Social proof: What It Is How To Use It In Your Marketing


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Social proof is an effective tool for convincing your prospects to buy when it comes to eCommerce. This is why it’s important to consider how you buy products as a consumer.

Are you a customer who has left a product due to bad reviews? Would you choose a crowded or empty restaurant if you were looking for somewhere to eat in a new place? If you were looking to buy the TV your friend bought, would it be better to ask where they purchased it and then go to that store or to go to some random place? This is a question that I believe we all share.

Bad reviews can be a sign that a product is not safe to purchase. Emptiness in a restaurant is a sign that something is not right, especially when it comes to food we eat. It also makes it seem safer to buy the TV from a friend than we do because we can see what the end result looks like.

This is how social proof affects our purchasing behavior. What is social proof? What are the benefits it can bring to your bottom line? How can you use the most popular types of social proof to your brand’s advantage? This article will answer all your questions. Let’s get right to it!

What is social proof?

Social proof refers to the psychological impact that others’ actions and attitudes have on our thinking and behavior. Social proof’s “proof” factor is the belief that other people will do/buy something.

The impact of social proof on us is dependent upon the number of people using/promoting it. The more people there, the greater the impact. People can be influenced by social proof to take different actions and make better decisions than if they were relying on their own judgment.

Marketing benefits of social proof

Social proof can be a powerful marketing tool for many benefits.

The Bandwagon Effect

Social proof is based on a psychological phenomenon called the bandwagon effect. According to this psychological phenomenon, people are more likely than others to do the same thing if they are surrounded by people doing it. This is evident when you examine the book industry. Two million copies of a book attracts more people interested in what makes it so special.

This form of social proof is used to show that large numbers of people have purchased a product.

Social media followers counts are another way to show social proof. However, these numbers are difficult to verify and can easily be faked (Facebook Fan Page Likes and Insta Followers can be bought cheaply), so effectiveness of this method depends on how trusting the customer is with what the company is showing.


Another benefit of social proof is the trust effect. Social proof can also help to show that an online business is trustworthy. Shoppers are less likely to be tricked or ripped-off if there are others who have bought from it. When it comes to purchasing, trust is key. Online purchases are more difficult because the buyer and seller don’t have to meet in person.

Additionally, eCommerce businesses often use credit cards to make transactions. If a business isn’t trustworthy, customers are unlikely to use their credit cards on the website.

Sense of Authority

Social proof is an important tool for marketing authority. A testimonial from an expert in the field is better than 100 reviews from people who are not experts on the product.

It is a great way of showing social proof and establishing authority by using logos from big clients or testimonials from reputable figures on your site. A brand should be good if it is partnered with big companies or well-known people.

These are the main benefits social benefit can provide. Social benefit taps into our natural instinct to follow the actions of other humans. This will allow you to build trust and credibility, and help break down barriers between your customers and you online.

11 types of social proof

Now that you know why social proof is so important, let us move on to the most popular types of social proof. These social proof types are essential when planning your marketing campaign.

#1: Testimonials

These are testimonials from customers and clients who have spoken out about the benefits of your product. These testimonials can help convince potential customers about the benefits of your product. Use testimonials from customers who are close to your target customer. Make sure that reviews are specific and not generic.

#2: Influencer Endorsements

Ever wonder why companies pay celebrities for endorsements of their products when they have nothing to do? It is simple: people associate the celebrity with the product when they hear something about it. You might want to give it a shot if you’re a fan of the celebrity.

Influencers do not have to be pop stars or singers. They can also be respected doctors, trainers, and food experts. Anybody who can influence their followers. You’ll be able to find an influencer within your product niche that can endorse your products and many of their followers will become your followers.

#3: Ratings

Amazon only allows me to buy products with a rating of at least 4.5 stars. Products with ratings below this level are too suspect for me so I won’t be buying them. Ratings from previous buyers are what new buyers use to make their decisions. If your ratings are high, you will see a lot of sales.

#4: User reviews

User reviews are, in some ways, very similar to testimonials and often include ratings. Instead of picking customer quotes to strategically place on your site or in your marketing materials , customer reviews can be found in the review section of review sites and are usually a mix of good and poor reviews.

#5: The number of product users

Products that aren’t popular are less likely to be purchased by people. This is why you will find the most-sold items section in almost all eCommerce stores. How many people have purchased your product? 1,000? 100,000? A product that has a large number of users indicates it delivers on its promises. Simply showing how many people have purchased your product is powerful social proof.

#6: Previous Successes / Client Case Studies

This social proof can be used to show your past work, which cannot be done in one testimonial. This is usually in the form of a blogpost that details a past project you have completed.

#7: Credentials

“PhD from Harvard Medical School in medical science”. This title is more likely to be trusted than the statement of the person holding it, doesn’t he? Havard is a highly regarded university that many consider to be reputable. This credential is important.

Your credentials (your degree, expertise, etc.) are a great way to show your worth. Your credentials (your degree, your expertise, etc.) will show that you are trustworthy and can help you win the trust of potential clients. What education, training, or other credentials are you able to use as social proof?

#8: Email Subscribers

Are you a member of a large email mailing list? You can tell potential subscribers by including a quote under the subscription box that shows how many people already have your email list.

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#9: Media Coverage

Media, particularly reputable news channels and magazines (like Forbes), is considered trustworthy sources of information. People and products that can get their stories covered by the media can build trust and credibility faster than those who don’t.

#10: User-Generated content

How can you use the community you’ve built around your product to promote your product to new customers? Offering incentives (discounts etc.) to customers for creating content and submitting it for your display is one way. You can use hashtags on both Facebook and Instagram to get content from your customers.

#11: Followers of Social Media

Social proof can also be measured by the number of followers on your social media accounts. A social account with five followers automatically assumes that it is less active and has less content than one with a million.

Put into practice

Now that you’re familiar with social proof and understand why it is important for your business, let us look at some quick ways to use it in your next marketing campaign.

  • Your newsletter or website should feature customer testimonials
  • You should emphasize the number of subscribers, followers, and customers you have
  • Automate follow-ups with customers who have purchased from you. Ask for referrals
  • Find experts interested in your work, establish relationships with them and collaborate to find ways they can promote you (and what they can do for you in return; that’s very important).

Last words

Social proof can be a powerful and simple way to build an eCommerce brand and bring in conversions. Your happy customers are a powerful way to convey your message and show your enthusiasm for your product or service. You can boast about your accomplishments because you have testimonials from many people.

Social proof is essential for eCommerce businesses. This social proof is essential for your prospects to feel confident before they give you their money.

You now have eleven options to use social proof in your business. These elements can be used by both service- and product-based eCommerce companies. So can starters or veteran entrepreneurs alike.

Now is the time to put these elements into practice. Your engagement will soar and your conversion rates will skyrocket. 

About the author

Kobe Digital is a unified team of performance marketing, design, and video production experts. Our mastery of these disciplines is what makes us effective. Our ability to integrate them seamlessly is what makes us unique.