What is social proof? Why is it important in both digital marketing and web design? How to design the social approval section of the website?

Not caring about other people’s opinions is not always good. Sometimes we need to get help from the experiences and opinions of others to make better decisions. For this reason, on the first page (home/homepage) of many websites, there is a section called Social Proof. In simple words, in this section, the business and its products are introduced from the language of users/customers.

On the web, there are many materials about social proof. But those materials only looked at social approval from one point of view. In this content, you will read about the next aspect of social proof, which is less discussed. In other words, in this context, we will see this part of the product from the perspective of a web designer and a UI/UX designer.

Social Proof in web design

Considering the priorities of the project owner (site), the website designer must make decisions and answer questions about the site he wants to develop. For example, is it better to design a dedicated website or content management system? Or should it use front-end and back-end development frameworks? What options does it have to increase website security and speed?

Those questions are more technical. But the web designer must have answers to other questions related to the site design and UI/UX design. Not all web designers work on large projects where the user experience and user interface of the product are prepared by the product design team and only the implementation and execution of the design with the programmer/developer of the website.

Sometimes it is the web designer who has to decide about the interface design and user experience of the website. So, it is necessary to know what is the best way to design the important parts of the product. One of those parts is social proof in the product. There are different types of social approval. And each type can be designed in different ways and offered to the user.

When should social proof be used in website design?

Social proof is very important for digital product marketing. The opinion and experiences of others from interaction with the product are decisive in validating the business and brand. In a market full of competition, a lasting brand can have loyal customers (users). The higher the brand loyalty, the more customers will prefer a particular brand over other brands and introduce them to others.

And, when we want to buy a product for the first time, we prefer to know the opinion of others and inquire about its quality. Therefore, dedicating a section on the website to display social endorsement (positive comments from current business customers) is directly related to sales and profitability.

This importance is well expressed by nngroup.com:

People are guided by other people’s behavior, so we can represent the actions, beliefs, and advice of the crowd in a design to influence users.

Social proof should be included in website design to achieve one of the following two goals:

  • Showing the credibility and acceptability of the business and its products to the people,
  • Encouraging users to interact with and trust the brand/website.

How to include social proof in website design?

The most important type of social proof is user/customer comments (text and video). Undoubtedly, this type of social approval is necessary for store websites. It is not possible to find a product on the Amazon website without those yellow stars (which are the user ratings for that product).

The job of the web designer is not to select one or more of the various types of social proof (including the number of followers of social network accounts, opinions and endorsements of experts and famous people, articles published in newspapers and magazines about the business or its products) for Select the offer on the website.

The job of the website designer is to make sure that the users get to the social approval section very quickly and easily and see and read it. If the social proof is a video, which it should be, the video should play quickly and easily. If a part of the first page of the website is dedicated to social approval, that part should not be so low that the user has to scroll too much of the page.

The type of website and the products and services that the business offers may require that statistics and figures (for example, the number of participants in training courses of an educational website) or the name and logo of major brands that the business cooperates with be mentioned as social proof. These two types of social approval should also be designed on the page in such a way that they attract the user’s opinion and also the user can easily understand their connection with the business and the website.

The web designer should use short and clear texts to introduce these two types of social proof. If the texts are completely written based on the principles of UX Writing, the user will quickly connect with them and understand the need for statistics and big brand names.

Social proof in the design of WordPress websites

A WordPress website designer can easily add social proof to a website. WordPress plugins help the designer in this matter. The WooCommerce store template has a special plugin for adding customer reviews (Customer Reviews for WooCommerce) to the site. In addition to the template-specific plugin, WordPress has also provided various plugins (such as Rich Reviews) for this purpose.

There are various plugins to display another type of social proof (comments and the number of likes that the business and its products get on social networks) on WordPress sites. One of the most complete is called WP Social Ninja. By using this plugin, the web designer can add customer comments and approvals published on all social networks to the website.

Another very useful plugin for sharing WordPress website content on social media (Sassy Social Share) allows website users to publish website content on social networks. This will display the number of times each piece of content has been shared next to or above it. This is also a form of social approval for the business.


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