Have you ever bought something because someone recommended it to you?
The recommendation is called social proof, and it’s the best way for businesses to market their products. When potential customers see positive reviews and feedback from people like them, it’s more convincing than any other marketing and sales material.
This is why many companies have started using social proof marketing to grow their business. They use different tactics to influence purchasing behaviour with positive social proof and ultimately generate more sales.
In this blog post, we’ll explore why social proof is essential for your business and give you practical advice on using it to promote your products and services.
What is social proof?
Social proof is a psychological phenomenon popularised by Dr Robert Cialdini that describes how people tend to follow the actions and opinions of others, especially when they are uncertain about what to do. In marketing, social proof covers a similar idea – when people shop, they look for reviews, recommendations, and ways how others have used a product before making their decision.
Social proof in marketing can take many forms, including customer testimonials and product reviews, case studies with existing customers, media coverage, and quantifiable data like the number of downloads or purchases. All of those help marketing teams build trust and showcase the product’s value, leading to higher sales.
Why is social proof marketing important for your business?
It is a brilliant marketing tactic for many reasons – social proof marketing helps you:
- Build trust
- Boost brand credibility
- Increase conversions
- Improve customer engagement
- Provide valuable feedback
1. Build trust
Social proof provides a sense of validation from others, which helps build trust with potential customers. When potential customers see that others have had positive experiences with your product and service, it helps build trust in your business and increases the likelihood that they will purchase.
2. Boost brand credibility
You can establish your brand as credible and trustworthy by showcasing social proof. It helps differentiate your brand from competitors. It also makes your business more appealing to potential customers who are looking for a trustworthy and reliable provider of the product and service they need.
Vivadogs, a subscription service for dog owners, is one of the retailers collecting customer testimonials from social media and showing them on websites. A social media feed with customer feedback and reviews helps them demonstrate the value of their products and services and build credibility.
3. Increase conversions
The best social proof marketing examples push customers to make a purchase. When a customer hesitates about buying a product or service, seeing positive reviews and testimonials from other customers increases their confidence in the product or service, ultimately leading to a purchase.
4. Provide valuable feedback
When customers leave reviews and feedback about your product and service, it provides valuable insight into what works well and what needs improvement. By analysing this feedback, you can develop better products and provide a better user experience for your customers. This helps increase customer satisfaction, leading to more positive reviews and social proof, attracting more customers, and growing your business’s success.
5. Improve customer engagement
Especially, social proof in social media enhances customer engagement by providing a platform for customers to share their opinions and experiences with your brand. Customers who feel that their opinions and experiences matter are more likely to engage with your brand. Additionally, responding to customer feedback and addressing any concerns further increases customer engagement and loyalty.
Opus Art Supplies highlights artwork from their customers in Instagram galleries on their website. These virtual art galleries show social proof, building engagement with the existing customer base and help reach new audiences simultaneously.
For more inspiration, learn how you can embed an Instagram feed on any website in a few minutes.
10 best social proof marketing examples for your brand
Social proof is a powerful marketing tool for businesses, but how can it be utilized effectively?
To help you out, here are 10 impressive examples of social proof tactics that can inspire your marketing strategy:
- Show industry rewards
- Have a 'Featured in' section on your website
- Engage with social media mentions
- Organise a user-generated content campaign
- Display UGC and customer reviews on your website
- Encourage customers to leave a rating on review sites
- Show testimonials and UGC in email marketing campaigns
- Showcase customer and sales numbers on your website and social media
- Share case studies about your product
- Run an influencer marketing campaign
1. Show industry rewards
If your business has received any awards or recognitions in your industry, don’t keep them a secret! Displaying them on your website is an effective way to show potential customers that your business is top-notch.
On the website, Salesforce has a section called "Awards and Recognition," where they proudly share the industry awards and acknowledgements they have received. By featuring these industry awards, Salesforce effectively demonstrates its leadership and expertise in the field, which helps build confidence in potential customers.
2. Have a “Featured in” section on your website
If a well-known news outlet or popular website writes an article about your business or introduces your product, you must showcase those mentions on your website! You can call it a "Featured in" section, which helps build brand credibility.
Billie, a razor company, uniquely does this by putting together customer reviews and snippets from their press coverage in Nylon, Fast Company, Buzzfeed, and other prominent publications. This section adds more interest to their website and makes the whole experience more enjoyable for customers.
3. Engage with social media mentions
Customers who love your products often share their positive experiences on social media and mention your business in their posts. This love for your brand speaks volumes and adds social proof for those looking to buy from you. To make the interaction more personal, try using the same language your customers use in their posts and always show appreciation for their kind words.
