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Using social proof to grow your candle business Boost your brand’s credibility (and sales) with product reviews, media features, and recommendations.

In today’s competitive market, building a successful handmade business requires more than just making high-quality products. One way to help your brand stand out is by leveraging social proof to attract customers and generate sales. 

Sharing the positive experiences customers have had with your candles, melts, and other products builds trust with shoppers and demonstrates your products’ value. If you aren’t already using this strategy in your business, it’s remarkably effective and can be put into place at little cost!  

What is social proof?

The term “social proof” was coined in the 1980s by an American psychologist. It describes the human phenomenon where the actions and opinions of others influence our behavior. In the context of selling products, social proof makes it more likely for someone to complete a purchase when they see evidence of positive experiences from other people. 

Examples of social proof

For product-based businesses, the most common types of social proof include:

  • Reviews: Written feedback from customers who have purchased your candle that provides firsthand accounts of a product’s quality and performance.
  • Testimonials: Personal stories and endorsements from satisfied customers, like wholesale partners, or students if you teach candle-making classes, are an excellent way to build trust in the services or experiences you offer.
  • Media features and mentions: These can be product features in magazines, blog posts, gift guides, and TV shows, as well as interviews and profiles of you, the maker.
  • Influencer recommendations: Organic or partnered recommendations can be quite relatable and give potential customers unique insight into your products. 
  • User-generated content: Customer-created photos, videos, and posts showcasing your candles on their social media accounts.
  • Milestones: Sharing sales landmarks, business anniversaries, and the number of shops you’re working with demonstrates stability and success.

The importance of social proof

Social proof is important for three main reasons: it builds trust, reinforces your products' benefits, and contributes to better sales conversions. A survey from BazaarVoice found that 88% of consumers read online reviews before deciding to buy a product. And 78% of respondents said product reviews were the most influential factor in their purchase decision.

When shoppers encounter your business online, they can’t touch or smell your products. Social proof bridges this sensory gap by providing reassurance from people who’ve already experienced them. Think of this as a virtual word-of-mouth endorsement! 

Social proof also shows potential customers how they might benefit from your candles. Whether it’s a review raving about a scent and the mood it evokes, or a user-generated photo of a candle in a happy customer’s home, social proof paints a picture of the value and enjoyment your scented creations can provide.

3 ways to collect product reviews

Even the happiest customers often need a nudge to share their positive experiences with products. Here are three practical ways to request product reviews and start building up a collection to share: 

  • Post-purchase email flow: You can do so much with email marketing, including asking for reviews! Set up a post-purchase email flow that includes a request for a review. You can even offer an incentive, like a discount on a future purchase, for anyone who leaves a review.
  • Review apps: Try an app like Yotpo or Judge.me that integrates with your website. These apps are designed to automatically send emails to customers and collect reviews. Once submitted, the reviews appear on your website for shoppers to see.
  • Card insert: Tuck a printed insert into shipments or shopping bags that thanks customers for their support and encourages them to share a photo of their purchase on social media. Be sure to note that these posts may be reshared on your business accounts or ask permission before reposting.

How and where to use social proof

Once you start gathering reviews and other forms of social proof, you can share them in a multitude of ways! Don’t be afraid to experiment to see what works best for your target audience. Whatever your approach, it’s important to use your social proof in more than one place to reach customers at various points in the discovery and buying process. Let’s look at six places to use social proof to help you get started.


One of the most common places shoppers expect to find social proof is on a brand’s website. So this is a prime opportunity to:

  • Post customer reviews on individual product pages to provide immediate, relevant info to shoppers. If you use a review-collecting app, consider adding a carousel of reviews on the site’s home page for maximum visibility.
  • Highlight media mentions on a dedicated page, or include them on about or home pages to establish credibility.
  • Share user-generated content with an app like BazaarVoice to showcase real customers enjoying your products.

Social media

Your social media accounts are another place where there are plenty of opportunities to share when your products are praised. 

If a customer makes a positive post and tags you, repost the share in your Instagram or Facebook Stories, and thank them for the shoutout. Another way to share social proof is to take a product review and drop it into a branded post to share on your feed. Canva makes it easy to create visually appealing content. 

Email marketing

Looking for a reason to email your subscribers? Social proof is an excellent excuse to reach out! Bring the branded social media posts featuring customer reviews straight to your subscribers’ inboxes. Were your candles featured elsewhere? Announce and link the feature to highlight this exposure.

In-person markets and shows

As part of your tabletop signage when vending at markets, include a couple of signs displaying product reviews or “as seen in/on” to give shoppers additional confidence when considering your products. This can be particularly useful for shoppers brand new to your business.

Blog posts

You might notice the theme of repurposing content when it comes to social proof and marketing your business, and blogging is one more place to share the kind words of enthusiastic customers.

You can share social proof on blog posts with periodic compilations of reviews and posting about milestone accomplishments, such as “500 5-star reviews received!” Also, consider interviewing customers, whether retail or wholesale, and share occasional profiles on your website’s blog to show how your candles are enjoyed and appreciated. 

Ads and paid media

Reviews from satisfied customers are especially effective when incorporated into any advertising you might be doing. Adweek reported that social proof in ads, particularly user-generated content and reviews, can boost click-through rates by up to four times. This is because the ads are perceived as more authentic and reliable since the praise comes directly from customers.

Final thoughts

Adding social proof to your marketing strategy helps your business grow by building trust, highlighting the features and benefits of your products, and ultimately leading to more sales. 

Start by choosing one type of social proof to focus on—whether that’s collecting customer reviews, posting user-generated content, or sharing business milestones—and see the impact it has on your conversion rates and audience engagement. 

Once you’ve established a solid foundation with one type of social proof, gradually add in more forms to offer a well-rounded picture of your products and business. Then be consistent and watch as social proof helps transform curious browsers into loyal customers!

We hope these social proof examples are helpful and perhaps spark some ideas of your own! 

If you’ve had success with any of these methods or have other tips to share, let us know in the comments.

And for more help on topics like building your brand, creating a product line, setting profitable prices, and overviews of where to sell your candles, visit our Candle Making Business Guides.