In marketing, this idea is applied when a customer looks at online reviews, testimonials, recommendations, and ways others have used a certain product before making a purchasing decision. The customer searches for proof that other people have found value in a product or service offered by a business before they spend their money on it.

A common example of this is when a customer uses Yelp or Google Reviews to see what the general public thinks of a certain product. If the reviews are overall positive, a customer may consider buying that product. However, if the reviews are overwhelmingly negative, there’s a good chance they will look for another product to buy.

Businesses may use different tactics to increase their social proof. Some examples include:

  • using celebrity endorsements
  • displaying their best numbers
  • giving customers incentives for writing good reviews
  • developing a customer referral program

By doing this, the business shows potential customers the benefits of buying from them over a competitor.