Influencer Marketing For Social Proof; Proven Ways to Get Out the Most

Influencer marketing is a big deal. From Instagram and TikTok […]

Marketing Strategies

Influencer marketing is a big deal.

From Instagram and TikTok to YouTube and other platforms, brands are collaborating with popular individuals to reach their network of followers and promote their products and services. As the popularity of social media has rapidly risen, so has the investment and interest in influencer marketing.

But there’s far more to this infamous tactic than you might think and approached in the wrong way, influencer marketing can waste budget, or, in extreme cases, be brand damaging.

In this guide, we will help you to navigate this popular tactic and build a solid strategy.

What is Influencer Marketing?

Influencer marketing involves a brand collaborating with an online influencer to market one of its products or services. Some influencer marketing collaborations are less tangible than that – brands simply work with influencers to improve brand recognition. 

An example of influencer marketing involved YouTube celebrity PewDiePie. He teamed up with the makers of a horror film set in the French catacombs under Paris, creating a series of videos in which he underwent challenges in the catacombs. It was pitch-perfect content for PewDiePie’s 111 million subscribers and received nearly double the views as the movie’s trailer. Everybody won.

That’s a simple example. It’s easy to imagine a celebrity teaming with a company to pitch a product—even if the pitch is a series of 10-minute videos instead of a 30-second television ad. 

But people wouldn’t be talking about influencer marketing—you wouldn’t be at a website called the Influencer Marketing Hub reading about it, either—if it didn’t have a much broader set of applications. And the key is in that word, influencer.

Influencers, unlike celebrities, can be anywhere. They can be anyone. What makes them influential is their large followings on the web and social media. An influencer can be a popular fashion photographer on Instagram, or a well-read cybersecurity blogger who tweets, or a respected marketing executive on LinkedIn. Within any industry, there are influential people—you just have to find them. Some will have hundreds of thousands (if not millions) of followers. But many will seem more like ordinary people. They may only have 10,000 followers, less in some cases. Yet, they will have developed a reputation for being the experts in their field. They are the go-to people who provide the answers to people’s questions.

Depending on their sphere of expertise, they are the people who make the most engaging social posts on their specialist topics. They share the best pictures, make the most entertaining videos, and run the most informative online discussions.

Influencer Marketing Statistics

  • In 2024, influencer marketing is set to hit $26.3 billion, up 29% from the prior year’s $20.4 billion.
  • Businesses are making $7 ROI for every $1 spent on influencer marketing, while the top 15% of businesses are seeing a revenue of $20 or more for every $1 spent.
  • There has been a 480% increase in searches for the phrase “influencer marketing” on Google alone since 2016.
  • 90% of survey respondents believe influencer marketing to be an effective form of marketing.
  • 70% of brands use Instagram for influencer marketing.
  • 1500 Influencer marketing focused platforms and agencies entered the market in the last 5 years alone.
  • Content from influencers earns more than 8 times the engagement rate of content shared directly from brands, especially among younger millennials.
  • 14% of consumers aged 18+ say celebrity endorsements have an effect on the things they buy.
  • 40% of people say they’ve purchased a product online after seeing it used by an influencer on social media.
  • X (formerly Twitter) users have a 5.2 times increase in purchase intent after seeing promotional content from influencers.
  • 49% of users rely on recommendations from influencers on Twitter.

Benefits of Influencer Marketing

Here are the proven influencer marketing benefits that’ll make it worth your time and help you grow your business.

  • Increase brand awareness
  • Crack new markets
  • Increase social media following
  • Gain credibility and trust
  • Increase sales and repeat orders
  • Bring new content to your audience
  • Use micro-influencers to keep costs down
  • Educate buyers about your product
  • Increase Social Proof

What is social proof?

Social proof is a term that was coined back in 1984 by author Robert Cialdini in his book Influence. This phenomenon is also called informational social influence, and essentially it’s the idea that people copy the actions of others in an attempt to emulate behavior in certain situations.

For example, if someone isn’t sure how to act in a social situation they may not have encountered before, they take clues from the people around them. If someone is at a gala for the first time, it’s natural for them to observe their surroundings to ensure they’re fitting in and acting the way everyone would expect them to act.

