Checklista: 9 Sätt Att Skapa Förtroende Online

A few weeks ago I wrote about Robert Cialdini’s 6 principles for influence .

This week, I thought I would go a little deeper into how you can use social evidence to build stronger trust with customers on your website.

If you are Amazon or Apple – Congratulations! Then you have no problems with credibility. But most of us are not that big. Almost all companies have to fight to build trust every time a new potential customer ends up on their website.

So what is social evidence and why is it important?

BJ Fogg is one of the world’s leading experts in ”Behavior Design”, and he sums it up like this:

Your website must seem credible and show that you have a lot of knowledge. This is important because your website is often where your customers get a feel for your business. It is therefore responsible for the first impression of customers and at the same time a place that keeps your company profitable view . Companies that create more trust in the website have a strategic advantage over the competition.

(Note: the paragraph above is translated from English to Swedish)

According to Fogg, there are 4 types of trust:

1. General assumptions that ”assume so” (eg one company we have heard is more credible, while another we have heard is less credible)

2. Referring to a third person (eg your brother said it was bad or your cousin said their product was really good)

3. Something superficial as our first impression of something (eg this website looks old or ”it is confusing”)

4. Deserved trust as personal experience (eg friendly customer service or an email full of spelling and other errors) see 

In this article, I will focus on what you can do right now to increase trust in your website.

“Do you want to buy a brand new Porsche from me? You get it for a thousand bucks ”

Imagine you are going to town. All of a sudden, a young guy comes up to you and asks, ”well, do you want to buy a brand new Porsche from me for a thousand bucks?” He points to a car around the corner and it looks quite nice.

What are you doing then?

If you’re like everyone else, you would not buy it – even if the price is great and you know it’s a good car.

Why not?

Because there is no trust.

Does the car really work? Is it stolen? What happens if it breaks tomorrow? Why so cheap?

You have a lot of questions and since you do not know this guy, you will probably not buy the car.

It’s exactly the same with your website.

Your goal is to present your product or service in a way that makes people think they’re getting a brand new Porsche for a penny.

No, of course you should not deceive people. But by using honest communication that shows the value of your product. If you succeed in being credible in someone’s eyes, then you usually have a new customer.

Trust leads to money. Because just like the Porsche example, you do not buy from someone you do not trust, do you?

A credible website makes people trust what you say. This way, people can feel comfortable sharing their personal information with you. And thus be sure that it is worth spending the money here.

So from Cialdini’s book Influence we know that ” People usually do what all other people do ”.

It is also called herd behavior. Or to adapt to others.

The goal of social proof is to show potential customers that your business is accepted by others. That customers, buyers and people with influence actually trust you.

Social evidence makes all decisions except becoming a customer of your company seem out of the norm.

There are many ways to use it. But here are 9 things you can do right now to build stronger customer trust.


1. References and Reviews

Customers are skeptical. So make sure you back up what you do with evidence.

It’s all about gaining customer trust and showing that you are an expert in your field.

Contact some old customers for you and ask if they can give you an honest reference on how they liked your service / product. References show that others are happy with your business. It’s one of the fastest ways to build trust with people and make them customers.

Ask if you can use your name, photo and a description of how you helped the customer.

The point is this: when you say something, it’s a sell and just a ”snack”. But when your customers say something, it’s true.

That’s why reviews and references are so good. It’s an outsider’s perspective. It’s more genuine and not something a salesperson is trying to tell you.

Pepper some of this everywhere on your website. For example. put some kind of social proof, reference or review on every page that markets a product or service.

Important: Never create a separate page with only references and reviews. They are not at all as effective when they are all on just one page.


Because no one wants to read a page with only references.

Do not you believe me?

If you have such a page, you can go in and look at Google Analytics and see exactly how many people visit that page. (Not so popular huh? :))

Do you have any satisfied customers you can contact and ask them to say something about your company? Put it on the website as social proof!

2. Support From Influential People

Another way to build trust is to get an expert or celebrity to say something about your business. The more relevant and influential the expert or celebrity is in your field, the greater the impact he will have on your customers.

If your company has ever been praised by an expert or the like, bring it out and put it on your website.

And to make it even more effective, put a picture and write the name of the person who praised you (just like you saw in both examples above, but in this case from an expert or celebrity) .

You can also imagine a dentist sitting in her nice white coat and describing how good your toothpaste is and how she recommends it to all her patients.


