11 Types of Social Proof You Can Use to Skyrocket Your Sales

by Lianne Laroya on October 13, 2020

Want to know the different types of social proof you can use for your business? Social proof marketing is an effective way to gain the trust of your customers and boost your sales over time.

In today’s post, we’ll talk about what social proof means for your business. Plus, you’ll also learn about the different types of social proof — complete with examples so you can copy them for your brand.

Before diving into social proof types, let’s define what it means first.

What is Social Proof?

Think back to the last time you bought something.

Chances are you read product reviews first before actually paying for it, right?

This is an example of social proof in action.

Social proof means that whenever people are unsure about something, they look to others to decide how to act. Why? Because people assume that others have more knowledge or experience about what needs to be done.

In marketing, this means that when your prospect is on the fence about buying from you, they’ll look around for direction on what to do. So, they’ll look for reviews about your brand or ask their friends for product recommendations first.

But are reviews and product recommendations the only types of social proof?

You’ll find your answer in the section below.

11 Types of Social Proof for Your Website

1. Customer Quote Testimonials

One of the best ways to use social proof to boost your sales and grow your business is to display customer quote testimonials on your website. Testimonials can increase conversion rates by 34%, after all.

This way, your website visitors can see just how beneficial your solution is to your existing customers.

For example, check out how OptinMonster effectively uses the power of social proof on their testimonial page. By including quote testimonials, complete with the customer’s full name, position and company, OptinMonster powerfully encourages their website visitors to try them out for themselves.

customer quote testimonials type of social proof

Want to do the same thing for your own business? You can embed your Facebook reviews feed on your website in just under 5 minutes! How? Simply install the Custom Facebook Feed Pro plugin so you can do this automatically, even without technical knowledge.

Here’s an example of a Facebook reviews feed we made with the plugin’s help:

facebook reviews feed on website

Find out how you can easily do this for your own business. Check out the step-by-step tutorial here to embed your Facebook reviews on your website.

The best part? The Facebook reviews are from your actual users: real people with names, pictures and Facebook profiles that chose to publicly associate with your brand.

2. Video Testimonials

You can use video testimonials to cast a vote of confidence in your product’s value. So, it can help you skyrocket your sales as well. Its effect is similar with customer quote testimonials — both talk about the successes your customers had after using your solution.

And it can be more powerful in conversions: 42% of people say testimonial videos are effective because they showcase actual people. Because of this, viewers can understand their stories and relate to them more.

That’s why Airbnb’s testimonial page displayed their hosts’ stories via video, like this:

video testimonials type of social proof

The great news? Getting video testimonials for your brand is the time-intensive part. But once you’ve already created them, you can easily display them on your website! With the help of a useful plugin like Feeds for YouTube Pro, adding video testimonials on WordPress is so easy, even a non-techie like you can do it.

Using the plugin, here’s how we recreated Airbnb’s video testimonial page:

video testimonials on website type of social proof

Try it out yourself. Head on over to this step-by-step tutorial to find out how you can easily embed a YouTube playlist of your video testimonials on your website.

3. Testimonial Tweets

Another type of social proof that can increase your brand’s revenue is posting testimonial tweets on your website. Since the average attention span of a human is now 8 seconds, you can just show bite-sized testimonials that can be easily consumed by your fast-paced prospects.

For example, instead of showing testimonials in the form of long paragraphs, Smash Balloon displayed testimonial tweets about their brilliant products and equally great customer service, like this:

testimonial tweets

Did you know that you can easily add a beauitfully interactive feed of testimonial tweets to your website, too? It’s simple. Simply let Smash Balloon’s Custom Twitter Feeds Pro plugin do the hard work for you. In less than 5 minutes, we made this engaging Twitter feed — and we didn’t even have to deal with confusing code to do it:

testimonial tweets using smash balloon plugin

Excited to try this out for your own business? Check out this nifty tutorial so you can easily embed an interactive Twitter feed on your website today.

4. Platform Integrations

Does your product integrate with 3rd-party services? Yes? Then, you can use another type of social proof by adding the logos of your integration partners on your official website.

OptinMonster cleverly made use of this type of social proof by displaying all of their email marketing service and platform integrations:

platform integration type of social proof

Displaying your platform integrations lends extra credibility to your brand. When your prospects see that your solution is used by popular brands, you’ll be seen as a trustworthy brand that’s worth considering doing business with. Even if they’re not that familiar with your business yet.

5. Real-Time Activity Popup

Displaying a popup of how many people are actively buying from you or signing up to your mailing list? Good. You’re hitting 2 birds with 1 stone: you’re combining the power of social proof and fear of missing out (FOMO) marketing to skyrocket your sales over time.

This type of social proof is especially helpful when your site visitors are on the fence about buying from you. If you show a real-time sales popup on your site, you may be giving them the small nudge they need to make a decision in your favor.

type of social proof trustpulse

After all, if people are actively buying from you, then you must be great at what you do, right? It’s real-time recommendations from your users. Instantly shown and effectively done.

