In the easiest terms, there are typically 6 categories that social proof can fall into. They are
- Wisdom of the Many
- Wisdom of the Few
Expert Social Proof
Expert social proof is when you use an expert in your field/industry that can recommend your product or services or is associated with your brand.
- Hosting an AMA (ask me anything) thread on Reddit
- Reposting a Twitter shoutout by an expert
- Having experts take over your Twitter/Snapchat/Instagram/Facebook for the day to chat with followers
Celebrity endorsements and social proof is when you use a celebrity (influencer, actor/actress, model) to either model, use or endorse your products. Oftentimes companies will use influencers (people with large social media followings) to either post about their products or say that they use them.
- Kim Kardashian & Fit Tea on Instagram
- Kendall Jenner in the Pepsi commercial
- Brooklyn Beckham for Burberry
- Steph Curry for Vivo
Certification as Social Proof
This social proof is achieved by being given a verification or “stamp of approval” by an authority figure. This can also be achieved through having an expert approve/recommend/certify your product.
Examples of Certification as Social Proof:
- Blue verification checkmark on Twitter or Facebook
- “4 out of 5 dentists recommend Trident/Colgate/Crest”
User Social Proof
User social proof is leveraging those people who already love your brand and/or your products/services.
You can use these loyal followers or buyers to recommend your products or services to new potential customers based on their own experiences with your brand.
- Positive ratings on review sites like Google Maps & Facebook
- Reviews from happy customers or shared photos/messages of love and support
Wisdom of the Many
This type of social proof is great for bigger businesses.
This type attracts new customers as they see a large group of people promoting and endorsing your brand. This works because you’re more likely to do something when you see lots of others doing it. Consequently, this can also be called social validation.
Examples: High social media followings on different platforms
Wisdom of the Few (Friends)
This type of social proof is when people see their friends approve your product.
Similar to the wisdom of the many, you’re more likely to try/buy something if you’ve either seen someone you know using it, or they’ve recommended it to you directly. This is especially relevant with social media being on the rise!
- Seeing friends use a product or service
- Having a product recommended to you by a friend
- Noticing a friend follow your brand on social media
In addition, you can check out our other blog post and see how to boost conversions by using social proof on your Shopify store on your own e-commerce store! You can finally get the same IRL magic, but online!