Why You Should Include Social Proof in Your Marketing

March 8, 2022

Looking for ways to boost your credibility online or capitalize on positive mentions of your company? In this article, we break down why and how to incorporate social proof into your digital marketing to build trust in your brand and gain more loyal customers.

What is Social Proof?

The term social proof was coined by prominent psychologist and author Robert Cialdini. He described it as a psychological and social phenomenon that leads people to mimic the actions of others in a given situation.

Essentially, when people are unsure of how to react or respond to a situation, they automatically look to others around them, under the assumption that others — whether they're experts, celebrities, friends, or even other consumers — know more than they do and hence also know what should be done.

Ways to Use Social Proof in Marketing 

Social proof isn’t usually a conscious decision though. Seeing a testimonial from an expert you trust, the logo of an industry-leading company, or a customer review can cause you to prefer that product or service over another. Social proof inspires confidence in your business, product, or service.

Here are three ways you can use multiple types and sources of proof in combination to increase your brand’s perceived value and credibility:

1. Highlight Customer Reviews and Testimonials

Approval from your existing and past customers in the form of ratings, reviews, and testimonials can positively impact the mindset of potential customers before they engage with your brand. If potential customers have a relationship with someone leaving a positive review, that’s even better!

By showing that a large number of people are already benefiting from your products or services, you’re generating a ‘fear of missing out’ (FOMO). Customer online reviews work especially well for technical products or those in very crowded and competitive industries.

Encourage happy customers to share their experiences online like social media, Google, Yelp, or your website. You can ask customers in person for a review, reach out to repeat customers, include prompts in surveys, offer incentives, or highlight customers who've left reviews.

2. Build Trust with Industry Associations

If there's a trusted authority in your industry that you can partner with or receive a stamp of approval from, it can quickly and effectively boost your brand’s creditability.

Don’t hesitate to mention your collaborations and awards on your website and social media. When applicable, include an image that showcases relevant logos or award graphics.

industry associations social proof example 

3. Leverage Industry Experts and Brand Ambassadors

You don’t have to acquire a celebrity endorsement to tap into the many benefits that brand ambassadors can bring. Instead, take your pick of industry experts, influencers, or even passionate customers who’ll spread the word about your brand.

The benefit of involving these experts or ambassadors is that you’re able to reach into their base of loyal followers to draw more attention to your business. It also raises the trust level of new customers if they see that a trusted industry expert recommends your business.

Generate Business with Social Proof

Adding social proof to your marketing is a great way to increase leads or sales for your business. The more social proof you can gather from online reviews, social media mentions, and industry approval, the most trust you can build with your potential customers before they even talk to you.

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Editor's Note: This post was originally published in March 2019 and has been updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness. 

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