When someone says something nice about you on Twitter it gives you an instant, warm fuzzy — And that's it. At least, if you're not smart.
Twitter love makes you feels good, but it's also content that can attract future customers.
As the social media guy at Raven, I save social love as it comes in. Here's an example. Becky Morris, account manager at Cultivate Digital, recently tweeted this.
In the span of an hour and a half, I created 28 scheduled reports in @RavenTools. So easy and intuitive! Cross your fingers I did it right!
— Becky Morris (@becksontap) October 30, 2014
Thanks, Becky! Here are a few examples of what you can create after saving just one, awesome tweet like this one.
What is Social Proof?
When you're hangry (that's hungry, but on the verge of angry) you might aimlessly wandering into the street until you find food.
Say you see two Mexican restaurants side by side during lunch hour. You've never been to either.
One is full of customers but there are still a few booths open by the window. The other is completely empty, except for a bored looking server staring into the gumball machine.
Choose your own adventure. Which restaurant do you choose? Take a second and decide...
Why, you'd choose the full one of course!
Those people eating chips know something you don't. Maybe the chips are always hot or maybe the queso makes you incapable of forming sentences while it's in front of you. But something is going on for so many people to be there.
This is social proof and it works.
Social proof is the concept that you're more likely to do something if you know others are doing it, especially if you're on the fence about what is normal in a given situation.
You're more likely to tip if cash is already in the jar. You're more likely to sign up for an email newsletter if you know 10,000 people are already reading it.
Have a System For Capturing Love
So how do you collect this social proof and use it to your advantage?
The first step is to have a system for capturing amazing things someone says about you or your client. Here are a few ways you can capture love:
- Keep a folder of bookmarks
- Use an app like Pocket or Evernote and create a "love" tag
- Manage mentions using a social monitoring tool like Raven or TweetDeck
- Create a channel for sharing love in Slack, HipChat or Yammer
The added advantage of archiving love in an internal channel is that new items will encourage your team.
Now, whenever you're working on a website's social proof, you can go back and reference your list of love.
When reaching out, make sure you have one goal in mind as they are many ways to add social proof to a website. Are you encouraging more reviews, asking someone to write a testimonial or asking to use a quote in your marketing?
The Art of Reaching Out
Now you're ready to follow up with people. Make sure to:
1. Keep it Short and Direct You're more likely to hear back from someone if you make it super easy for them to read and to respond.
2. Include the Benefits For instance, if you are writing a case study, you may be planning to include a link to the recipient's company. Be sure to mention that.
3. Get Permission for Future Use If you're republishing a quote, explain how you specially want to use the information, but also ask if you can use their quote in all of your marketing in the future. This will save you time when you're building out future content.
4. Ask for Everything You Need Use a bulleted list. For instance, when I emailed Becky, I already had a great quote, so I simply asked for:
- A Bio Photo
- Preferred Spelling of Your Name
- Company Name
- Company Link
5. Create Templates As you reach about different things, save your emails as a template. You'll also want to make templates for when you reach out on different social networks. For instance, on Twitter DM you'll need to be more succinct.
Here's an example of a Twitter DM template for encouraging Yelp reviews:
Hi, thanks for the twitter love! We loved hearing this :) Mind repurposing this as a Yelp review? (link to your Yelp page)
If you can help, the steps: 1. Log into Yelp.com 2. Go to (link) 3. Click Write a Review 4. Paste your tweet and remove @ and #s
Stop Wasting Love
This article is primarily focused on capturing and repurposing Twitter love, but love comes from all directions. Make sure you have a process in place for capturing great mentions in:
- Emails with clients
- Blog post comments
- Social network posts
- Social network messages
There are limitless ways to use social proof in marketing, but you first need a system in place to harness its power.
Otherwise, that love has a very short shelf life.