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What is Social Proof? Definition, Principles, and Practices

Last updated: Aug 30, 2022

What is Social Proof?

The concept of social proof is something that comes from the psychological field. It indicates an individual’s consumptive action that affects other individuals or a group of people. Therefore, the role of such a trick in offline or online marketing contributes to the success of a business.

The social effects that can be seen in this case are the impacts of an individual’s actions on a group of people. In this case, a customer’s experience of using a product can grab the attention of the potential customers that witness it.

As an example, you can see unique products being promoted by influencers on social media. Such promotions usually gather a lot of praise and attract more good reviews about the product. That action can attract you, as the viewer, to search for products and plan to try them by yourself.

From the offline marketing side, one of the examples of social proof is seeing the queues for a newly opened cafe. This may attract the attention of nearby observers. Perhaps some people will start to get curious and visit the cafe as well.

The scenario above portrays the way customers’ reviews work in marketing activities. Potential customers will be indirectly attracted to try the product. In a way, they wish to try the product and feel its effects for themselves.

Principles of Social Proof

Using others’ experiences in the world of marketing is a strategy that can benefit both suppliers and customers. Today, such social effects have a big impact on the digital world, especially on a platform like social media. Hence, more digital marketing activities are done by implementing the concept of social interactions to attract new customers.

Online reviews tend to get a lot of attention and attract new customers. Usually, internet users can easily find information related to the suppliers of any kind of product by seeing the rich snippets displayed on Google search result pages.

The effectiveness of such social interactions in digital marketing can be traced back to the principles that affect an individual’s actions in real life. There are four principles of social proof, which are:

  • Uncertainty: an individual’s dependency on the reaction of a group of people in an unfamiliar situation.
  • Similarity: someone tends to follow the actions of a group of people that share the same value as them in an unfamiliar situation.
  • Expertise: a person who is knowledgeable about something often guides others in a difficult situation.
  • Number: a group of people experiences an uncertain thing that makes them share the herd mentality and leads them to believe that what they do is right. 

How to Use Social Proof

Attracting new customers through a shared social experience is something that can work in this era of digital marketing. There are several media that can be used to promote business. Here are some ways to use the tactic:

Use Customer Positive Feedback

Displaying reviews from customers or user-generated content can affect the way users on social media and other e-commerce platforms see your business. This way, they may be attracted to becoming your customers. In a way, the reviews work like recommendations for store visitors with the way they describe the experience of using the product itself.

Manage Blog’s Content

Using customers’ testimonies can be a tool to gain a large amount of traffic that can benefit and develop your business. You may have to start managing a blog or a site to get a bigger portion of the market share and become the leader in your business field.

Optimize Blog According to SEO Principles

In the world of digital marketing, blog optimization is needed to maximize the role of social interactions. One of the ways to apply this tactic is to add the social share and counter buttons on your blog.

Increase Your Customer Interaction

One of the ways to increase the number of engagements is to interact more with your customers on social media. It can be done by replying to comments and posting routinely. That way, you can build more interactions with customers.



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