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What's Social Proof and How Should I Use It?

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Posted on 05/10/2017 at 08:00 AM

What is Social Proof?

As you browse the web in search of products, services, or resources, you’ve probably seen examples of social proof being used. It can take many forms, from product ratings and reviews to displaying the number of comments or social shares any given piece of content has received. Put simply, social proof can involve any tactic aimed at “proving” the value of a product, service or resource in an effort to influence users to become members, customers or subscribers. The term can be applied broadly, as social proof strategies are only as limited as your creativity. So how can you use it to your advantage?

Here are 5 effective social proof strategies to get you started!

  1. Add customer testimonials to your website or other marketing materials.

    If you’re on the fence about purchasing a product or service you’ve not yet tried, testimonials can mean the difference between submitting your order and abandoning your cart. If you have customers who are willing to vouch for your product or service, and you’re not displaying this on your website, you’re missing out on an easy way to increase your conversion rate. By using this kind of social proof on commonly visited pages, like landing pages, homepages or even in newsletters or on other marketing materials, you can boost credibility and give shoppers a reason to commit to your product.
  2. Display ratings & reviews for products or services:

    In a similar way to testimonials, customer reviews and ratings can too be greatly influential in improving conversions. While testimonials and ratings and reviews are referenced almost interchangeably, they are different in one major way; Ratings and reviews employ a rating scale of quality, a measurement of sorts, which helps prospective customers better understand the features and shortcomings of the product or service in question.  
  3. Badges, and Certifications, and Seals, Oh My! 

    Whether you call them badges, seals, certifications, or something else, this variety of social proof involves displaying “proof” via meaningful images or logos within a website footer, product description, or other marketing materials. Maybe it’s that your products are ‘Certified Organic,’ or perhaps you had one of your makeup products featured in ‘Allure’ magazine. Whatever it may be, marketing these visual ‘seals of approval’ through your website or other marketing materials can be very helpful in convincing prospects that this product or service will be valuable and relevant to them. 
  4. Show off your subscriber counts.

    People tend to follow the crowd, so imply there’s a crowd to follow by subtly broadcasting your subscriber count. This works especially well for newsletters, blogs, and subscription-based services in general.  “64,000 subscribers can’t be wrong!” Include something like this on your opt-in landing pages, along with some information about the subscription or service and a call to action. 
  5. Boast about your clients.

    Have a strong client base of well-known brands and organizations? Use this to your advantage! Display client logos on your website or other marketing materials to establish credibility for your company. Doing so can communicate that you work with well-established, relevant or exciting brands, making it easier for prospects of the same caliber to picture themselves doing business with your company.

Are you interested in leveraging social proof on your website? We can help! In addition to the social proof features that can be enabled within our SiteViz content management system, (like reviews and ratings or testimonials) our design and internet marketing teams can also help you determine the best way to effectively display social proof on your website. Contact us today to get the conversation started



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