The Power of Social Proof

Written by Becky Fitzpatrick, Digital Marketing Associate

Fun Fact: Teddy Roosevelt popularized the widespread expression “jump on the bandwagon” in the late 1800s. The common expression was often used to depict a crowd following a politician’s bandwagon through a parade. The concept referred to the act of people following others simply because many people were doing the same thing. While this expression is still used today, digital marketers are more often heard using the expression “social proof”, which is very similar to Teddy’s popular expression.

Social proof is the effect created when people find out others are doing something and they suddenly attempt to mirror those actions.

Many people act under the assumption that people around them possess more knowledge about specific situations, so they choose to follow their lead, jump on the band wagon, and act the way they see others acting. Online companies like ModCloth and ThredUp really tap into the power of social proof by encouraging shoppers to share photos on Pinterest, leave feedback on outfits, and share their orders on social media for future discounts.

  • 73% of consumers say positive customer reviews make them trust a business more.
  • 79% trust these reviews as much as personal recommendations.

For-profit companies are already using social proof, it’s time nonprofits step up and reap the benefits!

5 Ways Nonprofits Can Tap into the Power of Social Proof

1. Encourage volunteers to share photos on social media

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2. Ask supporters to share/like a specific social media post for engagement


3. Request testimonials and reviews from partners, employees, and donors


4. Share case studies that prove your organization is making a difference

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5. Give a face to your supporters and those you help

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