3. Number of Registered Users

How many people use your product or service? How many are listed on your email list?

If you have a thousand customers, make sure everyone knows about it. No one wants to be the only person using your product or service. But if you have a thousand customers, it must be good, right?

Remember, people usually do as other people do.

Examples of Usage:

If you have a lot of users for your service, product or email list, then you can write ”Join 2000 other people and get access to ….” 

If you do not have many customers, you can use a quote from a satisfied customer who received something from your newsletter or product. If you have a blog, a tip is to look in the comments if you have any quotes there.

4. Social Media Buttons

It’s easy to add such buttons to your blog or news page to show the number of tweets, likes and shares each post has received. Every share, like and tweet shows confidence in that post.

It is probably not a good idea to use it if you have only a few or none on a regular post. Social evidence can have the opposite effect if you do it the wrong way.

What do I mean by that? It is usually better to have no evidence at all than too little evidence.

5. Social Media Widgets: Facebook and Twitter box

Twitter and facebook widgets can show 3 things:

  • Number of people who follow your company
  • Profile pictures of specific and relevant followers
  • Latest posts and tweets

The first two are examples of social evidence. If a potential customer sees a face they recognize, it’s much better because all of a sudden they can adapt their behavior to someone they know!

I do not recommend using social media boxes if you are not active in social media.

Why send visitors to a dead social media page? Then potential customers may think that your company is no longer in business. And as you know, people do the same thing as the herd.

6. Have Photographs On You & Your Employees

Pictures of you, your employees and your workplace increase potential customers’ trust in you.


Because customers want to buy from people, not companies.

They want to know that there are real people behind the company, and that you are there to take care of the customers.

If you have an anonymous website that does not show names, pictures or contact information, then it looks like you are trying to hide something and do not want anyone to recognize you.

No one will buy from an anonymous company because people associate it with scams.

The best place to put the photographs is on the ”About Us” page. But if it suits you, you can also pepper in some pictures all over the website.

7. Media & Corporate Customers Logos

Wrote a magazine, an expert, or a blog about your business?

If you have ever been featured in the media, you have the chance to improve your credibility and turn more visitors into customers.

Show logos on media and other websites that have mentioned you or your company. And be sure to link to it on the website.

Do you have companies as clients? Then you can use their logos on your website. It helps build trust in your business because it shows that other companies are using your products and services.

8. Make It Easy To Contact You

Make sure your address and phone number are visible at all times.

Include it in the footer (at the bottom of the website), but also consider putting it at the top of your website, especially if your company lives on getting customers via incoming calls.

The ”Contact us” link should always be in your main menu at the top of the website.

The most important thing is that you make it extremely easy to contact you. It shows that you are there to take care of customers. And that there is a way to contact you.

It also shows that your website represents a real company. Which is both legal and has nothing to hide. Anonymity makes potential customers run away from your business.

9. Symbols & Icons That Give Confidence

Here is a way you can build a lot of trust: Fix a place on your website where you put all the logos and icons that can give the customer extra confidence in your business. For example.:

  • Associations and membership
  • Reviews and ratings
  • Reviews
  • Security certificates (especially for e-commerce)
  • Awards (has your company won any award?)

Do not overdo it

Of course, you do not want to clutter your pages full of things to build trust. Then it will have the opposite effect.

Take this example:

If you rented a cleaner for your house, and the first thing she said to you after knocking on the door was, “Hey, I’m your new cleaner. Do not worry, I will not steal anything in your house ”.

Wouldn’t you be hesitant then?

You probably did not even think about theft at all. But she planted a seed in your head. Now you may start looking for signs to confirm what you already believe.

The same goes for your website.

If it shouts “Trust me! I will not cheat you for money! Then people will be hesitant even (and especially) if they were not before.

Be sure to use everything in a reasonable amount.

But what is the right amount? Follow BJ Fogg’s tips for a credible website:

To build trust in your website, find out what your customers think gives the best trust and make those things most visible on the website.

Do It Here Now

Try to make sure that your company’s website uses social evidence.

Here are some final tips to help you find social evidence:

  • Look in your inbox for compliments from satisfied customers
  • Look at your social media (eg Facebook page or Twitter) to see if anyone has commented and given your company a compliment
  • See if you have received any thank you letters from customers

How do you rate the credibility of a website?


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