Social Proof: How to use it on your website (with examples)

WRITTEN BY

Mojca Brezigar
Mojca Brezigar

Conversion Copywriter

Table of Contents

Social proof is a powerful phenomenon that can influence the behavior of consumers in a variety of ways. It is based on the idea that people will follow the actions and opinions of others in order to display accepted or correct behavior.

This concept was first introduced by Robert Cialdini in his book, “Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion,” and is one of the principles of persuasion he presents.

There are several different types of social proof, each with its own unique characteristics and strengths.

1. Case studies:

A case study is a detailed account of a specific example or situation, typically involving a customer who has used a product or service. These can be incredibly effective in demonstrating the value and effectiveness of a product or service.

social proof - case study example on Adgy marketing agency

Source: Adgy

2. Testimonials

Testimonials are statements from satisfied customers that provide personal and specific details about their experience with a product or service. They can be incredibly persuasive, as they come from real people who have used the product or service and can speak to its effectiveness.

3. Reviews

Reviews are evaluations or assessments of a product or service, typically posted online. These can be incredibly helpful for potential customers looking for more information about a product or service, and can also help boost a business’s credibility.

social proof example - reviews for sadje v pisarni

Source: Sadje v pisarni

4. Social Media

Reviews are evaluations or assessments of a product or service, typically posted online. These can be incredibly helpful for potential customers looking for more information about a product or service, and can also help boost a business’s credibility.

social media proof - post example

5. Trust Icons

Showcase the social proof of your success! Trust icons, such as the Better Business Bureau logo, can be used to demonstrate a business’s credibility and trustworthiness. These can be displayed on a website or in advertising materials to help build trust with potential customers.
Instead of leaving logos and icons to speak for themselves, including their glowing feedback be an endorsement that attracts potential customers.

6. Numbers and statistics:

Data and numbers can also be used as a form of social proof. For example, a business might use statistics to demonstrate the effectiveness of a product or service, such as the number of satisfied customers or the percentage of customers who return for repeat business.

social proof example -numbers and statistics
social proof example - reviews for sadje v pisarni

Source: Sadje v pisarni

Social proof is an incredibly powerful marketing tool, but it’s important to use it ethically and authentically. Using fake reviews or endorsements can damage your reputation and ultimately harm your business. By using social proof in an honest and transparent way, you can build trust and credibility with your audience, and ultimately drive more sales.

How can we evaluate the persuasion quality of social proof?

Growth marketing expert Angie Schottmuller has developed a model for determining the persuasive potential of social proof – the C-R-A-V-E-N-S model. This model evaluates social proof based on seven key elements: Credibility, Relevance, Attractiveness (emotionally), Visual appeal, Enumeration, Proximity and Specificity. By assessing social proof against these seven criteria, marketers can determine which forms are most likely to be effective in driving conversions.

Each of these elements represents a key factor that can influence the effectiveness of social proof. Let’s take a look at each element in more detail:

Credible: The source of the social proof must be credible and trustworthy. For example, if a product is endorsed by a well-known and respected expert in the field, it is more likely to be perceived as credible.

Relevant: The social proof should be relevant to the audience and the product or service being promoted. For example, if a product is aimed at a specific demographic, the social proof should come from people who are part of that demographic.

Attractive (emotionally): The social proof should be emotionally appealing and evoke positive feelings in the audience. For example, if a product is aimed at people who are looking to improve their health, the social proof should show people who have achieved great results with the product.

Visual: The social proof should be presented in a visual format, such as a photo or video, as people are more likely to remember and be influenced by visual information.

Enumerated: The social proof should be quantified, such as by providing a specific number of people who have taken the desired action or achieved a specific result.

Nearby: The social proof should be from people or sources that are nearby or familiar to the audience, as this can increase the perceived relevance and credibility of the social proof.

Specific: The social proof should be specific and detailed, rather than general or vague. This helps to increase the perceived credibility and relevance of the social proof.

There are several elements that you should be constantly optimizing in order to achieve the best results.

First, consider the type of social proof you are using. There are six standard types and many other options available. Experiment with different types to see which one works best for your audience and campaign.

Next, focus on the content of your social proof. Don’t just settle for the first three testimonials you find. Continuously search for new social proof and rotate the content to test for the best results. This could include testimonials that address objections, highlight specific benefits, or even include your core keywords.

Finally, pay attention to where you are placing your social proof. While it’s common to see testimonials at the bottom of a landing page, don’t be afraid to experiment with other placements. Remember, the goal is to design for conversions, so make sure your social proof is in a prominent and highly visible spot.

In conclusion, social proof is a powerful tool for persuasion and conversion in marketing. By showing potential customers that others have taken a desired action, such as purchasing a product or signing up for a service, businesses can increase the likelihood that potential customers will take the same action. Angie Schottmuller’s C-R-A-V-E-N-S model is a useful tool for evaluating the persuasion quality of social proof and determining which forms are most likely to be effective. Additionally, by constantly optimizing the type, content, and placement of social proof, businesses can maximize its effectiveness.

Frequently asked questions about using social proof

What is social proof in marketing?

Social proof is the concept that people will conform to the actions and decisions of others in an attempt to reflect correct behavior for a given situation. In marketing, social proof can take the form of customer reviews, testimonials, or endorsements that help to build trust and credibility for a product or service.

Why is social proof important in marketing?

Social proof is important in marketing because it helps to build trust and credibility with potential customers. Seeing that others have had positive experiences with a product or service can increase the likelihood that a potential customer will make a purchase.

How can businesses use social proof to increase conversions?

Businesses can use social proof to increase conversions by prominently displaying customer reviews, testimonials, and endorsements on their website and marketing materials, using influencer marketing, and by highlighting the number of satisfied customers or sales.

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Mojca Brezigar
Mojca Brezigar

Mojca is an expert in transforming words into gold - or as she likes to call it, Conversion Copywriting at ADGY!

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