The Power of Social Proof: Real-Life Examples That Will Inspire You

May 12, 2023
Contributor: Shubham Gupta

Discover the transformative impact of social proof with real-life examples and elevate your brand, sales and influence.

Every small business owner, marketer, and software provider wants to capture customer attention and gain trust amidst a saturated market and skepticism. Social proof (especially customer reviews) can make this happen by influencing behavior through real-world evidence. 

According to Gartner Digital Markets’ 2023 SMB Software Buying Trends, 86% of businesses find verified reviews crucial for purchase decisions, showcasing the power of social proof in driving sales and trust. In this article, we will explore real-life examples that highlight the effectiveness of social proof in improving credibility, earning consumer trust, and fueling business growth.

3 Social Proof Examples from Gartner Digital Markets

Let’s see how businesses have leveraged social proof to their advantage, inspiring customer trust and loyalty. These real-life cases demonstrate the significance of social proof and how it can enhance your brand image and increase conversions.

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Success story #1: Auctria earned buyers' trust with an always-on review collection process

Challenges they faced:

Auctria, a membership management software provider for fundraising events and auctions, sought to elevate its customer experience by fostering trust and nurturing lasting relationships with its buyers. Driven by a commitment to transparency, Auctria aimed to create a platform where users could share genuine and unbiased feedback. 

Despite being a small business with limited resources, Auctria embraced the challenge of effectively collecting and managing reviews. They saw it as an opportunity to optimize their system for better customer engagement and trust-building.

The solution they implemented:

Auctria used Gartner Digital Markets' Review Collection Service to establish a robust, always-on review collection process. This approach enabled them to consistently generate social proof, reach the top of their software category and enhance their brand reputation on Capterra for potential customers. This service empowered them to tell a compelling customer experience story through authentic, unbiased feedback from their users, ultimately increasing qualified leads and conversions.

Results they achieved:

  • Embarked on a perpetual review-gathering initiative, ensuring constant input from their valued users.
  • Accumulated 15 perceptive customer reviews in less than a quarter, qualifying for the esteemed Capterra Shortlist and Software Advice Frontrunners recognitions.
  • Capitalized on these accolades and user feedback to showcase their credibility and dedication to prospective clients.

Every business should have a listing on Gartner Digital Markets. Gartner Digital Markets is a great place for buyers to see unbiased information, read reviews, and get a better sense for what’s going on in the industry itself.

Laurie Hochman

Marketing Director, Auctria

Success story #2: TeamUp collected 100 new user reviews within two months

Challenges they faced:

TeamUp, a management software solution for fitness and wellness businesses, wanted to accelerate their growth and improve customer acquisition. With a primary goal of expediting the collection of high-quality, recent user reviews, TeamUp aimed to boost customer confidence and showcase their platform's value to potential users. 

By proactively addressing the challenge of lacking social proof, TeamUp set out to establish a solid reputation and demonstrate its commitment to client success.

The solution they implemented:

TeamUp worked with Gartner Digital Markets and used its Review Collection Service to speed up the process of obtaining recent, high-quality reviews. This strategic partnership not only showcased TeamUp's dedication to client success but also allowed them to build trust and credibility with potential buyers. 

The result was a robust collection of reviews that fostered stronger user relationships, enhanced customer satisfaction, and drove more successful sales.

Results they achieved:

  • Successfully gathered 100 fresh user reviews within just two months.
  • Enhanced review collection efficacy by leveraging well-timed customer interactions.
  • Fostered robust customer connections for long-term satisfaction and loyalty with genuine reviews.
  • Continuously refined their product offerings by evaluating and incorporating client feedback.


We’ve worked with Gartner Digital Markets for several years, and we’ve always been very impressed with the innovation of new features like the Review Collection Service and the team at Gartner that makes it happen.