In marketing, social proof covers a similar idea – when people shop, they look for reviews, recommendations and ways that others have used a product before making their decision.

This is why online stores work so hard to get people to review their products – it’s a form of social proof that works wonders for increasing the number of people making purchases.

Social proof in marketing takes the form of online reviews, existing customers, media coverage and more. Let’s learn a little bit more about why social proof is so important and the various types of social proof your business should go after to improve brand reputation.

Why is social proof important?

Now that you know what social proof is, why do you need to incorporate it into your marketing? Why is it a valuable component to your business strategy?

  • 83% of consumers recommend a brand they follow on social to friends and family.
  • 95% of shoppers read online reviews before making a purchase.
  • 82% of Americans ask for referrals and recommendations from family and friends before making any kind of purchase.

In a few words: social proof gets your business more sales.

How can I use social proof in my influencer marketing?

Now that we’ve talked about what social proof is and how it relates to marketing, let’s take a look at some of the ways you can use it in your influencer strategies.

Increase and maintain your social media follower counts

Stepping back from influencers for a moment, examine your own social media accounts. The more followers you have, the more people are essentially in your restaurant (remember the example from the beginning of this post).

To increase your follower count, focus on exposure. Get your brand name out there to as many people as possible. Influencers can help here, and especially micro influencers who work in dedicated niches.

As for the followers you already have, maintain them. Quality content comes to mind here. Why should people stick around if you’re not offering anything new or exciting? Again, influencers can help with the content creation process, but more about that below.

Find influencers with high engagement and the right audience

First up, find the right influencers for your campaign. You want to prioritize engagement, as it shows how interested the influencer’s followers are in their content. The more interested they are, the more the influencer may be able to affect their decisions.

Second, check into audience demographics to make sure that the influencer’s audience is interested in the same topics as they are. Also look into other demographics like age, gender, location, and language. Obviously, followers will be more swayed by someone who speaks the same language as them. And likewise, having a similar age, gender identity and location can help.

Repost influencer-created content

When an influencer posts something for your campaign, get the most out of that content. Repost it to your social feeds, your website, and if you have an e-commerce angle to your brand, on your online shop.

There are tools that can help you embed social media content into your e-commerce, like TagTray if you’re using Shopify. You could embed influencer photos to the product pages of the items that they’re featuring. Or, you could set up something like the Instashop by Swedish e-commerce BubbleRoom that’s seen below.

A screenshot of Bubbleroom's Instashop, one way the brand leverages social proof using social media content.

Invite your followers to participate

Okay, maybe they’re not exactly influencers, and they may not have a ton of reach. But your followers can be leveraged into content creators who add to the social proof you’re trying to, well, prove to new potential customers.

You could set this up with a branded hashtag, and a call for your customers to take photos when they’re using your product. Invite them to use the hashtag, and offer to repost some of the hashtagged content in exchange. This is a win-win situation.

A screenshot from a nano influencer who used fashion brand Monki's branded hashtag. This strategy can create social proof among your followers.

From the brand’s perspective, they’re getting free content, as well as social clout from real people who own their products. From the follower’s perspective, they feel more included in the brand experience and may see their content reposted by an account that has a significantly higher number of followers.

Get testimonials

Pretty pictures may be enough persuasion for some categories of items. But oftentimes followers are going to want more when deciding whether or not to buy a product. Enter the testimonial.

Ask influencers to highlight what they like about your product, or explain what they think it’s best for. You want content that has a clear opinion behind it. This way, followers can learn from the information provided and hopefully relate to the influencer experience.

You can also ask for testimonials from your followers, too. 93% of people read online reviews before purchasing something, so get your followers to write reviews on Facebook, Google, or other social networks. Just, stick to honesty here. Don’t pay people to write falsely positive reviews, lest you end up being caught by the FTC.


Social proof is a concept that affects all parts of our lives, from choosing what to order at a restaurant, to figuring out when to clap during a performance, to deciding what products to buy. In the end, human beings are social creatures that have a certain level of pack mentality.

In influencer marketing, social proof means leveraging influencers in your favor to affect the actions of your social media community. But like any influencer strategy, using social proof successfully depends on choosing the right influencer. Thankfully, Heepsy can help you find influencers and analyze their profiles to make sure you make the right choice.

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