Leveraging social proof to generate more sales

Social proof is an important marketing tool, especially when it comes to online shopping. Without the product in hand, consumers are more likely to rely on outside opinions. Buffer defines user social proof as “…approval from current users of a product or service. This includes customer testimonials, case studies, and online reviews.” 

Many successful Teespring users incorporate social proof into their promotional efforts by collecting and sharing customer photos. Photos of happy buyers wearing your merch can generate excitement and interest, as well as affirm the value and quality of the products you’re selling. Considering a staggering 84% of millennials are likely to be influenced into making a purchase based on user-generated content, you won’t want to forget this important step. 

Buyer selfies act as positive reviews of your products and sharing them is an engaging way of generating trust in your brand. Not only this, but it can also bring your community together and lead to more sales in the future! 


Collecting social proof

There are few easy ways to incentivize buyers to share their photos with you. Whatever way you decide to promote your merch, get into the habit of encouraging buyers to share photos wearing your products. 

  • Ask buyers to tag you in their photos on social media in your YouTube videos, stories, or social posts, etc.
  • Consider asking buyers to use a custom hashtag across social media when publishing merch photos online.

Check out the clip below to see how YouTuber @JessicaKellgren-Fozard [637K subscribers] asks customers to use the hashtag #LovelyPeopleMerch on Twitter and Instagram when their orders arrive. 

Bryan Dechart and Amelia Rose Blaire of @DechartGames [314K subscribers] ask customers to tag them with a photo wearing their merch using a custom hashtag. 

@Johniejaysworld_apparel [26.1K followers] offers his followers the chance to be featured on his Instagram by encouraging them to use his hashtag #LocdTees. He promotes this hashtag in his profile bio as well as incentivizing followers to use it in his posts. 

Here are some other ideas to encourage buyers to share their photos with you:

  • Offer prizes for people who submit their photos. Host a selfie contest and ask buyers to submit their photos, create an album and whichever photo has the most likes/votes wins! Offer a special prize to the winner.
  • Feature a “follower of the month” (fan of the week, etc.) on your social accounts. Ask people to submit photos and choose one to feature each week—add a link in the post to the product they’re wearing in case other followers want to purchase it too.  
  • Use Teespring’s Buyer Message Tool to contact your buyers via email and ask them to share selfies once they receive their orders to be featured on your social pages.


Sharing social proof

Post, tweet & publish

Buyer photos can double up as extra content for your own social channels. This is not only a way of getting more content and promoting the popularity of your products, but also a way to get your community hyped to be featured. Don’t forget to check out our social media promotion guides for more tips!

@AllisonBickerstaff [160K subscribers] reposts customer photos that fit her existing theme on her dedicated brand Instagram @magicdwellshere. Remember you can use Instagram stories and highlights to repost content too.

@Bl3ssedlife [1.7K followers] have collected their customer selfies and store them in a photo album on their Facebook page. Don’t forget to read the full Facebook promo guide which offers more tips.

Engage with customers

Collecting social proof on social media helps you interact on a deeper level with your community. As well as building relationships with your followers, engaging with them builds stronger trust.

@JessicaKellgren-Fozard [637K subscribers] engages with followers who’ve shared their selfies with Jessica’s custom hashtag on Twitter.

@Jazza [4.85M subscribers] interacts with his fans on Twitter when they tag him in their merch selfies.


Rep your own merch!

Keep in mind wearing your own merch is an example of social proof. In fact, users who wear merch in promotional content tend to see sales increase by 50%. Sharing your own product selfies and videos is a great way to get your followers hyped about your products and encourage more purchases.  

@MoriahElizabethOfficial [3.77M subscribers] wears her merch to create hype for her new collection.

@JackSilkstone [15K subscribers] created a promotional video wearing his designs for the launch of his merch.