Retargeter Blog

The Social Proof is in the Pudding

Social proof is an important principle of influence that can help you grow by turning more people into repeat visitors. Customer testimonials or references are one of the key measurements of customer satisfaction and loyalty. Customers want to know that others have used your product or service and that it worked for them.

So go ahead and put social proof in your marketing arsenal and ReTarget your missile towards brand success. Robert Cialdini, author of Influence: Science and Practice, defined social proof as one of the six “weapons of influence.” We determine what is correct by finding out what other people think is correct, or in other words, people will do things that they see other people doing. There are many examples of this:

  • Canned laughter causes people to rate shows as funnier
  • The use of shopping carts did not catch on until their inventor paid fake shoppers to push them around his store

Nightclubs use this tactic as well. By reducing the rate of entry, the line is artificially made longer. We’ve all experienced it on a night of pub crawling. You pass by a spot and perceive the long line as a positive signal of the place’s desirability. Or what about McDonalds? You’ve undoubtedly seen the sign, “Billions and Billions Served.”

We see social proof techniques being used heavily and effectively through social media on the web.

  1. Like buttons on Facebook
  2. Number of views on YouTube videos
  3. Hash tags on Twitter
  4. Trending topics on Twitter
  5. Tweet and share counts
  6. Social bookmarking sites (Digg, StumbleUpon)
  7. Ratings and reviews (Yelp, Rate My Professors)
  8. Number of fans or followers

Now that we’ve got the basics of social proof down, apply them to your ReTargeter banner ads. The social proof is in the pudding!

Use your banner ads as a method to get social proof out there. Put the picture of a real person with a short quote in your banner or just have the quote. You can even have multiple testimonials/social proof points cycle through the various banner ads.

Another way to enforce social proof is to use ReFollower (live twitter feed in ad unit) to show people how many followers you have. Or create an ad unit that says, for example: 10,000 Facebook Fans can’t be wrong — try Product X.

“You like me, you really like me!” Say it loud and proud. Let it be known that people believe in your brand and others will follow suit.

Leave a Comment


  • .Have you ever thought about the way that social proof effects your business? Social proof is really all about influence. In todays social networking social media loving society influence is alive and well. We are all influenced by the crowd we hang out with even if this is done virtually. Think of it as leaving your virtual footprint. We also influence others in this social media world we live and work in..Thats why you can utilize your social proof or your influence to promote your business. If one person recommends your site or your services on Facebook others are quick to flock to it. It really is a good thing in this sense. Unlike the negative peer pressure we all may have experienced as kids or teenagers this kind of peer pressure can be a positive thing for us and our businesses..Think about the social proof you WANT to be influenced by and do the influencing in and then set out to flock to those online communities that have the type of people in them that you are seeking to serve..

  • Like the way using social proof has impacted your ad campaign? Try taking it a step further. Cialdini also speaks on the way in which people are more likely to fall in accordance with the actions of those whom they can relate to. Creating different banner ads each relatable in their unique ways to the audiences on various sites will be most powerful. If you’re ad is to appear on, a tagline such as, “Loved by sports fans everywhere!” will be more effective than simply, “Loved by many!” If your ad will be served to users on, make sure your spokesperson is wearing a Red Sox hat and you will surely see greater results.