Want to use more social proof in your marketing? Wondering how to share and promote testimonials on Instagram?
In this article, you’ll discover how to use Instagram posts, reels, and stories to share real use cases from genuine customers.
Why Customer Success Stories Matter for Marketers
Curious how important customer testimonials really are to your social media marketing goals? They offer more benefits than you might think, whether you work with a B2B or B2C business.
No matter how compelling your branded social media content might be, it has one factor working against it. It's from the point of view of your company, which may make it difficult for potential customers to trust it completely. In contrast, customer stories share real clients' experiences, which tend to appear more trustworthy. According to BigCommerce, 72% of consumers report trusting a business more after reading a positive testimonial.
One of the reasons testimonials seem so trustworthy and relatable is that they convey clients' thoughts word for word. Potential customers who share the same struggles or who have the same goals can easily identify with those experiences and consider using the same solution—your company's products and services.
Testimonials also provide social proof, which offers evidence that customers are buying from your business and getting great results. Social proof can be incredibly effective at getting people to follow the crowd so they don't feel left out. Over time, that can translate to more sales and customers. According to Wyzowl, 77% of consumers report that video testimonials impact their buying decisions.
When you have a system to find and share customer stories, you can also use them to build better relationships with your community. Naturally, you can connect with customers personally when you share their experiences and content. Over time, you can nurture a community of loyal fans, which can lead to a stronger brand and more word-of-mouth marketing.
7 Ways to Share Customer Testimonials on Instagram
Sharing customer testimonials on Instagram can be as simple as reposting a client review to your Instagram feed. But Instagram gives you a lot of space to get creative with customer stories. Here are a few ideas to use as inspiration.
#1: Share Customer Content to Instagram Stories
Do your customers produce user-generated content (UGC) featuring your brand? From unboxing videos to tutorials to reviews, this content can show prospects how to use your products or what's great about your services in your customers' own words.
Whether customers publish this content to the Instagram feed or their stories, the easiest way to get it in front of your audience is to share it to your account's stories. That way, the original creator gets credit for their content and your followers can see the content in their own feeds.
Below, the @clickup Instagram story includes a shared story from customer @isntshestellar. The story details how the business owner uses the brand’s project management software to run her business and automate processes, which could give potential customers ideas about how to organize their businesses with the software.
#2: Highlight Customer Stories on Your Instagram Profile
Since Instagram stories automatically archive after 24 hours, they can be easy to miss. If a potential customer visits your profile to learn more about your brand while you don't have any active stories, they may never see the testimonials you share.
An easy solution is curating reviews and UGC in a story highlight. Since story highlights don't expire automatically, they can keep your favorite customer stories front and center on your profile, where prospects can easily find them.
Below, the @ftlofplants stories are saved in a Customers highlight. The highlight includes dozens of customer stories that all feature rave reviews and positive testimonials about the brand's designs. Prospects can swipe through to see how customers have styled the products and feel the excitement in each story.
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#3: Turn a Customer Review Into a Feed Post
Do your customers write reviews on your Facebook page, Google Business Profile, or Yelp page? Do they share their experiences in Facebook posts or tweets? Capture these reviews via a screenshot or a design app and share them word-for-word on Instagram.
Below, the @jotform_official Instagram post features a tweet from Twitter user @TechEase_. The concise post gets right to the heart of why the software works so well for the project manager. In particular, phrases like “seamless workflow” are likely to resonate with the brand's target market.
#4: Create a Customer Spotlight
Have a great customer who’s a champion for your brand and you'd love to introduce them to your followers? You don't necessarily have to wait for customers to write reviews or create UGC for your brand. Instead, you can proactively highlight your best customers.
Below, the @zenefits post showcases customer @chaeorganics during National Small Business Week. The post's creative and caption both focus completely on the customer, highlighting the business' ethical sourcing and commitment to transparency.
However, the caption also mentions a compelling customer success story that's linked in the brand's bio. There, potential customers can discover how Zenefits helped Chaé Organics achieve success.
#5: Produce Client Case Studies
Sharing customer stories via the link in your Instagram bio can be a great way to drive traffic to your website. But when you want prospects to engage with these Instagram stories without leaving the app, incorporate the case study into the post.
Below, the @leadpages carousel post highlights customer @stampmesomelove. Each carousel card shares a different element of the entrepreneur's story. One card details the results she achieved using the landing page builder and another includes a customer quote. Followers who relate to the customer's story can click the brand's link in bio to read the full case study.
#6: Reward Your Best Customers
Want to take customer spotlights and case studies a step further? Turn them into awards for your best or most accomplished customers. That way, you can celebrate what your customers have achieved while sharing their stories with your audience.
Below, the @slackhq post gives customer Marriott Digital Services a Slack Spotlight award. The carousel cards share results the customer achieved and a quote about how the messaging app helped the team work more efficiently.
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#7: Shoot a Customer Testimonial Video
With video testimonials, you can bring customer quotes to life and tell their stories with a mix of short-form video and photos. For example, reels can combine anything from customer interviews and lifestyle content to product photos and screen recordings.
