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A passionate social media specialist who loves turning bold ideas into impactful & memorable experiences.

Social Proof: How to Use Psychology in

Digital Marketing

This might not be obvious for the audiences, but most marketing actions are guided by factors of human behaviour. Knowing your customer is an essential ingredient for successful marketing campaigns.

Creating compelling content marketing for your target audience would be a hassle if you don’t know why it would be compelling to them in the first place.

Being aware of how people operate and understanding some key principles of psychology can help you step up your marketing game.

What is Social Proof?

Social proof is based on the idea of normative social influence, which states that people will conform in order to be liked or accepted by society.

For example, say you’re at the mall looking to pick out your lunch. There are numerous fast-food restaurants that have a few people queued, and others with no customers waiting. Suddenly, you spot a long line, trailing away from a particular restaurant. You ask yourself: “Why is everyone willing to wait in that particular line?” It sparks your interest, so you decide to check it out, and even join the queue yourself. This is how social proof has helped you make a decision.

Whenever we’re not sure how to act in a certain situation, we tend to analyse how others behave, looking for clues about how to act in that specific social situation.

Illustration by Storyset

Why is Social Proof Important?

When it comes to making purchasing decisions, we want to make sure we’re informed about what we’re about to spend our precious budget on. That’s why we watch videos of people using the product, read reviews, and ask our peers before pressing the “place order” button.

This is why businesses try so hard to get testimonials or reviews of their products and services. Social proof is a valuable component of any business strategy because, in a few words, it gets the business more sales.

Types of Social Proof

1. Expert

When a thought leader in their industry approves a product online, chances are that their audience will start buying that product. Because it’s approved by an expert, it means it’s worth buying it.

2. Celebrity

We see celebrities endorsing dozens of products every day on their social media profiles. Even though we don’t buy those products right away, their recommendations are certainly going to influence our purchasing decisions next time.

3. User

Whenever a user has a positive experience with a business, they’re most likely going to recommend it to their friends, leave a positive review, or tweet about it. Turning the audience into brand evangelists is the most powerful way to spread the word about a business.

4. The wisdom of your friends

The recommendations of people we know and trust work as the most effective advertisement. The positive experience that our peers have with a brand can easily influence us to purchase their products or services.

5. The wisdom of the crowds

As a brand, having millions of followers on social media means that you’re doing something right. This type of social proof appeals to our sense of fear of missing out, so we start following that brand, to see what’s so cool about it.

6. Certification

If a business has won numerous prizes in the industry, we assume they are experts, so we start building trust around the brand.

Illustration by Storyset

Social Proof Tips

No matter your business type, we have some recommendations you can incorporate in your own marketing:

  1. Rather than highlighting only the product features, try incorporating customer feedback and ratings of the product.

  2. Instead of paying a single popular influencer a large amount of money to feature your product in their posts, try something different. Select a number of minor influencers or local celebrities to feature your product. In exchange, you can offer them freebies or smaller monetary amounts.

  3. Alternatively to promoting a singular product or service, attempt to promote your business as a whole. Present your awards and demonstrate to your audience why you’re the one that could help them solve their problem.


Because social proof is such a powerful psychological factor, it is a great item to introduce on your landing pages and social media copy in order to increase conversions. When used in the right context, social proof will help you become a go-to brand that people trust and shop with.