Social Proof: An Effective Way To Persuade Potential Customers To Buy

Social proof

Have you ever bought something because a lot of people said it was a good product? Or tried out a restaurant because you saw a lot of people inside? Or watched a movie because it had above 70% approval rating on rotten tomatoes? If you have done any of the above, then you made use of a concept called social proof. In the book, “Influence,” Robert Cialdini describes it as “the tendency to see an action as more appropriate when others are doing it.”

No matter how much you try to show your independence, you sometimes look to others to determine your actions or validate your choices. Think about it, when you go through something, don’t you wonder if anyone else is going through it or went through it. That’s the power of social proof. A lot of people will only try something if other people are doing it or they think other people will approve of it.

For businesses, social proof is a powerful persuasion tool for prospective customers. It eases the minds of prospective customers. In fact a lack of social poof may make people assume you company isn’t trustworthy or is too new to for them to trust or isn’t being used by anyone because it sucks.

When a person sees that your product has solved the same problem for another person similar to them, they are much more likely to purchase due to their increased confidence in the fact that your product can help them achieve what they want it to. It lets them know that more people took that decision. It’s in your best interest to make use of social proof in your business and luckily with the rise of social media, it’s easier to use.

The first step is to look for ways to use it within what you already do. If you have been in business for a while, then you have something that you can use. The first is a great product or service. When you have a great product/service, a lot of people may buy it and tell people, either online or in person.

Other ways you can send a social proof message to your users, customers and clients are;

  • They can be very persuasive. To increase the effectiveness of testimonials, include pictures of satisfied clients. Please use high quality pictures, include the names and occupation in the testimonials. The people in the pictures should look inviting and friendly. It will make the review or testimonial feel more real to the potential customer, thus boosting the effectiveness of this form of social proof. Also the testimonials shouldn’t be generic like company abc has great service, but it should be specific and describe something specific that was solved through your product and service. Don’t forget to include a call to action eg “Join these great companies by signing up today,” or join 5,000 people who have benefited from our service. Add customer testimonials to your website or newsletters. You can also say what satisfied customers told you when talking to prospective customers.
  • If your customers are other businesses, you can display your clients’ logos on your website or other promotional materials. It gives credibility to your company, showing you have big, relevant, exciting, or lots of clients.
  • Rating and reviews of customers. This goes hand in hand with testimonials.
  • Show or mention the news media that has featured, reviewed or mentioned your products/services or works.
  • Make use of case studies of showing how you satisfied your present customers.
  • Make use of user-generated content eg ask customers to Instagram pictures of themselves with your products and tag you and their friends and family. Incentives and competitions can be used to encourage participation, just find a platform that suits both your product and customers
  • Expert and celebrity endorsements. Find those who are interested in what you’re doing, build relationships and work together to find ways that they can help promote you.
  • Ask your present customers or contacts for referrals
  • Talk about or show in your promotional materials or website, the total number of years in the industry, amount of cash earned for clients, or number of subscribers. Make it prominent.

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  • Don’t display or promote small amounts of social proof, until you have an impressive number to show off. Example don’t promote the fact that you have 10 customers or email subscribers. It shows that majority of people aren’t interested in what you are doing and is actually a form of negative social proof. If very few people eat in your restaurant, there is no need to use glass panels because people can see in and see that very few people are eating in your restaurant or fast food place and assume that it is not a good place to go. I was telling someone that a popular fast food restaurant in my neighborhood needs to remove the glass panel in their restaurants because it reinforces negative social proof. Just show the value a person will get from your product/service and forget social proof for the time being.
  • Also focus on how many people are doing, liking, or benefiting from something: not how many aren’t. For example if you are trying to convince people to vote, don’t emphasize that 50 million people don’t vote. All you are doing is showing that it okay not to vote since a lot of people don’t vote.

Incorporate social proof in your next promotional campaign and then tell me the results on . Looking forward to hearing from you.

Please share and comments are welcome.

Emem Ita

Emem Ita

Hello, my name is Emem. I'm a marketing & social media strategist with a flair for reading, research, pretty shoes and luscious cake.

Learn how to turn your knowledge & expertise into income by building online influence. Interested? Simply send an SMS now with your name & email to 08061683126
Emem Ita
About Emem Ita

Hello, my name is Emem. I'm a marketing & social media strategist with a flair for reading, research, pretty shoes and luscious cake.

Learn how to turn your knowledge & expertise into income by building online influence. Interested? Simply send an SMS now with your name & email to 08061683126

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