What Is Social Proof for Instagram and How to Benefit from It?

social proof for Instagram

Instagram’s evolution from a simple photo-sharing app to a multifaceted platform catering to businesses of all scales has been nothing short of extraordinary. Adapting to the changing times, it now boasts an array of features that empower businesses to connect with a vast and diverse audience.

Whether you’re a budding startup or an established industry leader, Instagram offers a dynamic arena for brand endorsement and promotion.

The Nielsen Global Survey of Trust in Advertising underscores this shift, revealing that a staggering 83% of individuals place their trust in recommendations from friends and family, surpassing all other advertising forms. This is where social proof emerges as a game-changer.

Social proof for Instagram represents a transformative force in the realm of digital marketing, utilizing the innate human tendency to trust the recommendations and experiences of others. 

Read on as we discuss the essence of social proof and explore actionable strategies to leverage its power in your Instagram marketing endeavors. Let’s dive in!

What Is Social Proof?

Back in 1984, Robert Cialdini, a respected figure in the realm of influence, introduced the concept of social proof.

Although it might sound like a term from the legal or technical sphere, social proof is something we encounter and unconsciously adhere to every day.

Imagine yourself in a situation where you’re uncertain—perhaps contemplating whether to purchase a product or deciding on a vacation destination. What’s your natural reaction? Most likely, you turn to research. You seek out product reviews, articles, or expert opinions to help you make your decision. This is the essence of social proof.

For businesses and brands, understanding and leveraging social proof can be a game-changer. By delivering the content your audience desires, you can make a significant impact in the vast realm of social media.

When it comes to harnessing social proof on platforms like Instagram, the key lies in utilizing user-generated content. Sharing posts, reviews, and stories from satisfied customers can effectively demonstrate the value of your brand. Additionally, highlighting metrics such as follower counts and engagement rates can bolster your credibility.

By incorporating social proof strategies into your Instagram presence, you not only attract more followers but also engage your audience and broaden your business’s reach.

What Is the Use of Social Proof?

Social proof offers an alternative to branded content. Branded content is when brands have a whole marketing campaign planned, just like a politician. Everything is a well-rounded social media strategy.

Even for brands with sterling reputations, the scripted nature of branded content can often ring hollow, resembling nothing more than a sponsored message. In contrast, social proof introduces an element of authenticity by incorporating the experiences and opinions of others.

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Regardless of its source or presentation, social proof possesses an unparalleled ability to sway potential customers towards patronizing your business. It transcends the confines of polished marketing campaigns and instead relies on the genuine interactions and recommendations of real individuals, tapping into the innate human inclination to trust the judgment of others.

How to Maximize Social Proof for Your Instagram Store?

Below are a few tactics to get social proof for your business to help with your marketing efforts:

Step 1: Get Your Verification Badge

In the eyes of their followers, verified Instagram profiles are more authoritative. You must select Account Verification from your Settings menu in order to receive your verification badge. You must submit a photo of your ID together with an application form in order to apply.

get your verification badge

Select ‘Account Centre’ from the ‘Settings’ menu for your profile, then fill out the form under ‘Show that your profile is validated’.

show that your profile is verified

Step 2: Have Experts Take over Your Instagram Account

You can invite an expert from your field and ask them to address the customers. if it’s someone they trust, Instagram takeovers, particularly by experts, serve as an effective means to capture the interest of your followers. Furthermore, the expertise they bring can educate your audience, nudging them closer to making a purchase.

Consider asking the expert to do an Instagram live from your account. Make sure you announce that in advance so more people will be prepared to join.

Take a look at the below example, where a dentist is advising you to use the advertised toothpaste if you have tooth sensitivity.

let experts take over your insta account

Step 3: Share User-Generated Content

Empower your audience to become your advocates by encouraging user-generated content (UGC). When users see their contributions acknowledged, it strengthens their trust in your brand.

Make sure you respond and thank your users who decide to mention you. Try to be creative in the replies, even if they are automated. After all, UGC is the greatest testimonial you could get.

Do share the content on your profile to create a bigger impact.

If you share it as a story, make sure to add it to your highlights. This ensures that visitors to your profile can easily discover and engage with the UGC, reinforcing your brand’s community and connection with its audience.

Step 4: Display Customer Testimonials on Your Profile

The foundation of social evidence is testimonies from customers. You may share the reviews as stories on Instagram or even make carousel posts to showcase what your consumers think. Instagram reviews are fantastic because they can be written as captions, photos, or even videos.

Check out this illustration from the skincare line Minimalist. Check out the caption’s review as well:

customer testimonials on your profile

Step 5: Create Unique Influencer Campaigns

Make sure you leverage the influence of small-scale advocates to disseminate your social evidence. Unless you can afford major celebrities, micro-influencers are your key to success. Involve these influencers in the ad campaign strategy, as they know their audience better.

screenshot of Sephora influencer campaign

Moreover, micro-influencers often boast higher engagement rates and a more authentic connection with their followers, making their endorsements more compelling.

To maximize the impact of your influencer campaigns, ensure that the content aligns seamlessly with the influencer’s personal brand and resonates authentically with their audience. This alignment fosters trust and credibility, ultimately driving greater results for your brand.

Use Cases to Explore

Here are some use cases to explore:

1. Utilize Instagram Story Polls

Engage your audience by using Instagram Stories polls to gather feedback and opinions from your followers. Not only does this provide valuable insights for your brand, but it also encourages interaction and participation, enhancing your social proof.

2. Host Instagram Live Q&A Sessions

Organize live Q&A sessions on Instagram where your audience can ask questions about your products or services. This not only allows you to address any concerns directly but also demonstrates transparency and authenticity, which are key components of social proof.

3. Showcase Behind-the-Scenes Content

Give your followers a glimpse behind the curtain by sharing behind-the-scenes content showcasing your team, production process, or workspace. This humanizes your brand and fosters a sense of connection and trust with your audience, ultimately strengthening your social proof.

4. Customer Success Stories

Share compelling stories and testimonials from satisfied customers who have benefited from your products or services. Highlight their journey, the challenges they faced, and how your brand helped solve their problem. These authentic narratives serve as powerful social proof and resonate with potential customers.

Wrapping Up

In today’s crowded marketplace, where countless brands vie for attention on Instagram, standing out is essential. Providing social proof on this platform isn’t just beneficial—it’s imperative. It’s a testament to your brand’s commitment and credibility.

By implementing the strategies outlined in this guide, you can transform your Instagram presence into a formidable marketing asset. Embrace various forms of social media, leveraging each to its fullest potential.

Keep in mind that building social proof is a journey, not a quick fix. While it demands time and effort, the rewards are substantial. Explore the diverse array of methods discussed here and embark on the path to gathering social proof on Instagram. The result? Enhanced engagement and conversion rates propel your brand to new heights.

Use Predis.ai Instagram Post Maker to create stunning visuals that showcase your brand and products. This way, you can consistently maintain a visually appealing and engaging presence on Instagram. 
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Tanmay Ratnaparkhe

Co-founder @Predis.ai, 2X Entrepreneur, tech enthusiast, and SaaS expert, specializing in Instagram marketing and AI. With a knack for leveraging technology for marketing success, they share valuable insights and strategies to boost your digital presence and productivity.