Social proof is simply proof that something is popular among the targeted consumers. It’s a great marketing strategy because people tend to be more open to things that are popular and loved by others around them.
Think of social media Likes and positive comments under a post advertising a particular product. The reaction button and positive comments are a mechanism for social proof.
The more likes a post has accompanied by positive comments, the more others who haven’t used it tend to be curious about the product under review.
This marketing tool develops trust with the outside world and helps in reassuring the consumer that they about making excellent purchasing decisions.
Using social proof helps your marketing strategy in numerous areas both offline and online.
Social proof can happen simply when customers share an opinion regarding the services they received from your brand.
It often comes mostly from clients’ reviews and testimonials regarding your business. It is all about building solid trust with your customers and using positive rapport to draw in new customers.
Offering a great piece of social evidence can promptly make your claims appear more believable and make people trust your business with complete confidence.
This can as well offer you an edge over the competition during marketing your business.
In this article, I will provide you with the best examples of Social proof marketing to help you drive great sales into your sales funnels.
Table of Contents
Best Examples of Social Proof
The following are the many types of social proof that businesses use:
#1. Expert social proof
#2. customer testimonials
#3. celebrity endorsement
#4. customer referrals
#5. reviews on third-party sites
#6. Social media shares
#7. Case studies
#8. Guest post
#1. Expert social proof (Sensodyne)
Trying to make a buying decision on something you are unfamiliar with? Chances are you will trust the opinion of an expert more than anyone else.
It’s easy to think that since they are the expert in their industry, they probably should know better than you.
The toothpaste world is a highly competitive industry where the contents of the tubes are largely the same, no matter the packaging.
Expert social proof is what helps toothpaste brands get their products off the shelves into the homes of the target consumers.
As you go through Sensodyne’s About page, you immediately stumble upon the “doctor’s recommended brand” stamp.
There’s also a brief paragraph on Sensodyne being the number 1 recommended toothpaste by dentists.
It even includes the study that backs up their claims. In other words, they have managed to crowdsource the opinion of over 200 experts into one statistic all geared towards motivating interest in the potential buyer.
Sensodyne has leveraged the recommendation/voice from professionals in that industry to draw in sales to the brand and it is a powerful strategy.
#2. Customer Testimonials (Bizzabo)
A great example of social proof would is found Bizzabo customer page where you find reviews like this “Hi, Bizzabo team is quick, responsive, remarkably kind, and knowledgeable in their product.
I could write pages on how valuable their customer support team is. I sing Bizzabo’s praises at any given chance I get.”
This sort of kind review about the brand can ignite interest in a potential customer. Data reveals that nine out of every 10 consumers go through customer reviews before making a purchase.
Not only that, a whopping 79% of consumers say they tend to trust online reviews just as much as they trust a friend’s recommendation.
Friends and family recommendations are also how 40% of consumers find new brands to buy from.
Customer testimonials form a significant part of the sales funnel. Reviews about a specific product can improve conversion rates by 270%.
#3. Celebrity Endorsement (Michael Jordan)
The Nike Air Jordans`, launched in 1984, has been one of the most successful celebrity endorsement examples of social proof in history.
Jordan sales increased by 31% and kept climbing even through the pandemic.
It’s pretty safe to say relying on Michael Jordan’s endorsement to sell sneakers is one of the best financial decisions Nike has ever made. The team tank for that decision deserves an award of recognition in the hall of fame.
This type of social proof normally happens outside of a brand’s eCommerce website. Its social media profile, press coverage, and sponsored influencer content play a huge role in using a celebrity’s endorsement to build trust in the camp of consumers.
This builds instant validation and becomes even easier for first-time customers to trust brands more.
#4. Customer Referrals (A Box of Stories)
Modern marketing is getting harder and more expensive by the day, due to a combination of (i) the ever-increasing costs and reduced success of digital marketing;
(ii) The fact it’s getting harder and harder to reach customers due to spam filters, ad blockers, banner blindness, and the fact that many customers no longer watch terrestrial TV
(iii) And because consumers increasingly distrust paid adverts.
So for the above reasons, consumers tend to trust word-of-mouth, or recommendations from friends and family, above all other forms of advertising.
Customer referrals are inherently based on social proof because you are incentivizing customers to share your product or service with their friends and family.
As we mentioned earlier, a recommendation from a friend is one of the surest ways to get introduced to a new pool of customers.
Brands know this and utilize this as part of their social proof strategy.
A brilliant example of this form of social proof is seen in “A Box of Stories” a subscription box service in the UK that utilized the power of referrals to reach new customers.
How? By using word-of-mouth marketing software with its very first few loyal customers.
A Box of Stories knew that its product had the prospects for more traction because of how appreciative existing customers were.
Once the brand set up a referral system that gave customers and each of their referred friends $4 off their first and second purchases, this led to a referral rate of 7-8% in the very first month.
Close to 5,000 customers joined through the referral program and they raked in massive success.
#5. Reviews On Third-Party Sites (Amazon Customer Reviews)
I have spared a lot of time through this article convincing you of the importance of positive reviews for your business.
By now I trust you no longer need more convincing on that as you already know that reviews play an important role in the purchasing decision-making process of your prospects.
Amazon was one of the first online stores to allow customers to post reviews of products in 1995, and it remains one of the most crucial resources for consumers looking to make informed purchase decisions.
Even if people can and do buy a product elsewhere, if it’s sold on Amazon.com then many people will look up its Amazon review before they decide to either buy or ignore the product for another.