Tim Green

CEO, TeamUp

Success story #3: RavenCSI built brand reputation with customer feedback

Challenges they faced:

RavenCSI, a survey software for customer service intelligence, was eager to expand its reach and distinguish itself from competitors in the market. They aimed to establish a solid brand reputation and foster user trust by garnering positive reviews on renowned platforms like Capterra, GetApp, and Software Advice. 

With the potential to create a comprehensive profile on these sites, RavenCSI had the opportunity to generate more leads, enhance customer retention, and ultimately elevate its brand presence in the industry.

The solution they implemented:

RavenCSI strategically collaborated with Gartner Digital Markets and leveraged its review collection service. Together, they devised a tactical review-collection campaign focused on obtaining genuine, insightful user feedback. By offering a gift card as a token of appreciation, RavenCSI ensured that users felt valued for their feedback.

This approach not only amplified RavenCSI's online presence but also generated a steady influx of qualified leads. The authentic reviews showcased the company's commitment to customer satisfaction, reinforcing its brand reputation and fostering customer trust.

Results they achieved:

  • Collected 11 valuable customer testimonials within two months.
  • Extracted insightful suggestions from customer feedback to enhance and refine the platform.
  • Elevated reputation as a credible and trustworthy software provider in the competitive market.


Gartner Digital Markets is the industry standard and being listed with a solid set of reviews on their sites is fundamental to being successful in the SaaS and software space, as well as being seen as a trusted brand.

Brian Boyette

Owner, RavenCSI

More examples of social proof in action

Review Collection Service provides companies an efficient and effective way to acquire social proof. However, there are many other real-life examples of brands using social proof to their advantage. Let's have a look at some of them:

Online reviews and ratings

Online reviews and ratings have become an essential part of the purchasing process for most consumers. The review platforms offer a space for users to share their experiences with products and services, helping others make informed decisions.

Two examples:

  • Amazon product reviews’ impact on sales: Amazon's rating and review system has a significant impact on the purchasing decisions of its customers. A product with a high rating and numerous positive reviews is perceived as more reliable and trustworthy, thus driving more sales.
  • TripAdvisor's influence on travel decisions: TripAdvisor is a popular travel website that offers user-generated reviews of hotels, restaurants, and attractions. Travelers often rely on these reviews to plan their trips, making wise choices based on others’ experiences.


Influencer endorsements

Influencer marketing and celebrity endorsements involve popular figures promoting products or services to their social media followers. Influencers often have a dedicated and engaged audience that trusts their opinions, making their recommendations highly effective.

Two examples:

  • Kylie Jenner and the power of her product recommendations: Kylie Jenner, a popular personality and entrepreneur, has a massive following on social media platforms like Instagram. Her beauty product endorsements have driven significant sales and brand awareness for the companies she collaborates with.
  • PewDiePie's effect on video game sales: PewDiePie, a famous YouTuber known for his gaming content, significantly impacts the gaming industry. When he features a game in one of his videos, it can lead to a surge in sales and downloads.


Case studies of successful social proof marketing campaigns

Social proof marketing campaigns leverage the power of customer success stories to convince others to use a product or service.

One example:

  • Dropbox's referral program growth: Dropbox, a cloud-based file storage service, implemented a referral program that rewarded users with additional storage space for every person they referred. This campaign led to significant growth in their user base, as people trusted the recommendations of friends and family members.

Build a trusted reputation with social proof

Gartner Digital Markets’ Review Collection Service and other real-life examples demonstrate the powerful effect of social proof. By leveraging people's opinions and experiences, you can build credibility and trust with potential customers. Ultimately, this leads to increased sales and higher customer loyalty. 

For now, leverage our Review Collection Service to start building your social proof today to reap the rewards in the long run. From boosting your brand’s credibility to driving up sales, this service can help you turn your customers into lifelong loyalists.

Shubham Gupta 

Shubham Gupta is a Content Writer at Gartner Digital Markets who ideates and creates purpose-driven content to help modern technology businesses achieve their goals. Outside of work, he enjoys reading thriller novels and Urdu poetry, as well as spending time with his dog. Connect with Shubham on LinkedIn.

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