written by
Dmytro Spilka

9 Ways To Use Social Proof In Content to Increase Conversions

Lead Generation 1 min read

Marketers are responsible for creating content with call-to-actions (CTAs) that encourage their brand's website visitors, social media followers, or email subscribers to take a desired action, known as a conversion.

The desired conversion depends on the type of website you have and what your goal is, but visitors can 'convert' by:

  • Purchasing a product or service from your website
  • Downloading material such as an e-book or whitepaper
  • Signing up for your email newsletter
  • Watching a relevant video or listening to an audio clip
  • Subscribing to a monthly membership
  • Filling out a contact form on your website
  • Visiting a key landing page

Effective strategies can improve conversion rates, including personalizing the user experience (UX), optimizing your website's page speed, and simplifying submission forms. This article looks at nine ways social proof can increase your conversions.

What Is Social Proof?

The term "social proof" was first introduced in Dr. Robert Cialdini's 1984 book, Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion, which explores the seven principles of persuasion.

Social proof leverages the human inclination to belong to a group and the need for social acceptance.

Dr. Cialdini's research shows that people often look at others' actions and behaviors to guide their own, especially in uncertain situations.

When shopping, individuals seek reviews and recommendations before making decisions.

Thus, social proof significantly influences consumer purchasing choices and should be an integral part of your marketing strategy.

9 Types Of Social Proof That Will Increase Conversions

Utilize social proof as a powerful marketing tool to show that your products or services have been tried, tested, and endorsed by others. To increase your conversion rate, display the following types of social proof where your customers will notice it:

1. Reviews

95% of consumers read online reviews before they shop, meaning displaying your reviews is one of the easiest ways to increase conversions such as sales.

Customer reviews are the perfect way to showcase social proof because they give people first-hand feedback from someone who has experienced your business or used your products.

Many websites have a few positive reviews on their homepage, but showcasing customer reviews for specific products on the product page is more effective.

For example, Argos displays customer reviews and ratings alongside each product. This helps customers learn more about the specific product they want.

(Image source: Argos)

Not only are reviews used as social proof for customers, but they also tend to perform well on search engines.

In addition to customer reviews, you should also display:

  • Press and media reviews. Many customers follow these recommendations because they get the impression of unbiased opinions.
  • Ratings. Inform your website visitors if you have received a high rating on review platforms like Trustpilot or app stores like Google Play.

2. Best selling products

Display your best-selling products, customer favorites, or most-purchased items on your website to sway a buyer's purchasing decisions.

For example, Amazon has a 'best sellers' section that is based on sales and updated frequently.

(Image source: Amazon)

As well as best-selling products, Amazon uses various types of upselling strategies, including ‘Recommended’ and ‘People often also buy’ sections.

3. User-generated content

92% of consumers trust non-paid recommendations over other types of advertising, and user-generated content (UGC) comes from non-paid contributors who had a good experience with your brand. However, if you’re allowing UGC directly on your website, make sure that the content is not plagiarised or AI-generated.

You should encourage customers to share pictures of them using a particular product on social media, as this is excellent social proof for other customers considering making a purchase.

For example, Parachute encourages its customers to upload photos of how they're decorating their homes with Parachute products with the #MyParachuteHome hashtag. Among ads with UGC, the home goods brand sees a 35% higher click-through rate and a 60% lower cost-per-click.

(Image source: Parachute)

4. Case studies

Case studies highlight how previous customers or clients have successfully used your products or services. You can promote these case studies on your website, blog, or social media channels to show new customers or clients that your offerings are valuable.

The case study should explore how you and the client or customer worked together and how your product or service benefited them or their business.

For example, Debutify's website features a range of case studies (success stories) showing how customers who use the Debutify Theme increase their sales and revenue.

Case studies are especially essential for businesses that provide services. As it's often difficult to justify the price of the service and test its quality, it’s vital to compile a library of relevant, detailed and quality case studies to illustrate the results.

Case studies take time and effort to put together, but they demonstrate the long-term effects of your products or services, so they are worth it!

5. Logos of existing customers or clients

If you can't create a case study to show that prominent brands approve of your products or services, consider displaying their logo on your website as social proof for your customers.

Showing off recognizable logos boosts your credibility, makes you seem more trustworthy, and increases visitors' trust because they can see which brands have chosen your business over your competitors.

For example, like Hubspot showcases some top brands that use their service, such as eBay, Reddit, Casio, Zapier, and more. This adds an extra layer of credibility to the brand, because if eBay used their product, why shouldn’t you?

6. Brand ambassadors

Working with brand ambassadors effectively increases social proof and humanizes your service or product. Brand ambassadors can also increase your desired conversion by including links in their content to encourage consumers to take action, such as visiting a key landing page.

Your brand ambassadors could be:

  • Celebrities. Celebrities usually have a substantial social media following, so they give social proof to a broad audience.
  • Industry experts. Industry experts are credible and authoritative figures who give social proof to those interested in your offerings.
  • Social media influencers. 40% of people say they've purchased a product after seeing it used by an influencer on social media. You can choose macro-influencers or micro-influencers, depending on your budget.
  • Employees. Turning employees into brand ambassadors can bring more satisfying effects than any type of advertisement.

As a bonus, you often don't have to pay brand ambassadors directly; instead, you can offer them your products or services for free or allow them to earn a commission from sales made by their promotional content.

However, generally speaking, influencers that work as brand ambassadors expect either a one-off or monthly fee.

7. Referral program

88% of consumers most trust recommendations from people they know. So, referral programs and word-of-mouth referrals are sometimes even more effective than customer reviews.

Ask your current customers to send a referral link to their family and friends, then offer them a discount code or shipping offer in exchange.

For example, Boohoo gives a 25% discount to the customer and the person they refer.

When there is an incentive for both parties, and the product or service is good, referral programs can be highly effective and relatively cost-efficient.

A lot of businesses rely on referral programs, and if your data shows that it’s a good revenue generator, you may want to consider setting up a dedicated affiliate marketing program. Essentially, it works on the same principle as a referral program, but highly scalable.

8. Social media shoutouts

If a customer mentions your brand in a social media post, take advantage of it by commenting and sharing it on your social feeds.

This is authentic social proof, as it highlights what your customers are saying about you without being too promotional.

This is an important strategy for both good and bad mentions alike. This shows that the brand cares about its products and, more importantly, the customers.

9. Real-time statistics

To show that other people trust your business, you can use any relevant statistic or number, such as:

  • The total count of customers you've served.
  • The quantity of products you've successfully sold.
  • The number of customers who have downloaded and installed your app.
  • How many social media followers your brand has.
  • How many countries your products have been shipped to.
  • What percent of your customers have recommended your products or services to others.

Real-time statistics will show new customers how well you're doing, likely giving them a positive first impression of your brand.

For example, insurance company Vitality has "join over 1.7 million Vitality UK members" on their homepage, whilst the Etsy online marketplace displays that they have "nearly 90 million active buyers."

In addition to displaying these stats on your website, consider including the numbers in your social media bios - especially if the numbers are staggering.


By placing these nine different types of social proof in front of customers - on key landing pages and social media - your conversion rates will thank you in the long run.

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Lead Generation Social Proof