#6. Social media shares (Cupshe)
Social shares are a valuable currency for brands today in digital marketing.
That’s because social shares signal which messages, campaigns, and images engage your audience the most.
And on the flip side, a lack of shares is often a bold sign of poor content or content strategy.
However, getting social media shares is easier said than done when your audience is barraged with so much content across so many platforms these days.
If you feel like there aren’t enough eyeballs on your content, then creating content that gets shared by your followers is sure going to put you off that cold feeling.
Cupshe offers a typical example of this tactic. It is a swimsuit brand that exclusively concentrates on user-generated content in its Instagram strategy.
They understand the exciting feeling of customers, creating a win-win situation for both. By conducting this (they often tag or attach the social sharing links below each post), and get about 800.000 followers on their Instagram.
#7. Case studies (HubSpot)
Case studies are usually official reports that hone in on a specific client; they tell others about the situation and the results from start to finish.
Case studies are often more suitable for SaaS agencies, companies, and service providers instead of eCommerce.
Potential clients flock to case studies to get the technical details of how a company has helped others with similar pain points.
And once they find a case study that resonates with their pain point and sees that you solved those issues, they will be running to you with theirs.
#8. Guest Posts (Buffer )
Here’s another good example of social proof: consider featuring guest posts on your blog from influencers or experts in your industry.
Having guest posts by well-known experts on your site will improve your credibility by association. Your readers will attribute the expert’s authority to you because the post is on your website.
Plus, the expert’s fans will check you out and be more likely to trust you because their favorite influencer is featured on your website.
When the social media scheduling app Buffer just entered the market, Leo Widrich the co-founder wrote roughly 150 guest posts.
Through guest posts, Buffer was able to grow its customer base for Buffer from zero to 100k customers within 9 months.
Leo went the modest way, he started posting on smaller blogs that were only driving a handful of traffic to their website.
#9. Guest Posts (Danny Iny)
When Danny Iny started his marketing business “Firepole Marketing“ he was not a famous blogger or marketer.
Their traffic was nothing to get excited about at 30 visits a day. He was in huge debt from a former venture, and he simply had to make this work fast.
And he turned to post on other blogs that already had a good following.
Danny was lucky; he soon landed his first guest post on Copyblogger.
Note: Landing the first guest post on an influential blog like Copyblogger is a big deal and not open for everyone – if you do not have someone at an authoritative blog to open the door for you, no way for you to go in.
It is often easier to start guest blogging on smaller blogs and work your way to the top. Once you have some references, it becomes easier to get your guest post published.
For Danny Iny, his post on Copyblogger was just the first step on a journey to success and fame. He wrote 80 guest posts in a few months.
His traffic grew massively – but what is even more, he managed to grow his email list in a fairly short time – allowing him to build his audience and community that is the foundation of his online business success up to this day.
#10. Influencer marketing (HISTORY Channel TikTok Campaign)
When the HISTORY Channel launched its official TikTok account, it had a goal to immediately reach and connect with a new set of prospective followers and position itself as a relevant and entertaining source of information for rising generations.
The HISTORY channel partnered with NeoReach in this effort that created a campaign with the theme “Stay Curious”
NeoReach put together a team of TikTok creators across a different range of audiences who produced high-quality video content to show how captivating the HISTORY channel can be.
The videos made by the creators performed extraordinarily well, even outperforming many of the creators’ non-sponsored content.
The campaign was viewed by over 21 million accounts, was collectively viewed 12.2 million times, and grew the HISTORY Channel’s new TikTok account to 50,000 followers after its debut.
#11. Influencer marketing (The Pepsi Emoji Product-line at Walgreens Stores)
Pepsi aimed to improve its sales at Walgreens, so it made limited edition packaging and the #SayItWithPepsi hashtag.
They chose to target millennials and decided social media engagement would be the best promotion – even for in-store purchases.
The purpose of the campaign was to illustrate that incorporating the specially-packaged
Pepsi emoji bottles found exclusively at Walgreens in your summer activities made everything more interesting.
Pepsi leveraged influential creators to develop original organic-style content about the 200 Pepsi emojis who then distributed the content to their net generation followers.
The shared content included original photography, blog posts, and branded video content.
It drove the teenagers to Walgreens and Duane Reade stores to buy Pepsi emoji bottles to help them have a thrilling summer adventure.
#12. Certifications (Bailly)
Another social proof example you can leverage to build trust is certifications. Simply display the certificates you have earned from courses you have taken related to your industry.
Fragrance brand Bailly has adopted a certification-style social proof strategy so well that and deserves to be emulated.
People tend to follow in the footsteps of others especially when they are not sure what the right behavior for a specific situation is.
For example, you visit a bank and see people standing in a long queue to wait for their turn. Consequently, you will take your place at the end of the queue, right?. This happens, because that’s the right behavior to adopt in that situation.
You then visit a different bank the following week. This time, people aren’t standing in a queue. You won’t ask them to make a queue, but instead, you will follow that behavior pattern.
This human behavior is explained by the psychological phenomenon of social proof which states that people adopt the correct behavior that’s acceptable in a given situation.
Social proof is widely used in marketing to rake in sales. Research shows that more than 92% of consumers trust recommendations from friends and family more than they do advertising.
A separate study found that customer testimonials improve the conversion rate of a sales page by 34% and 97% of consumers say that reviews influence their purchase decisions.
This article captured the best examples of social proof that should motivate you to start leveraging this powerful tool to bring consumers to your website.