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6 Basic Types of Social Proof

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There are six types of social proof that you’ll see, well, pretty much everywhere. Choose one type to use in your baseline variant. You’ll want to choose the type you use based on your specific industry and goal.

  1. Case studies:
    Data-driven, in-depth analysis of the product or service you provided a current customer with. Use this if you’re marketing B2B software, agency services, etc… In a very meta way, this short-form case study is one of the main ways that folks behind Case Study Buddy showcase the results of their work:
  2. Testimonials:
    Simple, short-form recommendations from happy current customers. These are fairly universally applicable. They can be as effective on a landing page for a free eBook as they can be on a landing page for a $49/month SaaS package.

    Picture, name, company, role! Don’t forget to legitimize your testimonials. Give them credibility before you use them to give your product or service credibility.
  3. Reviews:
    Think of reviews as testimonials’ more objective cousin. Use these for products that are overly technical or in industries that are crowded and/or highly competitive.

    Reminder: Customers aren’t waiting for an invite to review your product or service. Check forums and review sites (like Yelp and Google) regularly to monitor what’s being said about you (and mine for landing page content).
  4. Social media:
    Praise from current customers and/or brand advocates in the form of tweets, Facebook posts, Instagram comments, etc. Save every positive thing people say about your product or service via social media. This type of social proof is most effective for B2C products and services, but that doesn’t mean it never works for B2B.’
  5. Trust icons:
    If I had to question one form of social proof in particular, this would be it. TechCrunch covered your Series A funding announcement 4 years ago, so you added their logo to your landing page? You belong to the Better Business Bureau, so you added their logo to your landing page?

    Logos and icons might technically be social proof, but they are seriously lacking on the social. What did TechCrunch say about you? What are your BBB reviewers saying? Consider taking a cue from movie and book landing pages, which often include snippets of reviews instead of just publication names or logos.
  6. Data / numbers:
    Customers served, number of invites remaining, etc. A single number can be worth a thousand words. Combine this type of social proof with another. By doing so, you’re saying, “Not only have X people bought our product or service, but here’s how much they are loving it.”

    Use  the “X customers served” style social proof to encourage conversions, alongside some other impressive numbers such as blog readers and social followers.
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