Picture this: You’re at a new restaurant, scanning the menu, trying to decide what to order. A tantalizing mix of different aromas wafts through the air, and you can’t help but notice how delicious all the dishes coming out of the kitchen look. There are too many options and you’re on the verge of analysis paralysis… until the person at the table next to you loudly raves to their dining companion about how AMAZING their meal is.

You steal a glance their way. Their food does look really good, and they’re clearly thrilled by it… Then you look around and see other people with this dish, seemingly loving it just as much.

And just like that, you know what you’re going to order.

Thank you, social proof.

Yes, this a silly, oversimplified example. But it’s also illustrates just how pervasive (and effective) social proof is. We’re subtly, and sometimes not-so-subtly, influenced by social proof every day.

Here’s what you need to know about implementing social proof into your own marketing strategy — in a way that’s authentic to your brand.

What Is Social Proof?

Back in 1984, Robert Cialdini came up with the term “social proof” in his book Influence, describing how people decide to copy what others are doing because, you know, monkey see, monkey do.

At its core, social proof is the force that compels people to follow others. When we see people adopting a particular behavior, whether it’s purchasing a product or endorsing a service, we’re wired to think, “If everyone else is doing it, it must be good!”

The Psychology Of Social Proof

When done right, social proof can give your business all kinds of legs up.


In a world inundated with choices, consumers often turn to the experiences of their peers to make informed decisions. When they see that others have had positive interactions with your brand, trust is built, and barriers to entry come tumbling down.


Humans are social beings, and our behaviors are strongly influenced by those around us. Social proof taps into this psychological phenomenon, shaping consumer behavior by leveraging the power of conformity. When people see their peers making a choice, they’re simply more likely to follow suit.

Influence on Behavior

People inherently seek validation. In fact, validation is built into many buyer journeys. Even if a potential customer is interested in purchasing from a brand without initial exposure to social proof, more likely than not, they’re going to check out the company’s reviews or ask around if anyone they know has interacted with the brand before. In this way, social proof serves as a stamp of approval.

FOMO (Fear of Missing Out)

Yes, FOMO plays a huge role in marketing. Social proof capitalizes on the fear of missing out by showcasing the positive experiences of others. Whether it’s a limited-time offer or a trending product, the fear of being left out by the crowd drives people to join the bandwagon.

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How Social Proof Powers Marketing

Social proof is everywhere in marketing. See what I mean…

  • 95% of shoppers read online reviews before making a purchase.
  • 83% of consumers recommend a brand they follow on social to friends and family.
  • 82% of Americans ask for referrals and recommendations from family and friends before making any kind of purchase.
  • 69% of consumers will feel positive about a business if the review describes a positive experience.
  • 50+ reviews per product can result in a conversion rate increase of 4.6%.

How to Implement Social Proof In Your Marketing

Now that we understand the significance of social proof, let’s talk about how you can use it into your marketing strategy for optimal results:

Customer Testimonials & Reviews

This is by far the number-one tactic for implementing social proof into your marketing strategy! When you have satisfied customers share their experiences through testimonials and reviews — whether on your website or third-party platforms like Yelp or Google — this genuine customer feedback will speak volume and build credibility for future customers.

Showcasing Numbers and Statistics

Quantify your success by showcasing impressive numbers and statistics. Whether it’s the number of satisfied customers, successful transactions, or positive ratings, numerical data adds a layer of credibility to your brand — put these numbers somewhere highly visible, like your website homepage, so no one can miss them.

User-Generated Content

Harness the power of your user community by encouraging them to create and share content related to your brand. Whether it’s photos, videos, or social media posts, user-generated content provides authentic glimpses into the positive experiences your customers are having.

Influencer Collaborations

Partnering with influencers in your industry can amplify your reach and lend authenticity to your brand. When influencers endorse your product or service, their followers are more likely to take notice and, ultimately, take action. Just be sure to tap influencers who actually align with your brand — today’s consumer is super savvy, and they’ll smell an inauthentic brand endorsement from a mile away.

Final Thoughts

If you learn one thing from this article, I hope it’s that social proof isn’t just a buzzword; it’s a powerful tool that can elevate your marketing strategy to new heights. By understanding the psychology behind social proof and strategically implementing it in your campaigns in an authentic, human-centric way, you’re not just selling your product — you’re building a community of loyal advocates.

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About the Author: Jenny Farias

Meet Jenny — the founder and brand-alchemist-at-large here at BxH. She's an award-winning marketer and speaker dedicated to helping founders turn their unicorn dreams into reality. When she's not crushing it at work, you can find her jet-setting across the globe, supporting fellow female founders (hello, gWen!), or hitting up Charlotte's vibrant entrepreneurial scene with her boyfriend, Ben (#BenTheGem). Wherever she goes, Jenny brings her infectious energy and can-do attitude to the table — preferably alongside a spicy margarita.

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