Below, the @canva reel spotlights customers @joshuabrookscliatt and @mya.bre, who won a Webby Award for a short film. The testimonial explains how the design app helped the creators develop Instagram marketing materials for the film and the short-form video includes clips of the interview, the award ceremony, and the design app in action.
5 Tips to Get More Customer Stories on Instagram
Now you have a better idea of what kinds of customer stories to tell and how to share them on Instagram. But if you don't have a library of testimonials, how do you start collecting them? Here are a few ideas for building your customer files.
Check Your Story Mentions
Do your customers regularly tag your business in their Instagram stories? If you typically reply privately, you're missing out on a key opportunity to share this content with your audience. Here's what to do instead:
After replying privately, tap to share the story to your account's Instagram stories. Depending on your brand's style, you might want to add a customer shout-out, an animated GIF, or another interactive sticker to the story. Now your followers will have a chance to see your customers' reviews and user-generated content as they browse stories.
To get more value from this content, save the best customer stories to a highlight on your profile. For example, you might title it Reviews or Customer Love to entice prospects to tap and view.
Now your potential customers can read testimonials and explore case studies as they consider purchasing your product or service. Since story highlights remain pinned to the top of your Instagram profile until you remove them, they can continue to showcase your happiest customers for weeks, months, or much longer.
Include Customer Posts in Your Content Plan
It's important to share Instagram stories promptly since they're time-sensitive. But that doesn't mean you should ignore static content by happy customers. To streamline the sharing process, open your Instagram account's notifications and use the Tags & Mentions filter. Flag any negative mentions for follow-up, and like and comment on any positive mentions.
Save any Instagram posts or reels with positive mentions to a dedicated folder in your Instagram account. For example, I have a Mentions folder to save this type of content. Then plug these Instagram posts and reels into your content calendar. Although you can't share customer posts to your feed with native Instagram tools, you can plan to share them to your stories.
To display the best customer posts on your profile longer, use the workflow above to save glowing reviews to a story highlight. In your Instagram bio, you can even mention that you'll share customer posts when they tag your business. That way, clients who want a public shout-out may be more likely to share their experience with your company.
Prefer to share customer posts or reels to your feed rather than to Instagram stories? Reach out to the original poster and request permission to publish their content to your feed. Write a brief form letter that thanks customers for their content and asks for permission to repost. Then copy and paste the message into a DM and personalize as necessary.
Prompt Customers to Share Their Thoughts
The workflows above are great if your brand has reasonably high awareness and enough happy customers to produce user-generated content unprompted. But what if your brand is newer or if your notifications aren't filled with mentions and tags from clients?
To encourage customers to share their thoughts and experiences, design a UGC campaign. You can get testimonials and user-generated content organically by asking followers what they like about your products or how they benefited from your services.
For example, every time you share a testimonial or client UGC, prompt followers to share their own experiences. Invite them to DM their thoughts to you directly or encourage them to tag your Instagram account in their review or UGC posts.
While some customers might send a DM or publish their own testimonials, it's important to keep an eye on the comments, too. If you spot a rave review or a powerful testimonial in the comments, pin it to the top of your post or reel. That way, anyone who takes a closer look at your content will see your best comments.
You can use a similar approach in stories. In addition to encouraging followers to reply with a DM, use question stickers to prompt followers to share a specific experience with your brand. Then share their testimonial responses in a series of stories and share the best stories to a highlight.
Does your content tend to drive a lot of profile views? Make sure your Instagram profile shows customers how and where to share testimonials with your team. For example, you can encourage customers to tag your Instagram account (especially if you check for tags and mentions frequently).
You can also invite customers to add your branded hashtag to their posts and reels if they want to be featured in your stories. If you go this route, make sure to check your hashtag feed regularly so you can respond to posts and reels and add them to your shared content calendar.
Partner With Relevant Influencers
Influencer-created content isn't the same as user-generated content. Even if they're unpaid, influencers have a relationship with the brand, which typically means a responsibility to share positive experiences with the brand's products and services. That said, partnering with influencers can still help you get more customer testimonials.
When you work with influencers, ask them to include prompts in their content. For example, they might ask their followers which of your products they like best or which service they would recommend to their friends and family. Then you can reach out to the commenters and ask permission to post their testimonials to your Instagram feed.
Reach Out to Your Best Customers
Want to get customer testimonials from your happiest repeat buyers? Reach out to them directly with a friendly interview request, using the examples above as inspiration.
First, make a list of your top customers using your point of sale system or eCommerce platform. Then use the contact information you have on file to connect with them and ask about their experience with your company, product, or service.
Although you won't want to script their contribution, you're more likely to get a powerful testimonial if you ask thoughtful questions. For example, you might ask why they chose your brand, which product they like best and why, or what results they've achieved with the help of your business. Then you can turn their experience into powerful social media content.
Customer stories and testimonials build trust and provide invaluable social proof. By sharing testimonials and working with customers to tell their stories, you can create a stronger brand and a more loyal customer base.
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