What Are Testimonials?

A testimonial in social media is a positive and genuine statement, review, endorsement, or recommendation of a product, service, or brand provided by a customer or a client. They are sometimes given by celebrities, influencers, or other well-known personalities.

Testimonials help build credibility and a positive reputation and add value to the brand image in an authentic and unsponsored way. Testimonials can be obtained and displayed in various formats, such as images, text, videos, etc., on websites and social media.

More About Testimonials

Did you know the word testimonial evolved from the word ‘testimony,’ first used in the 15th century to refer to a demonstration of facts or evidence? Testimonials were earlier given verbally, with customers talking about a product or service positively and inspiring others to use the same.

With the advent of marketing, testimonials, in the form of written and spoken statements, have been adopted for the growth and expansion of a business. They serve as organic promotions of a product or service by reflecting the personal experiences and feedback of users. A testimonial essentially highlights the benefits and advantages of a brand or its offerings and how they deliver a positive outcome.

While testimonials are sometimes confused with endorsements, the primary difference is that the former are typically provided by customers or users, while celebrities or significant personalities usually do endorsements. Testimonials are perceived as more credible and trustworthy because they are given by actual customers or clients with firsthand experience with the product or service.

So, what are testimonials’ primary benefits?

Brands and businesses use testimonials as a form of social proof to establish credibility and confidence in the minds of potential customers. They help to speed up the lead conversion process by providing genuine insights, based on which the target users can make informed decisions to engage with a particular product or service.

Testimonials are a crucial aspect of advertising and one of the best strategies to grow startups or small and medium-sized businesses. A study shows 83% of buyers trust testimonials more than endorsements or advertising.

One of the biggest challenges in creating or requesting testimonials is to have them come across as genuine and authentic. People are less likely to be inspired if a testimony reads or feels contrived, stiff, and non-engaging. Thus, comments should be sought from real customers whose words can be persuasive and influential in attracting new customers.

As written statements, testimonials are displayed on websites, marketing materials, product packaging, and other promotional aids.

In verbal form, testimonials can be captured as video recordings or audio clips, which can be broadcast on websites, social media platforms, or advertisements. Testimonials typically include the customer’s name, title, and sometimes their image to signal authenticity.

Social media platforms like Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Facebook, and other sites such as Practo, TripAdvisor, etc., too, showcase testimonials.

See the image below that shows testimonials on the SocialPilot website. These customer testimonials speak about their experiences and how the solutions offered by the company helped meet their needs. These ratings and reviews give other website visitors and potential customers insights into the brand solutions and indirectly encourage them to sign up for them.


Frequently Asked Questions

How can businesses get more online testimonials?

Organizations can ask customers or clients to leave online reviews or testimonials via forms. These should be showcased ideally in a testimonial section on the official website. Marketing and sales teams can also send follow-up emails and ask consumers or clients about their experiences. If there is a positive response, the customer can be asked to provide a full-fledged testimonial, which can be recorded with a template.

One can also offer customers discount coupons or other freebies in exchange for authentic testimonials.

What are some forms in which testimonials can be published?

Here are nine different forms in which customer testimonials can appear on social media and other platforms:

  • Quote testimonials
  • Hashtag campaigns
  • Customer reviews
  • Influencer testimonials
  • Blog post reviews
  • Customer interviews
  • Audio testimonials
  • Video testimonials
  • Media coverage and PR

Can a business edit or delete online testimonials?

No, a business should not edit or delete genuine negative reviews as it goes against professional ethics and can damage its reputation. In all cases, negative testimonials should be responded to promptly, professionally, and helpfully. Doing so shows the customer that their feedback is valued. It also shows the brand’s commitment to improving and meeting the needs of potential customers.

How long should online testimonials be?

There is no general rule for the length of online testimonials. Brands and individuals can publish lengthy and in-depth ones. However, short and crisp testimonials are widely appreciated and read, as long ones may not be able to hold readers’ attention.

Can businesses use online testimonials in their advertising?

Yes. If a business has recorded genuine and authentic testimonials, it can use them in its advertising campaigns. However, all testimonials used should be in accordance with advertising regulations and not make any unrealistic claims.

How often can a brand seek online testimonials?

It is an excellent practice to try and get customers or clients to provide online testimonials only after the purchase or completion of a service. You can assess the sales and ask for testimonials through appropriate and meaningful interaction with the customer.

However, organizations should, at all costs, avoid appearing bothersome and pushy by asking for testimonials repetitively and frequently.

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