In this social proof example, a customer expressed satisfaction with Starbucks' delectable chocolate brownie. Swift to respond, Starbucks' official Twitter account displayed genuine appreciation and excitement for the user's positive feedback. Their warm acknowledgement, complemented by an emoji, helped build a connection between the brand and its customers. It all demonstrates that the brand recognises customer mentions and values their opinions.
4. Organise a user-generated content campaign
By organising a user-generated content (UGC) campaign, you can show real-life examples of satisfied customers using your brand. UGC is more authentic and relatable, which makes potential customers trust and believe in your brand. Not only that, user-generated content builds community around your brand, leading to more customers and shared experiences.
For more inspiration, check out some of the best examples of user-generated content campaigns.
You can invite your customers to share their experiences with your product and service on social media and your website. One example is Marco Polo Reisen, which has a popular Instagram hashtag campaign called #MPYLT. The brand encourages its customers, 20-35 year-olds, to share their travel photos, and they often repost the UGC on their own Instagram account, too.
Attention: You can show public UGC without permission on websites, apps, and digital screens. But to publish UGC images and videos on your brand’s social media accounts, you must request UGC rights.
5. Display UGC and customer reviews on your website
Brand Rated reports that 9 out of 10 shoppers read reviews before buying a product. This social proof statistic highlights the importance of having customer reviews and UGC on e-commerce and retail websites.
With Flockler, Worktop Express gathers UGC and social reviews, selects the best entries, and tags those posts with webshop products. Finally, a shoppable UGC & reviews feed is embedded under the 'Our Customers’ Creations' element on the homepage – a related product is shown when website visitors click one of the images.
6. Encourage customers to leave a rating on review sites
When customers leave ratings and reviews on popular sites like Yelp or Google, it adds social proof to your brand. Additionally, having a solid presence on review sites improves your search engine rankings and attracts more traffic to your website.
Flockler helps many companies to collect and add Google Reviews to their website In a few easy steps, you can show social proof and drive sales with a visual feed of customer feedback and a branded Google Reviews widget.
Check out the best ways to get more Google Reviews for your business and improve your online presence.
7. Show testimonials and UGC in email marketing campaigns
Including customer testimonials and reviews in your email campaigns makes them more exciting and engaging. People tend to read and connect with content that features real-life stories and experiences. When you highlight positive feedback and share happy stories from your customers, you can build trust in your brand and drive more sales.
With Flockler, many brands successfully collect Google Reviews and user-generated content from IG, TikTok, YouTube, and more and display them in an email newsletter. You can create a social media feed block for your email newsletter and feature some of your best content and UGC in a few simple steps.
8. Showcase customer and sales numbers on your website and social media
One of the most compelling aspects of social proof is its ability to create a fear of missing out (FOMO). Using numbers effectively creates FOMO by clearly communicating how many individuals have already bought a particular product or service. In addition to sales trends, you can showcase the limited stock availability, utilize user-generated content and customer reviews, and emphasize the popularity or trendiness of a product in paid ads.
Happy Mammoth is one of the 30K+ websites using a service called FOMO (how convenient!) to show a notification at the bottom left corner of their website. When a customer purchases a product, the next visitor on the website will see the little notification popping up on their screen. Using sales data on your website builds FOMO, demonstrates your brand’s success, and boosts conversions.
9. Share case studies about your product
One great way to showcase satisfied customers is by writing a case study about their experience with your business. Identify one or several clients with whom you’ve had significant success and reach out if they’d be willing to participate in a case study along with preliminary questions.
Usually, case studies delve into how you and the customer collaborated successfully, so having their eager involvement is essential. You can exhibit your case studies in numerous ways, whether you provide downloadable PDFs or display them on your website.
At Flockler, we have a Case Studies page featuring customer stories along with company names and logos, especially from leading brands. Creating a visible page in your main site navigation is a great way to showcase social proof.
10. Run an influencer marketing campaign
Influencer marketing involves collaborating with social media influencers to showcase your brand in their posts. People follow influencers because they like seeing what kinds of products and services these content creators wear, use, and love. This direct connection between the influencer and their followers makes influencer marketing a valuable tool for brands to reach their target audience.
GoPro is one of many brands that invest in influencer marketing on Instagram. They partner with influencers who capture breathtaking photos and videos with GoPro cameras and share them on social media platforms with the hashtag #GoProAwards.
Furthermore, on their GoPro Awards campaign page, you can find a curated Instagram feed that displays influencer and customer-generated content. The Awards page allows anyone to submit their entry, and the most exceptional ones are rewarded with cash and product prizes.