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What Is Social Proof & Why Does It Matter?
Influencer Marketing Blog Posts

What Is Social Proof & Why Does It Matter?

Updated on November 10, 2023
5 minute read

Prove you’re the real deal. 🌟

Published November 10, 2023

Psychology and marketing go hand-in-hand.

Case in point: 88% of Gen Zs and Millennials use social media to research products they’re interested in buying. 

And the higher the social proof, the more likely they are to buy. 

But what is social proof, why is it important, and how can you use it to market your brand?

From ratings and reviews to user-generated content (UGC) and case studies, we’re breaking it all down below.

Never Miss a Trend AgainJoin over 1 million marketers to get social news, trends, and tips right to your inbox!Email Address

What Is Social Proof?

Coined by psychologist Robert Cialdini in 1984, social proof is the physiological idea that a person’s decision making is influenced by the decisions of others. 

In marketing, it’s showcasing that other people love and enjoy your products by leveraging positive reviews, partnering with influencers, and highlighting endorsements. 

Why Is Social Proof Important in Marketing?

If you’re interested in building trust, conveying authority, and spreading the good word about your brand, tapping into social proof can be a powerful marketing tool.

It’s also a powerhouse for driving conversions. 

Why? Because people trust what others say. 

Social proof marketing is a less "sales-y" way to promote your products and feels more organic — making it a no-brainer for driving the results you want.

FYI: Influencer marketing campaigns are a great form of social proof for enterprise brands. Schedule a call now with Later Influence™ to learn how to optimize your influencer marketing strategy. 

6 Examples of Social Proof in Marketing

No matter your budget, here are six examples of social proof you can use to amplify your marketing strategy right now:

  1. Ratings & Reviews

  2. User-generated Content

  3. Certifications

  4. “Wisdom of Your Friends”

  5. Expert Endorsements

  6. Case Studies

#1: Ratings & Reviews

When nearly 70% of online shoppers read between one and six reviews before making a purchase, the (social) proof is in the pudding.   

The best part? You don’t have to wait for the positive reviews to roll in. 

Consider gifting your product or service to a small number of people or offer discounts in exchange for honest reviews.  

And don’t just let these reviews live in the shadows — leverage them as testimonials on your website and social media posts.

See how skincare brand Topicals includes Sephora reviews about their products to encourage engagement and purchases:

By removing the pressure of a paid exchange, you can stay on budget and boost your chances for positive social proof.


TIP: Level-up your Instagram posts with our free Canva templates (testimonial templates included).

#2: User-generated Content

The social media equivalent of a word-of-mouth recommendation? User-generated content (UGC) — a powerful form of social proofing. 

In a nutshell, UGC is content created organically by a brand’s followers or consumers — which is then shared by the brand on its own accounts.

@anisa.marrie Instagram photo with @golde tagged and then @golde's repost of her photo on their feed

With UGC, no money is exchanged. It’s simply a genuine and honest recommendation system that fuels social proof. 

TIP: Pay attention to influencers who regularly tag or mention your brand. They could be the perfect fit for your next marketing campaign or longterm partnership.

#3: Certifications

Whether it’s a sustainability verification or a blue checkmark, seeking out certifications relevant to your industry is the ultimate stamp of approval. 

See how multiple brands on Sephora’s site have a “Clean at Sephora” stamp — an indication that their products are certified "clean" by the beauty retailer's standards.

Sephora products with their "Clean at Sephora" stamp.

Social proof, check!

#4: “Wisdom of Your Friends”

If a person’s friends (or the influencers they follow) all enjoy a certain product or service, chances are high that they will too.

Proof: 69% of consumers are more likely to trust a friend, family member, or influencer recommendation over a brand recommendation. 

Our advice? Tap into Nano and Micro influencers — their smaller following makes the products they recommend feel like they're coming from a friend, even if it's sponsored.

And thanks to their authenticity, they make great brand ambassadors, as they tend to receive a steady stream of engagement and most importantly — clicks.

TIP: Find relevant influencers, build multiple campaigns, and more with Later's influencer marketing platform. Schedule a call for all the details. 

#5: Expert Endorsements

When an expert in your industry recommends your product, target audiences know you’re the real deal. 

Draw inspiration from resident TikTok dermatologist Dr. Shah who frequently partners with Cerave to promote their gentle skincare products: 

Case closed. 

#6: Case Studies

Have a few customers (or clients) who have had notable success with your product? Reach out to see if they’d be willing to participate in a case study! 

Case studies are the perfect deep-dive into how your product or service works for your target audience in real-time. 

The cherry on top? The results speak for themselves. 

Check out how Later Influence helped scale Express’ program by 11x: How Express Ambassador Program Drove 168% ROI In Sales

The Best Social Proof Tools in 2024

Need a little extra support adding social proof to your marketing strategy? We’ve got you covered.

To lean on social proof examples like UGC and testimonials, Later's content creation tools let you collect UGC in multiple ways — whether it's browsing your Mentions and Tags, or using the Search by Hashtag feature:

How to collect UGC in Later.

And if you're looking for influencer collaborations or reviews, Later's influencer marketing platform is the way to go. 

With it, you can get connected with top creators, streamline campaign management, and create lead-driven, targeted campaigns. 

And that just about does it!

With these methods of social proof under your belt, you’re bound to level-up your marketing strategy and drive sales aplenty. 

Want to learn more about how Later's influencer marketing solutions could power your influencer marketing strategy (and social proof)? Schedule a call today

Never Miss a Trend AgainJoin over 1 million marketers to get social news, trends, and tips right to your inbox!Email Address

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