Social Proof: what it is and why it is crucial for your brand

Have you ever heard of Social Proof? If you are trying to understand how to make your brand more credible, “Social Proof” is a topic that will definitely interest you.

Here’s a practical introductory example that can immediately give you an idea of what we’re talking about.

You’re out for the weekend and decide to have a drink at the bar. Walking around the city, you find two bars, one in front of the other; while the first one is bustling with activity, the second one is practically empty.

You have to choose which bar to go to, assuming you don’t know which one is better. It’s true that in the one with fewer people, you could have a quiet evening chatting, while in the other, very chaotic one, you might have more difficulties.

Despite this, people often choose the bar with more people automatically. Why? If so many people want to go to that bar, there must be a reason, right?

The explanation that leads to these choices is known as Social Proof.

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Social Proof: why is it useful for your brand?

The meaning of “Social Proof” or Social Proof translates into the mechanism by which individuals when making decisions they themselves have doubts about, adopt two types of choices:

  • The “less bad” to reduce the risk of error;
  • They adopt the one most widely used by most people because it is considered valid and correct (“If everyone is doing it, why shouldn’t I?“).

So, according to this concept, using Social Proof as a marketing strategy aims to make brands and businesses known, inducing purchasing decisions through web marketing and persuasion.

How to use social proof in online marketing

As we mentioned above, the application of Social Proof involves influencing individuals to act according to the same behavior as a specific group of people but convincing them of their choice.

After several psychological studies, we can summarize that there are categories of subjects that have greater persuasive power than others:

  • Celebrities
  • Friends and family
  • The average user
  • The crowdsocial proof in advertising

Secondly, there are two other principles that interact and definitively determine conditioning in choices:

  • Proximity” whereby people tend to imitate the behavior of someone who is close to them and in the same situation;
  • Authority” whereby people try to listen to those who are worthy, in their opinion, of greater trust because they are experts in a particular subject.

Below, you will find several case studies on Social Proof that you can directly apply to your web marketing strategy to achieve concrete results.

Collect user feedback and reviews

After every purchase a customer makes with you, always remember to ask them to leave a review on your Social Profiles. Especially on Google My Business!

Statistical studies show that:

  • Around 65% of users, before making a decision, search online for experiences of those who have gone before them in their choice;
  • 95% of those who read negative reviews abandon the idea of purchasing or turn to other solutions;
  • 80% of consumers make the decision to spend their money only if the company’s rating is at least 4 stars. Otherwise, trust drops drastically.

Therefore, you can understand that testimonials are a source of free Social Proof that in some cases becomes crucial in determining a sale’s conclusion.

Here are some points to constantly remind those who will leave you a review:

  • Encourage them to ask for not just a vote but also a detailed description of their experience with your brand;
  • Comment through a social profile that partially proves the truth of what was said (a review with a username and photo is considered more truthful than an anonymous one);
  • Conduct video interviews at the conclusion of the sale and upload them online. They are quick and immediate.

Display ratings of what you sell

Leaving a rating is definitely less demanding than writing a review. In today’s vast market, even a single positive review can make a difference.

If you have a physical store, find a quick way to enhance your Social Proof online, even for those without a digital identity.

If nothing comes to mind, consider having a small tablet near the cash register, for instance. Let customers leave a rating, ask for a review, and you’re all set.

Use celebrity endorsements

Some aspects of Social Proof in advertisements remain consistent over the years. Using a celebrity as a testimonial to demonstrate the validity of what you’re selling carries significant weight compared to any other endorsement featuring ordinary people unknown nationally or globally.

Appeal to an influencer’s tastes

When we talk about famous “Influencers,” the Social Proof applied to Instagram comes into play.

In this case, in addition to the principle of authority, which drives these users to be true celebrities, we also find the concept of proximity.

influencer in instagram

People who actively follow and appreciate the positive tastes and characteristics of these individuals are more inclined to consider a Brand more reliable and buy what they recommend.

Engage on Instagram: increase likes

If you want to exponentially increase your Brand’s reputation, remember to bring Social Proof to Social Media. The goal is to create a community around the Brand that interacts through likes and comments.

Create an Instagram profile, post and share content with friends or those who share your interests, and you will automatically enter a cycle of free likes that will lead to two results:

  • With more interactions, you’ll have the advantage of appearing at the top of users’ social media pages. In simple words, the algorithm will tell the user, “This content appeared as something that’s right to do”;
  • Interactions also show the names of friends who have interacted with that particular content, and consequently, the user, due to the principle of social proof, will be inclined to mimic the actions of users with whom they have relationships of kinship and friendship.

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Harness the power of numbers

In support of Social Proof in Business is the “law of numbers.” Including truthful numbers about how many people have already made the same choice in your advertisements encourages potential customers to think, “If so many have made this choice, why shouldn’t I?”

