Social Proof Marketing Tips

Blog > Social Proof Marketing Tips

Posted By Create

Tags: social media, selling online, ecommerce

We all want to sell more online, and there are many tried and tested methods to help you do so. One of these is showing how well-received your business and products have been before in order to increase trust in your business and improve sales conversion rates. A powerful way to promote your company is to use the unbiased testimonials of happy customers.

Below, social media consultant and coach Rebekah Harriman explains the various ways to get the message across that your customers love you and your products with social proof!

Social proof, in marketing terms, is about what other people say about your products or services online. You can build up a body of social proof in customer reviews, Facebook reviews, comments and likes, and also including testimonials across your site. The question is: 'why should you?'

Think about it. When did you last go to a restaurant without asking your friends for a recommendation, or buy a new washing machine without reading reviews and opinions about it on blogs first? If there were more negative comments, did you still go ahead with the purchase? I’m guessing not, because when we are spending our money, or trying somewhere or something new, we like to know what experiences other people have had so we can gauge whether we are willing to take the risk or not.

Social proof is essentially 'word-of-mouth' marketing online. People tend to distrust adverts (we see so many of them a day) but we trust the opinions of our friends and family. This extends to our online communities and their opinions too. You need to support your potential customers to show them that they are not the only people making a purchasing decision and that other people have been very happy when they have made it.

How To Add Social Proof To Your Website

Here are three simple suggestions of ways you can add something a bit extra to your social proof:

  • Structure the format of customer reviews. Add pros and cons or ‘Would you recommend this to a friend?’ rather than just leaving space for comments. You can also include some information about the reviewer (if it’s appropriate to a purchase, such as with fitness wear). Companies that do this well are Kiddicare and Sweaty Betty.
  • Include a section on your site of photos from your customers, with them showing off their purchases. You can add a real user ‘shop the look’ section, with links to the items on display to help inspire other customers to buy similar items.
  • Add an 'inspiration section' to the top of your site, showing what your most popular items are.

I would recommend using a combination of measures to demonstrate your social proof including testimonials, reviews, what people have liked the most on Facebook etc, rather than just one example. Show visitors that other people know how awesome you and your products are!

A company called, you guessed it, Social Proof produced the fantastic infographic below, which details the statistics behind social proof – it shows that 70% of consumers trust opinions online and 52% of consumers said that positive online reviews make them more likely to use a local business.

The key stats applicable to ecommerce sites are that website traffic increased 60% after adding user generated testimonials and that conversions increased 30% after adding reviews.

How are you using social proof on your site currently? Do you have any good examples from other websites? Please share them in the comments below.


Based in North Shropshire but with a national client base, Rebekah Harriman has been working with social media since before it was cool (around 2005) and established, Creative & Authentic Social Media, 8 years ago to help small business owners get their voices head online without it taking over their lives!

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