social proof in digital marketing

What is Social Proof in Digital Marketing

What is Social Proof Content

Social proof is the impact that the activities and standpoints of the people around us in real life or online have on our own behaviour.

The idea is that if other people are doing it or saying it then it must be correct and righteous.

It is a powerful tool to encourage people to take action with your business by following the actions of your existing customers.

This has proven to raise conversion rates considerably as it puts the potential customers at ease.

When you look for a product on EBay, you may find many different sellers.

Which one will you trust? The one who is selling it at a cheaper price with no reviews yet or the one who is offering it at a higher price but has positive reviews of the product? Exactly – choose the one with reviews.

Consumer studies

A Consumerist study shows us that up to 70 percent of online customers check product reviews before they decide whether or not they should buy a product.

In fact, consumers trust product reviews 12 times more than they trust product descriptions.

How does social proof work

Social proof is based on the idea of normative social influence which states that people will conform in order to be liked by, similar to or accepted by the influencer or society.

When you are browsing a landing page and see a testimonial from an industry expert you respect, that is social proof.

Consumers expect proof from other people that have used the product /service not a sales copy from brands and businesses.

Intelligent companies have realised that social proof can mean big growth opportunities.

There are 6 major types of social proof that you can use to boost your conversion rate and grow your business:

6 types of social proof

From Customers / Testimonials – Comes from your existing customers and can appear in the form of testimonials and case studies.

By Industry Experts – Social proof that comes from valid experts in your industry and from experts that use your product.

Referrals from Friends – Customers and friends can encourage other friends to purchase a product or sign up for a service.

Ratings and Reviews – These are testimonials, experiences of previous customers and ratings.

Social Media Proof – Social media following, social media posts, social presence and engagement.

Certifications – Proof that comes from a trustworthy organisation or source that certifies you as an expert in your industry.

Here we will explain how social proof works as a concept so you can start use it as part of your business strategy for growth.

Use social proof content on your website to help you convert your potential customers into actual customers.

Customer reviews either positive or negative will help your potential customers make an informed decision on whether or not to use your services.

Therefore, it is crucial for all brands to do their best to deal with negative reviews.

92% of people will trust peer recommendations while 70% will trust recommendations from someone they do not know at all.

nielson studies

These reviews carry even more weight if they are published on reliable and trusted sites like Google My Business, Feefo or Trust Pilot and also any other review sites.

As long as they are genuine, this will help lead your potential customers into making the right decision.

This is the main reason why smart brands use customer testimonials on their websites.

Remember to display only the testimonials that are satisfied with your products. Your best bet is to use testimonial quotes.

It is the most frequent form of customer testimonials. You can accompany them with the person’s picture or a satisfied rating system.

Does your business get mentions from authoritative publications?

We are talking about newspapers, magazines, product/service reviews, radio station, TV shows and audio podcasts. If that is the case -collect their logos and place them on your homepage.

media coverage

Source: Crowd Property – P2P Lending

Media coverage mentions can give your potential customers the much needed approval from authority figures and publications in the industry.

Case studies are one of the more authoritative forms of social proof. They are used to enhance the authority in a given industry.

Here case studies are used to highlight most successful projects.

They showcase the projects that you have worked on, the solutions you have implemented for your clients and how you have resolved their problems.

With a case study, your business presents social proof that your service or product is what a potential client is looking for and needs to put their minds at ease.

Regardless of the size of your business whether small or big or how many social media mentions you may have. What matters is how you react to those mentions.

A negative social mention gives you a chance to solve a problem or issue. This shows empathy for the customers that have had issues with your company.

Not every comment on social media will be complimentary. That is the reality about consumers online.

You must find time to check your brand’s social media profile – to give your customers the attention that they have given you with their comments.

Accept every mention, like or comment. Appreciate the time your customers spent on writing that comment or letter and be thankful for it.

A positive social mention from a satisfied customer will increase your businesses credibility and trust with the opportunity to appreciate those words.

If you have an abundance of subscribers on your mailing list or followers on your social media channels – use these numbers to encourage others to join.

When potential customers see the number of people that use your product, that will have a positive impression about your business and this will encourage them to join the crowd.

You could say “Join our 38,000 happy subscribers to get the latest news regarding the property market in your area.”

Another way would be like “Get your friends, family and relatives to subscribe to our 75,000 existing newsletter members to get even bigger discounts.”

Large numbers can generally influence and impress users – they are more likely to join the crowd.

Ensure the numbers are actually large – if they are not then they may have the opposite effect.

Credentials – Industry Certifications

Your potential customers want to know that you are the best and professional.

The best way to do this is by showing off your credentials such as awards you have won, the awards your business obtained or even the businesses you deal with.

Be proud of your company accomplishments. Present your industry certifications and recognition on your website.

Accreditation organisations offer logos and badges that can be used and placed on your website – so list them.

Industry awards
industry credentials
industry certification

If you want to add more industry certifications, you need to find the relevant training centres that can offer you schooling and preparation.

To find out more go to Google and search for: [Industry] + Certification

By displaying your credentials, you can prove to your audience that you are a respected, professional business that is serious about what they do.

This will help your audience trust you and encourage them to use your services.

You can start to include your businesses recognition on your homepage, your sidebar, in your About page section to give your social proof an extra boost.

Every successful marketer knows that social proof has the potential to increase a brand’s conversion rate.

Brands use it as a conversion optimisation tactic to make the purchasing decision easier for potential customers.

