What Is Social Proof In Marketing? (Unlock More Sales + Conversions)

What Is Social Proof In Marketing

Last Updated on January 16, 2023 by MarketerSprout

Social proof is the new currency in digital marketing.

Especially, if you want to maximize conversions on your landing pages.

Think about it, when was the last time you bought something online without checking the reviews of that product or that service you wanted?

I can bet almost never.

That’s because you need validation and confirmation that yes, this is the right product for me.

In this guide, we’ll look at what is social proof in marketing and how you can use to unlock more sales on conversions on your site.

So, What Is Social Proof?

Well, it’s a psychological phenomenon where people look to the actions and behaviors of others to determine their own behavior. 

Essentially, when people see others doing something, they are more likely to do it themselves.

Have you ever been to a concert and noticed, once a small part of the crowd starts going wild screaming that excitement quickly spreads across the rest of the audience?

It’s a form of social proof that this band or artist is “killing it” on stage.

In terms of marketing, social proof can be used to influence the purchasing decisions of customers by showing them that others have bought and are satisfied with a product or service.

Why Is Social Proof Important?

Quick answer is that your website conversions won’t do that well.

You need social proof as it helps to build trust and credibility with potential customers.

When people see that others have had positive experiences with your product or service, they are more likely to believe that they will have a positive experience as well. 

That’s just human nature. 

Social proof taps into our innate desire to conform to the actions and beliefs of others, a phenomenon known as “herd behavior.”

Let’s Look “Herd Behavior”A Little More

What Is Social Proof In Marketing

This is a psychological phenomenon in which individuals in a group tend to mimic the actions and behavior of others in the group. 

You often see this in situations where people are uncertain about how to act, and they look to others for guidance on what to do.

In the context of marketing and social proof, herd behavior can be used to influence the purchasing decisions of your website visitors. 

When people see that others are buying a product or using a service, they are more likely to do the same. 

This is because seeing others take a certain action can create a sense of social proof, and make people feel that the action must be a good one.

Herd behavior can also be explained by the psychological concept of “information cascades” which is the phenomenon when people observe the actions of others and make decisions based on their observations. 

People tend to follow the actions of others because they believe that others have access to more information or are better informed.

Social Proof Is Why Influencers Are Powerful

The idea of “social influence” also plays a big role in how herd behavior works. People tend to conform to the actions of others because they want to be accepted by their peers and they fear social rejection. 

In other words, people are more likely to follow the actions of others when they believe that doing so will increase their social status or acceptance.

What Are the Different Types of Social Proof?

1. Customer Testimonials

Credible testimonials can do wonders for website conversion rate.

This boosts sales because they provide social proof that a product or service is trustworthy and effective. 

Testimonials are a form of user social proof, which are statements from real customers who have used a product or service and have had a positive experience. 

One of the reasons why it’s so powerful is because it comes from regular people, who are often more relatable and credible to potential customers than experts or celebrities.

When potential customers see that real people have had real positive experiences with a product or service, they are more likely to trust it and be more willing to buy it. 

The thing is, when people see that others who are similar to them (in terms of demographics and interests) have had positive experiences with a product or service, they are more likely to believe that they will have a positive experience as well.

You can use testimonials to help to address specific objections or concerns that potential customers may have about your product or service. 

By highlighting specific benefits or features that real customers have found valuable, testimonials can help to overcome any objections or hesitations that a potential customer may have.

2. Real-Life Case studies

If you’re selling high-ticket products that cost thousands of dollars, this can be a game-changer.

You see, case studies are a form of social proof because they provide real-life examples of how your product or service has been successfully used by other businesses or customers. 

They are a more in-depth version of customer testimonials, providing detailed information on how your product or service was used and the specific results that were achieved.

It provides specific and concrete information about how a product or service has been used in the past. 

They also provide detailed information about the results that were achieved, including any challenges that were faced and how they were overcome. 

This level of detail can make the case studies more persuasive and credible than other forms of social proof.

For example, a case study of a company that has used a marketing automation tool to increase their sales, can help to demonstrate the effectiveness of the tool for other businesses in the same industry.

Another thing is that it can provide a sense of relatability for potential customers, as they can see a specific example of how a product or service has been used by a business that is similar to theirs. 

This can help to increase the perceived value of the product or service and make it more appealing to potential customers.

3. Reviews

Before going to a restaurant I’ve never tried before, I check Google, Yelp and sometimes Facebook reviews.

This is the default consumer behavior now for anything before buying anything.

Customer reviews are a powerful form of user social proof, where real customers provide feedback about their experiences with your product. 

This provides potential customers with insight into the experiences of others who have used the product or service, which can help to build trust and credibility.

Positive reviews help to increase the perceived value of a product or service by highlighting its benefits and features. 

On the other hand, negative reviews can also be helpful as they provide an opportunity to showcase your customer service, by addressing the issue and resolving it in a professional manner. 

4. Social Media Chatter

Social media chatter from users can help as a form of social proof because it provides potential customers with insight into the experiences of others who have used your product. 

When people see that others are talking about a product or service in a positive way on social media, they are more likely to believe that it is trustworthy and effective.

People love to see that a business is responsive to customer inquiries and complaints on social media.

This makes the prospect more likely to believe that the business cares about its customers and is committed to providing the best service or product.

5. Trust Icons

These are small images or badges that indicate that a business or website is trustworthy and credible. 

Examples of trust icons include badges from security companies such as Norton or McAfee, or from payment processors such as PayPal.

Trust icons can be particularly effective because they provide a visual cue that a website or business is trustworthy. 

They can also provide specific information about the security measures that are in place, such as SSL encryption or PCI compliance.

It help to address any concerns that a potential customer may have about the security of their personal and financial information.

You can use it to show what certifications or accreditations that a business has earned, such as the Better Business Bureau or the National Cyber-Security Alliance. 

This builds trust and credibility by demonstrating that a business has been vetted and approved by a reputable organization.

How And When To Use Social Proof On Your Site

There are several ways and times to use social proof on your website to increase conversions and build trust with potential customers. 

Here are a few examples:

1. Include Customer Reviews On Product Pages

These should be prominently displayed and should include your best reviews.

You want potential customers to see the product has been tested and used by other people and can decide if it fits their needs.

2. Use Testimonials On Your Homepage

Testimonials from satisfied customers can be added as a slider or a section on the homepage, so they are the first thing a visitor sees when they land on your website.

3. Include Trust Icons On Your Checkout Page

These icons can be used to indicate that your website is secure and that your business is trustworthy. 

They can be added on the checkout page, where potential customers are entering sensitive information.

4. Use Your Brand Hashtags To Show Social Media Chatter 

You can do this by embedding a social media feed or a hashtag on your website, so potential customers can see what others are saying about your products or services.

5. Add Real-life Case Studies

Use this to demonstrate how your products or services have been used in the past and the results that have been achieved. 

They can be added on the blog section or a separate page to showcase the success stories of your business.

Start Using Social Proof In Marketing To Unlock More Sales & Conversions

The key to using social proof effectively is to be strategic about where and how you use it. 

It’s important to consider the context of the customer’s journey, and choose the type of social proof that will be most effective at that specific moment.

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