We experience social proof every day through social media apps, collaboration tools for work, and WhatsApp groups with family and friends – and in many offline discussions, too.
Social proof like restaurant recommendations on Google or even almost unnoticeable, everyday life experiences help us decide the appropriate behaviour in a given situation. We look to others for clues if we feel unsure.
And we certainly hunt for clues when searching for something to purchase online. Social proof and reviews embedded on webshops help us compare products and eventually decide.
In this article, we will show examples of how to social proof your website with:
- Testimonials and reviews
- UGC and hashtag campaigns, and
- Shoppable Instagram feeds
1. Testimonials and reviews
Regarding social proof on websites, showing customer logos and publishing case studies is perhaps the most typical starting point for B2B services.
Suppose you have built a close relationship with your clients, and they are willing to comment on how your product and service is helping them. In that case, testimonials can substantially increase your conversion rates. Sometimes, customer testimonials feel a bit too scripted, but they help you convince that others already trust your solution.
90% of customers read online reviews before purchasing a product. You can gather reviews directly on your website, Facebook Page reviews tab, and through services like Google and Trustpilot. Reviews and product feedback are often a touch more authentic than testimonials, and they describe the benefits in customers’ own words, making them one of the most powerful forms of social proof.
2. UGC and hashtag campaigns
Another powerful form of social proof are reviews gathered through social media channels like Instagram, TikTok, X (formerly Twitter), Facebook, and more.
By organising user-generated content campaigns, brands and webshops can curate and show authentic social reviews in a visual format.
Instead of a text review, customers love to share an image or a video on social media, and that content will have a higher impact on others than text and star ratings.
In addition, UGC and hashtag campaigns spread in our networks – sometimes like wildfires. We need to hunt for online reviews, but the social proof via Instagram and TikTok finds a way into our screen without actively looking for something. Sometimes because of a pure coincidence, but very often with the help of social media algorithms predicting what we might like to see next based on millions of signals we leave behind.
Another brilliant example is the Opus Art Supplies displaying the artwork of their customers in Instagram galleries embedded on the Community page.
In addition to social media channels, Opus Art Supplies has an upload form for those customers who are not active on Instagram or do not want to share their work on social media for any reason. With Flockler’s UGC platform, they moderate entries via form and social media feeds and publish customer-generated content on the website.
For more inspiration, check social proof examples from companies such as GoPro, Intersport, and Jay Peak Resort.
3. Shoppable Instagram feeds
If you are running an online store, the chances are that you’ll have an active presence on Instagram and customers mentioning your branded hashtag, too.
That’s when a shoppable Instagram feed on your webshop is a perfect fit. After curating hashtags and brand mentions, webshops tag their products to social media feeds and display them on the homepage and product pages.
It’s hard to imagine social proof more powerful than a customer’s image or video directly linked to the relevant product and service.
Sohome.nl’s homepage has a carousel showing the latest Instagram hashtag mentions.
When you click to open up any of the posts, you will find the related product and a button to purchase it. That’s when the social proof leads straight to the action!
Are you running an eCommerce site? Learn how to make your Instagram feeds shoppable.