The Value of Social Proof in Facebook Ads

When running a Facebook advertising campaign, it can sometimes be cumbersome when it comes to selecting the creative for your campaign.

Do you want to use stock photos? How about company branded graphics? Children, happy people and pets have shown to be the most effective creatives.

Regardless of what type of image you use, there is another factor that can have a major impact on the success of your campaign: Social Proof.

What is social proof? Social proof is public social engagement that other users can see. This includes likes (or other reactions), comments, and shares of your ad.

Social proof is necessary and very important when it comes to Facebook ads for obvious reasons. People are more trustworthy and more likely to buy when fellow consumers validate that product or service. None of us do this consciously, but we all look for signs that other people liked the ad before we saw it.

When there are further reactions (outside of just likes), such as excitement, love, laughing, that only sweetens the deal as people are naturally curious to see what an ad or post is about when it has these types of reactions.

Here is an example of an advertising campaign we ran for a client:

As you can see, this ad as over 260 reactions, 205 comments and 47 shares!

This was for a website conversion campaign to generate leads. The campaign had two different graphics- the above photo and one other photo with the same caption, but significantly less social proof.

The image containing social proof produced 71% of the leads in that campaign! The link click through rate (CTR) was over 2%, the cost per impression (CPM) was low, and the relevance score (which measures the effectiveness of the creative) was above average.

How about the photo with little social proof?

As you can see, there is significantly less social proof on this image and the results are staggeringly different.

First and foremost, the Cost per Lead was about 50% higher, the Click Through Rate was cut in half (just over 1%) and the relevancy score dropped as well.

While there may have been some additional minor factors that impacted these numbers, the overall major difference was photo 1 on having significant social proof, while photo 2 was lacking in that department.

So how do you obtain social proof on an image?

Unfortunately, you may not have an image image with social proof if you are starting from scratch. So, you are going to need to utilize some further organic and paid methods to utilize social proof photos.

The first (and easiest) way is to post a photo with a strong caption and call to action — that you would want to use in your upcoming ad campaign — on your Facebook Business page.

Allow it to garner some organic engagement. From there, you will want to create an engagement campaign.

Select the engagement option, input your targeting information like normal and then on the ad level, Facebook will allow you to choose from posts on your page. Select the one you want to use for your ad and it will begin to optimize for engagement.

A couple of notes:

  • I’d let it run for 5-7 days first.
  • You don’t need to have a major budget for an engagement campaign- $5 per day should be sufficient (if it is a quality post with a noteworthy caption and image).
  • When it comes to placements, Facebook defaults to “automatic placements.” Select “Edit Placements” and un-check everything besides Facebook. That way all the engagement is coming from and going on your actual Facebook post and not on Instagram for example.

Then Utilize Your Social Proof Photo in Your Conversion Ads

Once your photo generates a good amount of social proof, you can now take the ad’s ID and use that exact image in your more important conversion campaigns.

You simply go into your engagement ad, click ad preview and copy the it’s ID number.

Once you copy it, create your conversion or lead generation campaign and instead of making the creative from scratch, you click “use existing post” and paste the Ad ID number.

You will now have an image with social proof that will undoubtedly yield better results.


Social proof makes a major difference when it comes to Facebook ad campaigns. It is a powerful selling tool and shows potential customers what you are business is all about from other real consumers.

In some cases, it can be more persuasive than the ad itself.

Use the aforementioned tactics to generate social proof images and then input them in your conversion or other campaigns to see more success in your Facebook ads.

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