Build trust and sway potential customers.
Hootsuite, Sprout Social, and Mention are popular social listening tools.
Track brand mentions, check third-party review websites, look through tagged fan-sourced photos on social media, and look through industry forums on Reddit, Quora, or other forum sites. Social proof may include:
- Case studies.
- Tweets or other social posts that positively mention your brand.
- Brand mentions in social media comments, blogs, and forums.
- User-generated product images.
One way to collect ongoing social proof is to create a shared Google Drive folder that your team members can add social proof to anytime they find or receive a good example. Example ways to generate social proof include:
- Send an automatic email asking for a review about a week after a customer receives your product.
- Create a branded hashtag on social media with an accompanying contest to encourage user-generated content.
- Give product away for free to influencers in your niche.
- When you find a positive brand mention, reply with a thank you, which may encourage others to mention your brand as well.
Review your collected social proof to determine which ones best highlight your brand or product’s unique value proposition.
Look for reviews or testimonials that mention:
- How your business solves your target audience’s pain points.
- How it benefits them.
- Who else uses it that your target audience respects.
The social proof must also be authentic, as in not bought, coerced, or faked. Remember that social proof quality is more important than quantity, meaning four reviews that say Great product! are not as valuable as one review that says, I love this product because it solves X problem and produced Y results for my company.
Some common ways to display testimonials on your website are in cards, stacked, in a carousel, or on their own page. For example, Skyword includes two valuable testimonials in a carousel, with the customer’s picture, name, and credentials included.
Include the customer’s photo, name, and industry or title with their social proof, after asking permission.
Provide context, like their name, job title and company for B2B customers, or customer for X years, that allows your prospects and leads to identify with the reviewer and trust their insights. In original research, CXL found that testimonials with photos were significantly more effective.
Another option is to include an embedded video testimonial from a customer, after asking their permission. If you are interested in making a customer case study or testimonial, while asking if you can include their review and picture on your site, consider also asking the customer if they’d be interested in contributing to your case study.
Create a page dedicated to case studies, testimonials, reviews, or expert ambassadors who endorse your product.
This especially applies to brands that have powerful examples of social proof or a large variety of unique examples. For example, Fitbit has a page dedicated to their celebrity and expert ambassador endorsements and content, with their pictures and credentials included. Include this social proof page in your navigation bar to make it easy for users to find. For example, BuzzSumo has a Case Studies page in their navigational dropdown menu under the Content tab.
Include your customer’s logos in a section on your homepage or near a CTA button, if your customers are well-known.
Follow the best practice of changing the color of all logos to fit your website’s color palette and adding a headline like Used By, like on Biteable’s pricing page that includes well-known brands including Amazon, Disney, and Google. This is effective when the brands or industry experts who use your products are well-known in the general public, within your industry, or locally.
Display prominent awards, certification badges, or industry memberships next to copy about the value your company provides.
Only include badges for significant, industry recognized awards, certifications, and memberships that prove brand authenticity or authority. Use sparingly and with discretion.
To humanize star reviews, add the person’s name or picture, after receiving permission, and consider including reviews that are less than 5 stars if they still show support and add value to make reviews feel more objective and real. Include specific data points on the number of people who use the product, like Moz’s testimonials page that says Over 500,000 businesses — from small to enterprise — use Moz.
Test the placement, type, and content of all social proof on your site through A/B testing, and make adjustments based on results.
A/B test one variable at a time, like placement on the page, different social proof examples, length, and more. Use testing tools like A/B Tasty, Crazy Egg, and Hotjar’s heat map tool. In most cases, determine the test winner based on the highest conversion rate. If you later find a better testimonial, review, or other social proof, swap out the less powerful social proof that’s already on your website with the better example.