If you use a beginner-friendly tool like TrustPulse, you can easily display this type of social proof on your website. You can install the plugin and set up a real-time sales popup — in just under 5 minutes! Ready to boost your site conversions by 15%? Learn how you can set up a recent sales popup using TrustPulse here.

6. User-Generated Content

Another type of social proof, user-generated content (UGC), adds authenticity to your brand and makes your prospects trust you more. How? By featuring photos and videos from your real customers, just like what Fabletics did with their testimonial page below:

user generated content instagram

One of the best social media platforms to get started with curating UGC is Instagram. Here, you can ask your users to use a branded hashtag of your own. Or, you can just re-post their Instagram posts where you’re tagged in.

Need a super easy way to show Instagram UGC on your website? You can use the Instagram Feed Pro plugin to help you. For example, we easily recreated the testimonial page of Fabletics with the help of this plugin:

recreated instagram ugc on website

Stop manually embedding Instagram posts one-by-one. Start embedding them automatically instead. Learn how you can use this type of social proof by following this tutorial on creating an Instagram hashtag feed for your WordPress.

7. Referrals

Recommendations from friends remain the #1 trusted source of marketing. Compared to glowing advertisements from celebrities, influencers and experts, shoppers still trust the recommendations of their friends the most.

That’s why brands cleverly use referral marketing in their promotional campaigns. For example, meal kit service provider HelloFresh allows their customers to choose between 2 referral options:

type of social proof referrals

But if you’re still starting out, how can you encourage your existing customers to refer you to their friends?

It’s simple. With the help of RafflePress, the best WordPress giveaway plugin, you can easily create a viral refer-a-friend giveaway just by dragging and dropping the contest elements. No need to mess around with pieces of code, so you can set up your giveaway in just a few minutes!

use rafflepress to create contests

Want to start running a successful referral contest? Check out this helpful tutorial on creating a viral refer-a-friend giveaway using RafflePress today.

8. Customer Size

Have a large customer base? Then you can use your customer size as another type of social proof that can help you boost your sales. When your prospects see that a lot of customers already trust you and do business with you, they’ll be encouraged to try out your solution as well.

For example, check out Instagram Feed Pro‘s testimonial section in its homepage. Smash Balloon included its customer size of over 1,000,000 users to use the power of this type of social proof:

type of social proof customer size

What are other factors you can mention to add more credibility to your brand? You can also include meaningful metrics such as the number of optimized visitor sessions, served optins and sites using your product — just like what lead generation software OptinMonster did below:

optinmonster social proof by numbers

9. Instagram Takeovers

Under this type of social proof, a social media influencer or expert will “take over” your Instagram account for a certain period of time. During this time, they can post stories, hold Instagram live videos or upload pictures on your behalf.

For example, to boost their Instagram followers, Sheffield Hallam University gave each student a day to take over the university’s Instagram account.

Some of the students posted their photos with the #SHUInsiders hashtag. While others took over their Instagram stories, as mentioned below:

type of social proof instagram takeover

If you did an Instagram takeover using Stories, you can’t just take a screenshot and share that on your website. This wouldn’t be interactive at all.

Instead, you can use Instagram Feed Pro to show your Instagram feeds on your website. Then, whenever someone clicks your account, your Instagram stories will open in full-screen displays for an engaging browsing experience.

full-screen-instagram-stories

Want to try this out yourself? Find out how you can display an engaging Instagram gallery on your website by following the step-by-step tutorial here.

10. Include Social Proof in Your Popups

Popups can help you convert your visitors into leads — and into customers, over the long run. The key is to add a convincing social proof element in its design.

And the best way for you to customize your popups? By using the best WordPress popup plugin, OptinMonster. Here’s what Syed Balkhi did when he included a social proof element in his popup below — can you spot what it is? That’s right. He included a variant of the customer size social proof. Instead of putting his YouTube subscribers, he added his total number of views instead.

type of social proof in optinmonster popup

You can apply the same social proof concept in your own brand. Just check out this complete tutorial on how you can create a high-converting WordPress popup for you to get started.

11. Media Mentions

Finally, you can effectively harness the power of social proof by mentioning all of the places you’ve been featured in. This adds more credibility to your brand, especially if the brands you’ve been featured in are big names in your industry, too.

WPBeginner perfectly made use of this type of social proof by including famous media outlets that featured their brand:

media mentions of wpbeginner

Don’t have any notable media mentions yet? You can also feature your social media mentions on your website. For example, if your brand has been mentioned on Twitter several times already, you can display your notable mentions using the Custom Twitter Feeds Pro plugin.

Using the plugin, here’s an example of how Smash Balloon can show their Twitter mentions on their website:

media mentions using smash balloon

Want to create your own version? Follow the instructions in this nifty tutorial on how to add a custom Twitter feed to your website today.

That’s it!

We hope this article helped you learn about the different types of social proof you can use to skyrocket your sales over time. By following the tutorials linked in this article, you can also easily display these social proof types on your own website.

So what are you waiting for? Get Smash Balloon now!

And don’t forget to follow us on Twitter and Facebook for more social media tips and tricks.