Social Proof in Ads – Tips and Why You Need It

30 Mar 2020 | vividreal

Imagine you’re about to make an online purchase. Or you’re checking out a service on the internet. What’s the first thing you would do? Most people would check reviews.

Thanks to social media, anyone can share their opinions on anything. When people see ads, they need to know what others think of it too. We subconsciously want to see proof of quality and reliability. This plays a major role in conversion as well.

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So what exactly is social proof?

Psychologically speaking, people often tend to look at what others do or have to say, to properly assess their own behaviour in a scenario. This phenomenon is called social proof.

In marketing terms, social proof refers to user reviews, comments, and generally what others have to say about your brand. It’s an excellent way of changing the public perception of your brand.

There are different types of social proofs. An expert in your niche could recommend your products/services. It could be an influencer or a celebrity. Someone who has previously used your products/services could recommend your brand. Even having a large number of followers on your social media pages can be a form of social proof. The comments and reactions on your posts are all different kinds of social proof. It can be personal, someone could recommend your brand to their friends and family. Awards and accolades are other forms of social proof.

Why should I use it in my ads?

Our daily social media experience has been so supersaturated with advertisements that we usually ignore all kinds of ads. Marketers have to take extra steps to ensure that their ads catch people’s attention. Ads also have to be convincing, and what better way to convince people than social proof?

Here are some ways you can use social proof in your ads.

Social proof in your ad copy.

It’s always a great idea to add customer reviews, testimonials, or quotes on your ad copy. Sometimes there might be a limit on exactly how much text you can use on your ads, so it’s always advised to keep things short. However, to keep things short, try not to modify your reviews too much. They still need to be genuine.


You can mention quotes in which you or your brand has been mentioned by others on your ad copy. Make sure the quote is from a credible source.


If you have customer testimonial videos, make use of them. Run a video ad campaign on social media with a customer testimonial video. You can also edit and stitch together different testimonial videos. Make sure that the testimonials feel genuine and not forced.

Media mentions.

If you’ve been mentioned on popular websites or publications, you can brag about it on your landing page. Just add a footer section with text something along the lines of “Featured on Time Magazine”. You could provide links to the website article/or publication as well.

Use your ad extensions!

Google Ads extensions allow you to add more information to your search ads. There’s absolutely no reason why you shouldn’t be using extensions. It doesn’t cost you more, and it has been linked to better CTR rates as well. Here are some ways you can use your ad extensions:

  • Rating extension

When creating a search ad on Google, you have the option to use the rating extension. This displays customer reviews from various sources that Google trusts. The ratings are displayed in the body of the ad as stars and a number ranging from 1-5. This gives credibility to your brand, and customers are more likely to trust you.

  • Review extension

This is similar to the rating extension. Review extensions enable us to add a customer review to the body of the search ad. This is a manual extension; you get to choose which review to feature, along with a link to the source. You’re only allowed to display one review, so make it count! Your review must come from a credible source and must contain a link to the source site or publication. You cannot use reviews that are not from an organisation/website or a publication. There are also strict regulations to prevent the misuse of this extension.

Social proof can also come in the form of likes, reactions, and comments on Facebook ads. One way to properly increase and use social proof on your Facebook ads is explained below:

Dark Posting on Facebook

There’s a lesser-known tip people use while creating Facebook ads that involve the use of mysterious “dark posts”. The name is probably the only mysterious thing about it. This is a unique way of creating ads on Facebook that works with social proof to give you a better ROI on your ads.

Suppose you have an ad that is relevant to multiple audiences. Imagine you create the exact same ad across 10 ad sets. Whatever engagement you receive on these ads will be spread out, into those 10 ads! In terms of social proof, it’s always better to see all the likes, comments, etc. being on one post. You want your social proof to build in one place.

Here’s where dark posts come in. They are posts (which can be later boosted as ads) that aren’t live, can’t be found organically and have unique post IDs. They used to only show up in your “page posts” tab under “Account Options”. Here’s how to use this tip to get all your social proof to accumulate in place.

  • Create an ad in the traditional way.
  • Get the unique post ID of that ad.

The easiest way to do this is:
Go to “Page Posts” from the hamburger menu.

Click on “Ads” and you’ll be able to see the post ID.

  • Copy that post ID and replicate it across different ad sets.

Whenever you have to create an ad for another ad set, select “Use Existing Post”. You can then paste the ID in the “Creative” section.

Once you do this and submit, the ad will receive all the likes and comments on one post. This lets your social proof build upon one post ID instead of splitting them up. This method also improves the likelihood of your ad being clicked on.

The only real downside to this is, you cannot edit the original ad text. Doing so will change the post ID, and you will lose all your social proof.

Adding social proof to your ads is a great way to improve your CTR. We hope we’ve cleared some of your doubts regarding social proof and its usage in ads. Got more questions? Talk to our team!

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