Testimonials vs social media shout outs: Why social media shout outs are more powerful than testimonials

Even if you’re not active on any of the big social networks, your business is likely being mentioned on them.

When someone discovers your product or service and realizes it’s exactly what they’ve been looking for, they might head to Twitter, Instagram, or their social network of choice and let their audience know.

These social media shout outs don’t just help you get discovered, they’re a powerful signal that people trust you enough to promote you to all of their friends and followers.

What is the difference between a social media shout out and a testimonial?

A testimonial is a positive review of your product that someone shares with you and allows you to use in marketing materials. For example, if someone had a great experience with your product or service, you could ask them for a testimonial and then add that testimonial to your website.

A social media shout out is pretty similar, but instead of being a positive review that your customer shares with you directly, it’s a positive review that they share with their audience on a social network like Twitter or Instagram.

A grid of positive tweets about shoutout.io

Why are social media shout outs more powerful than testimonials?

Here are 6 reasons why (plus a bonus reason)

  1. More credibility: The first and most important advantage of social media shout outs is credibility. When the social media user posts about your business or product they are saying "I like this and I like it so much I am willing to risk my credibility by sharing it with you." That person is risking more of their credibility than if they shared a testimonial with you directly, which makes it a more powerful form of social proof.
  2. They reach a wider audience: Another benefit of shout outs is their ability to reach a wider audience. Unlike testimonials, shout outs are likely to instantly reach an audience that might have never heard of your business.
  3. They're personal and engaging: As shout outs are shared on your social feeds, they are likely worded in a way that’s more personal and engaging. People are much more likely to trust claims that are shared in a more personal way from someone they trust, than when they hear them directly from the business.
  4. They're usually more visual: The fastest growing social networks are visual. When people share your product or service with their followers, they are likely to include a photo or video, which is a huge asset for your business. People love to see products in action and these visuals allow them to do exactly that.
  5. They spark conversations: Each shout out sparks an opportunity to start a conversation. When people promote your product to their audience, some of their followers might have questions or further comments. These conversations that start on a positive note are invaluable.
  6. They're an opportunity to be authentic: Each shout out gives you the opportunity to get involved in the conversation and show that you’re not a faceless business.

Bonus point: Shout outs are easier than ever to put on your website. Shoutout lets you import your social media shout outs, organize them, then publish them on your website as a beautiful "wall of love" or testimonial slider.

All of this isn’t to say you should stop asking customers for testimonials, but it's a reminder to make the most of the valuable shout outs that quickly disappear in noisy social media feeds. They are a powerful social proof signal, so they are well worth saving and sharing with potential customers.