Using social proof as a conversion optimization tactic

header quote angie schottmuller

What is social proof and how can marketers and business owners use it in conversion optimization and drive sales? Angie Schottmuller, founder of Interactive Artisan, explained the whole process and showed us how to encourage users to give qualitative reviews in a very interactive interview at GPeC SUMMIT November 2019.

Angie’s core expertise is search optimization and conversion optimization and she tells us that both can make use of social proof as a powerful tactic. But what is social proof? “Social proof psychology states that when we’re fearful or uncertain, we look to the behaviour of others to guide our decision making. That could be as simple as “which way is the lunchroom?” and we see others going and we follow it. It’s more of a subconscious behaviour, it’s a part of our brain that actually makes decisions” Angie sums it up. 

Social proof is a great tactic that can aid on conversions, because people have a lot of uncertainties about a product when researching it. A short review that just says “It’s great!” does not lower the fear of uncertainty, it does not offer a solution for the user’s problem. Social proof is more than just reviews, so don’t ask for reviews when following up with a customer after a purchase. Instead, make time to do a satisfaction interview and draft a persuasive testimonial that you can quote on your website or product page.

For optimization purposes, Angie broke down social proof into a framework that she calls The 6S Framework:

  • Sum it (numbers; how many customers you have)
  • Score it (use a percentage %)
  • Say it (review or testimonial)
  • Sign it (the signature/username of the reviewer)
  • Show it (visuals)
  • Shine it (badges, awards)

To sum it up even more, you can enhance social proof by using numbers, words and visuals in your testimonials, especially if you are a small or emerging business. A persuasive testimonial is a customer interview, whether done in person or as an online survey right after a purchase. Ask them what their need or problem was, whether they have found the solution on your website and ask them to be as specific as possible. Detailed answers about specifics can further help with SEO and search optimization.

During the interview, Angie does a very interactive and easy to understand mock-up survey with Andra, our interviewer, so make sure to watch the full video interview on YouTube:

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