In this post I’m going to talk about a powerful but less common use of social proof – to reach new customers, not just handle customer objections. We’ll look at how LaserTweets.co uses social proof as a channel, content and delivery mechanism to reach more customers. Then, we’ll take a look at a few tweaks they could implement to make their social proof even more effective.


What is LaserTweets.co?

Laser Tweets is a side project built by Josh Pigford.

Basically, you choose a tweet and can have it laser-etched onto various wood products (eg coasters, signs). Here’s an example:

I think it’s safe to assume that the main customer base for Laser Tweets is people who are pretty active on Twitter.


What’s so special?

What I find so exciting about how Laser Tweets uses social proof is that it has a different purpose.

Normally, the main focus of optimising social proof is to go through your marketing funnel and, after working out the main customer objections at each stage, craft the perfect social proof to help as many customers overcome those objections as possible.

That’s definitely what I spend the bulk of my time on when consulting and in my course on social proof.

But, as you’ll notice when you check out the Laser Tweets site, they don’t use social proof to do that at all. Not even a little bit.

In fact, there are several really simple, low-hanging-fruit tweaks they could make straight away to boost conversions significantly.

So in that case, what makes Laser Tweets so exciting?

Well, thanks to the pretty homogenous audience they have, Laser Tweets can use social proof not only to improve conversions on-site, but to reach and attract new customers in the first place!

Here’s how it works…


Social proof to reach new customers?

To convert a new customer, Laser Tweets basically needs that customer to have a pretty unique attribute:

  • They have to have a tweet in mind which they would like printed.

If you think about it, that means most customers will either themselves tweet often, or they will know someone who is active enough on Twitter for such a Laser Tweet to be a good present for them.

Either way, we can be pretty sure of three things:

  • Pretty much everyone who buys or receives a Laser Tweet is active on Twitter
  • People who are active on Twitter have followers who are similar, at least in that many of them are also active on Twitter
  • People who are active on Twitter enjoy sharing things they find interesting/exciting/amusing with their followers on Twitter

What does that have to do with social proof?

Well put those three points together and you have a unique opportunity to turn your customers into your biggest, most successful (and free) marketing channel.

For Laser Tweets, it looks something like this:

  1. Person A orders a Laser Tweet
  2. Person A shares a photo of their Laser Tweet on Twitter
  3. Person B who follows person A on Twitter shares the tweet
  4. Person C, D, E etc see the tweet and, because they trust person A or B and are similar to them, they also buy Laser Tweets
  5. Person C, D, E etc share photos of their Laser Tweets on Twitter…
  6. etc etc

Here’s an example of this cycle working out on Twitter:


What could they improve?

When you use your customers not just as the source and content of your social proof, but as the delivery channel as well, there are a few levers you can pull to increase success:

  • Incentive (why the customer should share their Laser Tweet on Twitter)
  • Ease (how quick/easy it is for the customer to share)
  • Payload (what content the customer shares and how effective it is at converting new customers)

Here are a few ways Laser Tweets could tweak the levers above*…

Incentive

  • People are more likely to take an action if they see other people similar to them also taking this action. So for Laser Tweets, including a gallery of people sharing their purchases to Twitter on the checkout page/in an email should increase the percentage of customers who are inclined to share
  • Cash incentives. A referral bonus for sharing on Twitter makes it more likely people will do so.

Ease

  • Send/show the customer a link via which they can share, with the content pre-populated by you. Make it as easy as clicking two buttons
  • Part of the friction is waiting for the product to arrive and then having to take a good photo and upload it. Laser Tweets could dynamically create a realistic mockup and send/display it to the customer, sidestepping this friction
  • A slightly more in-your-face possibility is to post the customer’s order on Twitter yourself (ie from the Laser Tweets account) and tag the customer, making it just one click (retweet) to share. Obviously there are some concerns here around privacy/gifting etc.

Payload

  • If the customer tweets the photo themselves, they may not include a link to Laser Tweets (or mention them at all), reducing the number of people who see the tweet and go on to buy themselves. For this reason, I would suggest content for them to copy and tweet which includes a link to the Laser Tweets site
  • For the same reason, I’d also monitor the Twitter accounts of customers and comment/retweet any tweets they make about Laser Tweets, including a link where necessary

*Laser Tweets may well have implemented some of these suggestions or have very good reasons for not doing so – I’m just going off what I can see as a third party.


Wrapping up

We just talked about how Laser Tweets uses a novel implementation of social proof to reach new customers, ending with a few suggestions for how they could improve it.

Hopefully you found this post useful. If so, you can sign up for early access to the Social Proof Handbook, where I wrap up my learnings from helping 30+ companies grow their revenues with social proof into an easy to follow guide.

Did I miss something or get something wrong? Leave a comment or shoot me an email.

Finally, why not get a Laser Tweet of your own? I don’t know the team personally, nor do I gain anything financially from you doing so – I just think it’s a cool idea 🙂