A referral from a friend is the best form of marketing and social proof. This is understandable, considering that friends are there to be trusted.

In order to use customer referrals you have to encourage your customers to tell their friends, their families and relatives about your business.

friend referrals

Word of mouth has a powerful impact and influences people effectively.

If you want to get more referrals from satisfied customers, consider the following:

Make the referral process simple. Make it effortless for customers to share their satisfaction with your brand and tell their friends.

You product or service has to be impeccable, useful and valuable to your customers. If untrue, no referral program will save your business.

Offer bonuses and discounts. Offer discounts for referring your product/service and bonuses if the customers and their friends buy together. This can skyrocket your customer base.

An excellent way to generate a positive social proof for your company is to express gratitude for your milestones.

When you reach a milestone, celebrate it with your audience. It is an excellent occasion to thank your customers and supporters who have helped you achieve your accomplishment.

reaching milestone

Source: Crowd Property – P2P Lending

Media coverage mentions can give your potential customers the much needed approval from authority figures and publications in the industry.

Just a few of the many milestones that you can share with your audience:

  • Grossl Value of Property funded
  • Number Homes funded
  • Amount of Monies Lent
  • Number of investors
  • Payback Record – very important
  • Total Amount of Monies Repaid Back

Further Reading: Minimalism in Web Design

Leveraging Integration Partnerships

If your product or service is integrated with other third-party reputable services, use this partnership for your business by adding their logo of your integration partners.

This will set your product or service in the presence of trustworthy and well-known brands.

By leveraging integration partnerships, you are borrowing from their social integrity and adding to your social proof in the process.

Number of Social Shares

Users become your representative when they like or share your content on their social media profiles. Their social media posts act as the social proof for your company.

Their connections and followers will look positively on your business and your blog posts will get more engagement and traffic as a result.

Always inspire social media sharing on your website. Showing the number of social shares within the blog post is another clever form of social proof.

Customers who come to your website are more likely to read the blog post and share it if they see a big number of social shares.

Encourage Facebook (FB) 5 Star Rating

Good FB page ratings and reviews are great form of social proof. They can increase your Facebook conversions.

A Page’s rating is based on multiple sources like reviews and recommendations people share about business pages on FB.

Only pages that allow recommendations may show a rating and a page may not have a rating if it has not received enough recommendations.

Facebook 5 star page rating

Enabling ratings and reviews allows consumers to leave feedback about your business and products or services.

User can either leave a written review, star rating or both and anything from 1 to 5. Encouraging your fans to leave good ratings on your Facebook page can be a big boost for your business.

Here are how to get more positive FB page reviews:

Asking People in Person – Once a customer has purchased a product or services from you.

Kindly ask them to leave a positive review on your FB page if they are satisfied with your product or services.

Highlight Customers That Leave a Review – When you see a 5-star review and comment on your FB page.

Always return the comment back with gratitude. Show your customers that you appreciate them and earn their loyalty in return.

Hold a Contest – Create a contest. Promote the contest and reward fans with a discount or prize for leaving a good rating on your FB page.

They can share it with their friends, families and relatives. This is probably the fastest way to obtain a large number of FB reviews.

Reach out to Repeat Customers – Returning customers means they are happy with your products and services. This is an excellent opportunity to ask for a positive FB review.

Share the Love for Your Product

Successful brand names love it when they are given a positive shout-out on social media.

It is the best possible customer feedback and an excellent way to generate positive social proof on your social media accounts. Customers love your product or services.

Create Customer Success Stories

A well composed and well-placed customer success story can add lots of value about your product to your target audience.

presenting customer stories

The effectiveness of customer success stories lies in the journey of solving a customer’s problem and presenting them with a solution.

You can present your customer’s success story in any form below:

Interviews – Most common way is the interview – done either via video or written content.

You display your customer’s words to your target audience and can be extremely persuasive to prospective buyers

Text format – This is conventional form. You can create it by writing a detailed article or a case study, describing how the customer implemented your product as a solution to their problem.

Videos – According to Cisco studies – video traffic will be 82 percent of all consumer Internet traffic by 2021.

So creating video testimonials with your customers is a must. Video content has the power to be imprinted in the human mind

Hosting a Twitter Chat

Trending topic on Twitter – is another form of smart social proof. This is a great way to boost your brand’s marketing, build awareness and engage with your audience.

twitter chat

A Twitter chat is a public twitter conversation around one unique hashtag that allows you to follow the discussion and participate in it.

Twitter chats are usually recurring and on specific topics to regularly connect people with these interests using a proper hashtag like #Blogchat, #brandchat, #productchat and more.

Use the chat’s answers and questions to create future content on your blogs to enhance your social proof with the audience.

The more value you offer in your chat – the more your audience will participate in each session.

Twitter chat can help your business reach out to your new followers, resulting in an unlimited number of potential leads.

 See how Buffer applies this to bring more awareness to their audiences:

buffer audience awareness


We hope the above ideas will help you to build a stronger social proof for your growing business and inspire you with ideas on how to generate even more social credibility.

Remember that you will have to work very hard to maintain your success and the reputation of your business.

The quality of your products or services must be social proof worthy and you will be spreading the name of your business.

Pick the type of social proof that works best for your business. Stay focused and your business will be inundated with conversions, social proof, more leads and sales.

For more information on how Best Digital-Marketing can help you increase your social proof in Digital Maketing:

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What is Social Proof in Digital Marketing