The Power of the Crowd: How to Boost your Brand’s Social Proof

Honest Communications, a specialist garden and home PR agency, social media management, content creation and communications agency

It won’t come as a surprise to anyone when we say that consumers are time-poor. Between busy daily lives and juggling seemingly endless responsibilities, people simply don’t have the time to spend hours poring over every purchase, whether it is a product, a service, or anything in between. Our brains, therefore, will often search for the easiest route to a decision, and that is where the psychological phenomenon of social proofing comes in.

But what does Social Proofing mean?

Social proof is a psychological phenomenon where people assume the actions of others in an attempt to reflect correct behaviour in a given situation.

In simple terms, it means that consumers can be very easily influenced by those around them to act or behave in a certain way. That’s because most people assume that those around them possess more knowledge than them, therefore if the crowd has “approved” of something, they are more likely to follow suit.

To help them decide if they like and trust a product or brand, they subconsciously look for the most and the best endorsements from others to make their decision-making easier. (A bit like when you’re browsing Amazon for a product, you search for the product with the most five-star reviews!)

So, how can it help elevate your brand?

A strong social proof can truly take your business to the next level, boosting brand awareness, raising reputation, generating brand trust, and increasing customer base, ultimately generating sales and in turn, profit. There are six main types of social proofing:

•        Expert: Expert social proof is when an expert in your industry recommends your products or services, or is associated with your brand.

•        Celebrity (or influencer!): Celebrity social proof is when a celebrity or influential public figure endorses your products publicly.

•        User: User social proof is when your existing customers or followers recommend your products/brands based on their experiences.

•        The wisdom of the crowd: Wisdom of the crowd is when a large amount of people are seen to endorse your product/brand.

•        The wisdom of your friends: Wisdom of your friends is when people in your circle endorse a product/brand.

•        Certification: Certification social proof is when an authoritative figure gives your product/brand the stamp of approval.

And what can you do to boost your Social Proof?

The key to boosting your social proof “score” is to ensure you have a solid PR and social media strategy in place. Social proofing requires a holistic approach, combining a variety of activity to maximise impact. In PR, for example, it can take the form of expert advice, “best buy” listings, customer reviews, user generated content, influencer endorsements, large social media followings, to name a few.

We work closely with all of our clients, ranging from established household names to start-up businesses, to optimise every opportunity and boost their social proof in as many ways possible to build credibility.

If you’re not sure where to start, there are a few simple things you can do to begin building your brand’s social proof, including:

•        Capturing every positive comment and utilising them in as many ways as possible, whether it’s turned into a full case study, a testimonial for a social post, or a simple story reshare

•        Show appreciation for any positive feedback or engagement and be responsive. Customers like to feel connected!

•        Curate and gather as much user generated content as possible to show that the masses are already “sold” on the product. They can’t all be wrong!

•        Work with brand ambassadors and influencers wherever possible to have other people spread the word about how great you are. Explore “micro influencers” and gifting if budget for influencer marketing is limited as these often have a deeply engaged audience that hang on to the influencers’ every word

•        Invite experts or authority figures in the field to provide guest blogs, social media takeovers, to further establish your brand as a leader in your marketplace

•        Similarly, secure expert advice features from a company spokesperson to establish the brand as the knowledgeable voice in sector

•        Pitch products to best buys/shopping guide features in key influential titles

•        Get sneaky on social and retarget friends of your followers with adverts to tap into “Wisdom of Friends”

Of course, implementing a solid social proofing strategy takes time and expertise, so if you’re not sure where to start, get in touch with us! Whether you are looking for PR support, social media strategy or content creation, we can help. Say hello by emailing