If you think for a moment, you’ve often come across phrases like these:

  • 500 users have already downloaded our video course. Try it too;
  • 255,000 people have subscribed to our newsletter to stay constantly updated. Leave us your email too.

Highlight your most important clients

If you’ve had or still have the opportunity to be chosen by major companies to collaborate with them, it’s because your product or service is worth it.

This is the best opportunity to integrate it into your Social Proof strategy of marketing.

Obtain certifications or badges

A significant benefit that can be brought to the Social Proof strategy in Business is having certifications or awards received from authorities known to the public, making the Brand more credible and communicating to the community that:

  • You have environmental certifications;
  • You adhere to minimum quality standards;
  • Payment in your transactions is entirely secure (think of “Verified by Visa” or “Shopify Secure”).

Create “best sellers” and “frequently bought together”

If you want to bring your Social Proof to Amazon or you want to take inspiration from this giant to improve your e-commerce, you can adopt two simple techniques:

improve reputation in amazon

  • Identify the product you sell the most and design a dedicated “badge” with the label “best seller”;
  • If, in addition to the main product (the smartphone), you sell related items (earphones or car mounts), create a dedicated section “frequently bought together” where you suggest to the customer additional accessories they may not consciously feel the need for but can still find very useful.

Use customers as your showcase

A form of Social Proof as an advertising tool that is developing significantly in various contexts is to encourage the actual customers of the Brand to post content on their social media profiles along with the purchased products.

Obviously, just as you ask for a favor, something must be given in return, and very often, this web marketing strategy is related to the delivery of:

  • Discount codes
  • Coupons to be used in various ways
  • Free gifts

Utilize the “Guess who’s talking about us?”

If you’ve managed to secure interviews with newspapers, famous websites, or dedicated bloggers, give them a space on your online platforms to remind users that these companies have dedicated time to you.

Explain the purpose of the meeting and what you discussed. If you can provide the complete article as evidence for readers, even better!

Responding to negative social proof

There are various digital marketing strategies that can be employed to enhance your brand’s reputation. I’d like to focus specifically on reviews.

These are personal thoughts on experiences lived. Because they are subjective and lack objectivity, they can indeed be considered in evaluations, but always with a critical eye.

Let me illustrate this with an example of Social Proof that perfectly explains what I just mentioned. For some, Andrea Rossi’s Restaurant’s “classic pizza” might be delicious; for others, it might be rubbery and sour, resulting in different reviews.

Until a few years ago, these opinions spread through word of mouth, common opinions that, through “hearsay,” could differ from the original.

Today, with the evolution of the internet, we can say that the “world thrives on reviews” that are written, remain visible, and clear to anyone who reads them.

Therefore, for a company, they can be a great asset if they are positive. However, if they are negative, it’s crucial to avoid deleting them.

It’s necessary to try to understand what they are due to, interact with those who wrote them, and find a middle ground to demonstrate openness to external advice that can improve something that is currently imperfect.


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Social Proof tools

Let’s talk about A small and simple software created to help you develop your Social Proof in one place, without having to split yourself and waste time among different social or eCommerce platforms.

This platform, free if you only need to monitor one domain, can be considered an all-in-one because it helps you develop most of the strategies mentioned above internally, and at the same time, you can link it to your online store or email marketing program.

Easy and intuitive, it helps you increase your potential customers as well as your product sales.

tools to develop social status

Customizable according to your needs, here are some of its features to install on your website:

  • Ability to generate discounts, coupons, and offers to show the visitor when they decide to leave the site without completing the purchase;
  • If you want to create urgency in those who need to buy your product or service, you can insert a countdown that stimulates users to make an immediate purchase;
  • Creation of pop-ups where the user can easily leave their contact details such as phone number and email address;
  • Organize sections within the site where those who wish can leave feedback, also available to those who will come in the future;
  • Insert social sharing buttons to allow spreading all there is to know about your business;
  • Create “exit intent” that allows you to automatically detect the movements of people visiting your site and create an immediate response when they are ready to leave.

As you can see, its capabilities are vast. These are just some, adaptable to every need. Note down the social proof techniques that best suit your business, implement them with this platform, and results will come soon!

Conclusion on social proof

With this article, I wanted to make you understand that the world of web marketing is vast, but there’s more to it.

You have surely noticed that in Social Proof, the psychological aspect of marketing and the art of persuasion are two fundamental pillars for developing business strategies aimed at influencing purchasing decisions.

Being able to grasp it and use it to your advantage, along with clear goals, can be the winning weapon to get known in the target market.

Want to improve your business’s Web Reputation? Seek a session with one of our trainers for a consultation




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