Adding social proof is one of the proven ways to increase website conversions.
People trust people and showing that benefits your business. It's as simple as that. Great web page design, slick copy, and well-placed CTA can woo an audience, but that one bit that closes the deal is real people and their opinions about your product.
Bottom line: display proof upfront and center about other people using and liking your product to gain new customers.
What Is Social Proof?
Social proof comes from the concept of normative social influence. It's a type of social influence that leads to conformity. It is defined in social psychology as "...the influence of other people that leads us to conform in order to be liked and accepted by them."
For example, when you're on the website's homepage and see testimonials or the total number of active users, that's social proof.
Other examples of social proof include:
- Checking out the pricing page and noticing an industry giant or a celebrity already using the tool.
- Signing up for a demo because someone you know or follow said how it solved the exact same problem that you have.
Simply put, social proof is using your customers or third-party influence to convince your potential customers to try your product.
Marketing Experts On The Value Of Social Proof
Some of today's top marketers have talked about the importance and value of adding social proof to your business website.
Nathan Barry is the Founder & CEO at ConvertKit.
Hiba Amin is the Head of Marketing at Hypercontext.
Katelyn Bourgoin is the CEO of Customer Camp.
Ryan Holiday, the author of The Obstacle Is The Way, said it best:
“Of course it depends on what the landing page is for—and what the goal is. But generally, a better way to look at it would be: When do humans not want to see social proof?”
Social proof isn’t a new trend or the next big thing. It’s a simple tactic that can strongly influence your bottom line.
Examples Of Social Proof
Depending on your product, there are various types of social proof that you can show to help improve conversion rates. Some social proof examples include:
- Photos and testimonials from customers
- Company names and logos, particularly recognizable brands
- Customer case studies
- Ratings or feedback from customers
- Reviews on third-party sites such as Trustpilot or Google
- Seals of approval from well-respected organizations
- Number of followers on social media platforms
- Sharing buttons with share counts and like counts
- Download and purchase counts
- Listing the number of active users
- Listing the number of active customers
- Celebrity endorsements and shoutouts from influencers
- Testimonials from industry experts and expert social proof
These are just a few examples. The types of social proof you show will depend on your business and industry.
For example, eCommerce sites might display the number of users looking at the product at a given moment or the number of users that have purchased the product.
On the other hand, a B2B business might show a list of enterprise customers or testimonials. Media companies can show readership or subscriber figures, while a travel company might show the number of vacations booked.
Any quantifiable metric that looks impressive can serve as social proof, including the number of downloads, email subscribers, or even the number of social shares on social networks—the more credible the evidence of your popularity, the better.
Social Proof Ideas To Increase Website Conversions
Here are five social proof ideas that you can adopt to increase website conversions.
1. Real-time numbers
Showing real-time numbers of how many users are currently using the product or are active on the page is not only great social proof, but it also adds FOMO (fear of missing out) in the mix, making it exciting.
For example, on LOGO.com's homepage, you can see the total number of active users designing a logo at any given time.
A great tool to quickly implement this is TrustPulse. It shows your most recent site activity in a small but prominent popup.
You can use this tool to show various things such as purchases, registrations, signups, anything you think will be beneficial to your user.
2. Impressive data
This can be the number of happy customers, number of invites remaining, etc. Even one substantial number can be worth any attractive copy. The more data points you have, the better. Combine the best ones to tell your users that "not only have people purchased from us, but they are loving it."
For example, Buffer, a social media scheduling tool, uses data to convince users and encourage conversions.
3. Customer testimonials
Ever wondered why Amazon, the world's largest online retailer, shows customer reviews for every product listed on its website? Simple - because it works.
A customer testimonial is one of the most common types of social proof. According to research done by Nielsen, 92% of people will trust a recommendation from a peer, and 70% of people will trust advice from someone they don't even know.
4. Case studies
An in-depth, data-driven analysis of how your product benefited a customer or a company can act as strong social proof. This tactic is best for businesses that are into B2B software, agency services, etc. But it can still work for any company as long as your case study is relevant to the potential customer.
In fact, Case Study Buddy displayed one of its case studies as social proof on its homepage.
5. Certifications and badges
If your business has any industry certifications or accreditations and if showing these can impact how a user perceives you, then make sure to highlight them. In fact, proudly display them on your homepage.
Most certifying and accrediting organizations have badges or logos that you can highlight on your landing page. And adding them has been shown to increase conversion rates by almost 30 percent.
For example, Pagely, one of the leading WordPress hosting providers, shows off its Amazon Web pages partner badge proudly on its website.
Add Social Proof To Your Homepage Today
Adding social proof has proven to be instrumental in engaging and appealing to wide-scale audiences. That's precisely why some of the most prominent players such as Amazon, WordPress, Mailchimp, and just about every other company use social proof on their sites.