will more likely trust and support you.
In sum, social proof marketing indicates the strength of your nonprofit organization and its supporters. It’s a tactic that highlights positive recommendations from your donors and others, such as partners. You give potential donors confidence in your organization by displaying reviews or testimonials on your website and social media. Using social proof correctly can attract more prospects while simultaneously reducing the number of unqualified donor leads. Activate social proof marketing for the year-end by deciding your strategy and which sites you'll focus on for your efforts. Once you decide that, it's just a matter of implementation. Promote your supporters on your platforms. But also ask them to promote for you to expand your influence and brand.
Kristy Morris is a creative professional in corporate and nonprofit social media advertising and brand strategy. As the chief marketing officer at Funds2Orgs and Elsey Enterprises, she works with a suite of global fundraising brands and manages national campaigns for her clients. She hosts a monthly webinar with Funds2Orgs, teaching nonprofits how to make an impact with their social media strategy. Kristy is a passionate individual that loves nothing more than to help others make an impact in their market and the world.
Kristy also contributes monthly to her NonProfit PRO blog, “Marketing IRL.”