Social Proof 7 min read
31 Jan 2022

The What, Why, And How of Social Proof

The What, Why, And How of Social Proof

I needed a new milk frother for my morning coffee, so I went to my favorite ecommerce store to buy one.

Then, I narrowed my choices down to two. They looked like this:

Milk Frother

Can you guess which one I chose?

The one with more reviews, of course!

Yes, it has a lower rating. But it has more testimonials and reviews from satisfied customers than the other one.

And that's how social proof persuaded me to buy.

Social proof is a powerful tool you can leverage for your marketing strategy. With social proof, you can boost brand awareness. Plus, it will also help you build trust with your customer base.

And building trust leads to increasing your conversion rate.

Let's explore what social proof is all about. We'll review why it works and how best to use it for your ecommerce business.

First off...


What Is Social Proof?

What Is Social Proof?

The term comes from the 1984 book Influence by psychologist Robert Cialdini. In a nutshell, it's a psychological phenomenon where people follow other people's actions in a given situation. They look for others to show "correct behavior".

For instance, imagine yourself going to a party for the first time. The first thing you can do is observe your surroundings. You can take a cue from other people on what to do and what not to do.

And in the ecommerce world, social proof is an important factor in your online marketing. It's a great way of building trust and loyalty among your customers.

Satisfied customers may say kind words about your product or service. Then, that can encourage people to check out your page. Even more so, they purchase from you right off the bat!

Now that you have more knowledge about social proof... What types of social proof can you use for your ecommerce store?


What Are The Different Types Of Social Proof?

You are probably acquainted with a form of social proof. A great example is the reviews on your product pages. Or testimonials from friends. Here are the types of social proof you can use:


1. Reviews

This comes from your existing customers. You can also say they are classic examples of social proof. For example, take a look at what super satisfied customers of Debutify have to say. ?

The next social proof you can leverage for your marketing is...



2. Expert

This form of social proof is from industry experts. They can vouch for the quality of your product or service.

Not to brag too much... but Debutify has that, too!

This is Kamil Sattar. He's the Ecom King. And the youngest FORBES Business Council Member.

Kamil Sattar

Online stores also use the next social proof...


3. Wisdom Of The Crowd

This social proof works when a large group of people recommends your business. People assume that because tons of customers like a business, they are worth looking at.

For example, you are strolling around a new neighborhood. You see a long line of customers outside a cute bakery on your walk. You decide to try it out because of it.

Wisdom Of The Crowd

That's a perfect example of this social proof.

You can also influence your potential customers with...


4. Referral From Friends

A friend's approval of a product or service can influence your decisions about it. An example would be checking out your friends' social media to see what ecommerce brands they follow.

A popular social proof around social media today is...


5. Celebrity

This is similar to expert social proof. But this time, a celebrity endorses your product or service. Influencer marketing is a good example of this social proof.

Lastly, your business can also show off...


6. Certification

This social proof is when a figure of authority gives you their stamp of approval.

When your target audience sees that verified blue checkmark beside your name... That can greatly influence their opinion of your business!

So, still not convinced about the importance of social proof?

Keep reading, and I will tell you...


Why Is Social Proof Important For Your Ecommerce Business?

Why Is Social Proof Important For Your Ecommerce Business?

Let me show you how powerful social proof is and its influence. Here are the numbers you need to know:

  • Nine out of ten customers look up online reviews before a purchase.
  • 93% of customers trust their friends and family when it comes to brand information.
  • To discover new brands to follow, 40% of customers ask for friends' recommendations.
  • 81% of customers say that having no customer reviews will lessen their trust in a brand.
  • In 2020, 72% of US consumers wrote a review for a business.

Aren't those numbers persuasive?

Let's go over different ways how to successfully leverage social proof.


How To Successfully Leverage Social Proof?

How To Successfully Leverage Social Proof?


1. Invite Experts On Your Social Media Platforms

You can use the influence of experts when you use this social proof. After all, experts have a positive image among their followers... That includes anything they do.

So, you can post their insights on your social media channels. For example, they can answer questions on Instagram Stories. You can go live and interview them about your industry.

Your target audience who knows her can discover your page this way. And your guest would benefit from reaching your customer base, too. Win-win, right?

For example, Debutify shares snippets of podcast interviews on Instagram.

Invite Experts On Your Social Media Platforms

Another way to use social proof is...


2. Acknowledge Mentions

Who doesn't like mentions from the press? Or other big influencers in your industry, for that matter.

Do not hesitate to thank them for featuring your business. Share the mentions on your social media accounts. And show how honored you are in your captions. It will also help you avoid sounding too proud about it.

Take Lyft as an example. Their new product was included in TIME's list of best inventions.

