The Herd Mentality: 3 Strategies for Using Social Proof to Increase Conversions

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In psychology, social proof refers to people copying the actions of others so they can be accepted or liked in a particular situation where they don’t know how to act appropriately. In marketing, social proof is one key to generating interest among the general public and driving up conversions. When people see that somebody, a friend or a trusted figure, uses your product or service, they’re more likely to try it themselves too. Again, ‘copying’ the actions of others before they plunge into something new. How do you harness that herd mentality in your marketing strategy? Explore these forms of social proof online:


Before people go to a new restaurant or buy new furniture, what do they do? They go online and search for what other people say about your products and services. Reviews, in short. In line with this, it should be part of your social media strategy to ask customers to drop by your social media page and leave reviews. Hopefully, positive ones. How do you encourage this? Well, you can give some incentives, say, a free dessert or a discount on their bill. You can also leave reminders on your establishment. If ever you do get a negative review though, the best thing to do is respond to it. Reply to the post publicly, but address the issue privately. This will show others seeing your page, as well as the commenter themselves, that you take complaints seriously. Work with agencies that offer social media management services in creating a playbook of some sorts when addressing negative feedback.

Influencer endorsements

When someone of authority in fashion says that wearing a bucket hat to a wedding is cool, it’s a guarantee that it will be cool, and people will start doing the same. This is the reason you should take advantage of influencers. Ask them to post an image of your brand, a video of them using your product, or a blog detailing how it made a difference in their lives. Just a word of caution in partnering with influencers though: stay away from popular figures who have gotten into some pretty wild controversies in the past. Especially those that have put a dent on their believability. Some ‘celebrities’ who have amassed followers have been accused of partnering with brands they don’t even use or believe in in the first place. You might not see good results in terms of conversion if you’re associated with those kinds of people. Worse, the brand itself may receive some backlash.

Social media engagement

Another way you can strengthen that herd mentality is to rouse up the herd itself. Converse with people on social. When they leave comments on your posts, reply to them. Ask them questions to further sustain the engagement and encourage others to share their stories as well. Make every effort to turn your fans and likers into commenters. Remember, consumers are smarter now than ever. Just because you have those glaring 1M followers on Instagram doesn’t mean they’re all genuine. People in the ‘herd’ could be thinking they’re bought. But if you’re able to take your followers to that level of engagement where they’d express their personal sentiments, then you’re proving yourself more credible in the eyes of the others in the herd, increasing the likelihood of them using your brand.

What’s Your Social Proof?

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Social proof is a powerful phenomenon in the digital marketing sphere. Use it to your advantage. Try these forms of proof to drive up your conversions.

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