Acknowledge Mentions

Continue sharing social proof with your customers through social media and...


3. Highlight Your Milestones

Include your community in celebrating a milestone. Not only do you recognize your audience... You also show how much your business is growing because of them.

Your business has a lot of milestones you can post on social media. Some examples are when you:

  • Reach a certain amount of followers
  • Reach a certain amount of customers
  • Anniversaries

I like how Yolo Cosmetics celebrated a milestone. Wouldn't that get their audience's attention?

Yolo Cosmetics

Keep going and boost your digital marketing. Display social proof when you...


4. Leverage User-Generated Content

It's no secret that user-generated content is the best example of social proof.

That's because it's also highly effective. UGCs as social proof work best because it also features a customer's page. And that's a persuasive influence. And that's persuasive influence.

In fact, companies see a 28% rise in their engagement rate than the standard brand post.

For example, Fujifilm's Instagram page is filled with UGC.

Leverage User-Generated Content

Continue building your digital marketing and social media efforts and...


5. Use Branded Hashtags

Nothing says social proof than testimonials from happy customers.

Create a simple branded hashtag and build a community out of your customers. Make sure it's unique to stand out from other online stores. Include it on your Instagram page. You can also feature it on your Twitter page. Or any social media platforms, for that matter.

Do you remember Oreo's attempt to create more social proof? They encouraged their customers to purchase the cookie... And come up with their own creation!

Their hashtag #MyOreoCreation surely increased their share counts on social media.

Here are some examples of their customers' testimonials.

Use Branded Hashtags


You can also use social proof on other aspects of your business. Take your marketing into account and...


6. Feature Social Proof On Your Ads

Include social proof examples on your paid ads. Social proof such as UGC is proven to be a winner in bringing attention to your business. It generates 5x more clicks!

There are also different social proofs you can highlight in your ads. Research different insights on your social media page to see which works out best.

To give you a better idea, let me give you some examples.

First, you can highlight an expert that recommends your business. You can also mention how many customers you have. Another way you can do social proof is through celebrity testimonials.

Ed Sheeran's Heinz ad really takes social proof to the next level. They took Ed Sheeran's idea for an ad and used it for their own marketing.


Take a page from their marketing strategy and leverage your social proof!

A prospective customer can also discover your website when you...


7. Show Off Certificates And Awards

Social proof, such as customer testimonials, creates value for your business. Credentials like certificates add trust to your business.

Let your accolades speak for your business. It has a key role in giving your landing pages a stamp of approval.

Nature Made built its whole marketing on the idea that they are the #1 Pharmacist recommended vitamin.

Nature Made

And isn't that the ultimate validation in their industry?

Up next, take advantage of influencer marketing and...


8. Look Into Micro-Influencers

Wanna use social proof and be cost-effective in your marketing?

Give micro-influencers a try. So who are these micro-influencers? These are influencers with 10k-100k followers. This means that they have a solid social influence in a specific area.

You can use their social influence by sponsoring them. They can promote your brand on their page in exchange for products or coupon codes.

Companies like Glossier take testimonials from micro-influencers. Then, they can both post it on their own page.


If you want to learn more about how micro-influencers can help your marketing, check out Debutify's Influencer Marketing Explained with Liam McEwan.


You can also use social proof on your website. Go ahead and...


9. Show The Number Of Customers Viewing A Product

Did you know that you can also create a sense of urgency with social proof? Let me explain.

Say a customer is checking their online purchases. Then, they see the number of people viewing the same product. It shows that other customers are also interested.

This type of social proof motivates a person to act immediately. It also makes for a great customer experience since it lessens frustration.

Last but not least, use social proof and...


10. Recommend Products Based On Other People's Purchases

You can also show products that other customers bought on the product page a customer is viewing. It shows a person's social proof for the product they are considering. And that's how social proof can also increase conversions.

Amazon is known for this technique. In fact, 35% of their sales come from their recommendations algorithm.

Recommend Products Based On Other People's Purchases


And there you go! You now have the answer to the social proof's what, why, and how.

Are you ready? It's up to you to...


Start Adopting Social Proof In Your Marketing Strategy!

Did you know that consumers take mental shortcuts to process information? It's called heuristics. Consumers do this to not be overwhelmed with information and choices.

So, companies like yours need to create a friendlier way of marketing. That's where social proof can help you.

And don't let all the leads coming from your social proof go to waste.

It can all go down the drain when your online store is super slow... and not easy to look at!

Debutify Reviews is here to the rescue!

It helps your business grow and scale with social proof.


Take Your Social Proof To The Next Level With Debutify. Download For Free Today!

Llouela Asim

Llouela Asim

Debutify is the easiest way to launch and scale your eCommerce brand.

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