Are you taking full advantage of glowing reviews from your best customers? Looking for actionable ways to increase your social proof on Instagram?
In this article, you’ll learn how to leverage customer testimonials in your Instagram feed, in Stories, and on IGTV.
Why Promote Customer Reviews and Testimonials on Instagram?
With more than 1 billion monthly active users, 83% of whom use the platform for product discovery, Instagram has great sales potential for brands of all sizes and niches. However, it’s nearly impossible to convince your Instagram followers to buy from you unless you provide them with social proof.
Why? BrightLocal found in a study that 91% of people read customer reviews before making a purchase decision. And peer recommendations remain the most credible form of advertising, with customers overwhelmingly trusting suggestions from family, friends, and colleagues over brand content.
The concept of using social proof in marketing isn’t new but it’s more important than ever.
The good news is that user-generated content (UGC) is on the rise. Not only do consumers love taking photos of products they find useful but they also want to help other potential customers make the right purchase decisions. With more than 100 million photos and videos uploaded to Instagram daily, it’s a great place for marketers to find UGC.
Consider using the following methods to find customer photos and videos to use on your Instagram profile:
- Photo/video contests and giveaways. This article explains how to run an Instagram giveaway.
- Brand hashtags. Read this complete guide to using Instagram hashtags in your marketing.
- Brand mentions. Check out this article on five tools for monitoring brand mentions.
Pro Tip: Make sure you get permission from your customers before using their content in your social media marketing.
Here are four ways to leverage customer testimonials and reviews for the Instagram feed, Instagram Stories, and IGTV.
#1: Set Up an Instagram Account to Feature Customer Content
If you use customer testimonials on Instagram, consider setting up a second Instagram account only for that content. Because customer reviews come in a variety of formats, it can be difficult to make them fit with the style of your Instagram account. If you have a separate account for customer reviews, you can provide followers and visitors with social proof without affecting your Instagram aesthetics.
SneakerNation2 knows the importance of customer testimonials. They didn’t want to clog their Instagram feed with reviews, though, so they created two Instagram profiles. The main account publishes product photos and the other account shares customer reviews.
Here’s how they promote the customer reviews account on the main account.
When users tap on the tagged profile in the bio of the main account, Instagram redirects them to the profile focused on customer reviews. The company uses the bio section to tell more about the purpose of this account.
Pro Tip: Once you create an Instagram account for customer reviews, cross-promote both profiles in the bio section to get more visibility.
#2: Collect and Repurpose Customer Reviews for Instagram Stories
Over the last few years, Instagram Stories has changed the way people use the platform. With a lifespan of only 24 hours, stories create a FOMO (fear of missing out) effect that encourages users to watch the short-lived content.
If you use customer testimonials in your marketing, it’s important to share them via stories as well.
Budget travel solution Airy Indonesia shares guest reviews in their Instagram stories and includes a swipeable link that allows interested users to learn more about the featured apartments.
If you want to get more reviews from your customers, take a cue from WHOOP’s referral campaign. It helped WHOOP obtain more customer reviews as brand advocates were interested in spreading the word about the company. Customers who successfully referred new members received a free month of service and the new members got $30 off the first month of their subscription.
WHOOP then used some of those customer reviews they received in their Instagram story.
WHOOP’s brand template for customer reviews includes a quote about why customers love the product and shows the author’s Instagram handle. Using your own brand template will help you grab your audience’s attention and encourage followers to read customer reviews.
To create a custom Instagram story template, try an easy-to-use design tool like Crello (available in free and paid plans, starting at $9.99/month if billed annually). It lets you upload your brand logo and fonts to create eye-catching Instagram Stories templates that reflect your brand’s identity.
Create a Story Highlights Album to Give Customer Reviews a Longer Life
To get more out of the customer testimonials you share in your stories, save them to an Instagram highlights album. This not only allows you to save testimonial-related story content to your profile permanently but also makes it easy for people to find it.
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Choose a descriptive highlights album name that hints at what followers will see after opening it. While you can use up to 15 characters in the name, it’s better to keep it short and sweet (as in the example below) so it isn’t truncated on mobile. You can also create custom highlights covers to match the aesthetic of your profile.
#3: Publish Video Testimonials and Product Reviews to IGTV
Many customers watch product review videos on social media before making a purchase decision. According to Wyzowl’s State of Video Marketing Survey, 96% of people have watched an explainer video to learn more about a product or service and 86% want to see more videos from brands in 2020.
With the popularity of video content, consider sharing video testimonials and product reviews from your happy customers. For people who are visual learners, video testimonials can be more engaging and convincing than print testimonials.
IGTV is an excellent platform for sharing your customer videos because you can upload longer video, up to 1 hour in length.
Fitransforms often shares customer testimonial videos to their IGTV channel to let visitors and followers see body transformations and get inspired.
On SoulCycle’s IGTV channel, their “Soul People Are the Best People” segment features customer videos. They open up about personal struggles and how they received support from their SoulCycle community.
To create testimonial videos for your Instagram account, reach out to your loyal customers and ask them to record a video sharing their thoughts about your product or service.
Once you’ve received a video from your customer, make sure you optimize it for your IGTV channel before uploading it. Here are Instagram’s video upload requirements for IGTV:
- Format: MP4
- Minimum frame rate: 30 FPS (frames per second)
- Minimum resolution: 720 pixels
- Orientation: vertical or horizontal
- Video length: minimum 1 minute; maximum 10–60 minutes, depending on account size
- Aspect ratio: 9:16 for vertical video and 16:9 for horizontal video
- Maximum file size: from 650MB (videos up to 10 minutes) to 3.6GB (videos up to 1 hour)
If you need to reformat your video testimonials for IGTV, try a tool like Animaker (free and paid plans, starting at $35/month), Wyzowl (contact for pricing), or Wideo (plans start at $59/month). These tools make it easy for beginners and non-designers to create stunning videos for Instagram.
#4: Highlight Customer Quotes in Text Graphics
Customer quotes are one of the most popular forms of testimonials and the easiest ones to acquire. Sharing a short quote from a satisfied buyer explaining how your product or service has helped them is a great way to showcase your brand’s value in the Instagram feed.
Mattress and bedding brand Tuft & Needle’s Instagram bio invites customers to share their T&N experience with the hashtag #myTNstory. They share some of those testimonials on their profile in quote testimonials.
Ecommerce platform Sellfy uses customer testimonials effectively in their marketing. They invite customers to share their success stories and then repurpose these interviews into quote graphics to post on Instagram.
To visualize this, after publishing a success story of music producer Arnaud Krakowka on the blog, Sellfy designed a graphic featuring a quote and a hero image. When Sellfy posted the quote graphic to their Instagram profile, they tagged the customer in the caption and invited followers to read the full interview on the blog.
To gather quotes for your own custom quote graphics, reach out to your loyal customers and invite them to share their thoughts about your product or service and ask for a photo.
Once you’ve chosen a quote, use your favorite visual app to design a quote graphic. Import the image you want to use into the app, adjust the image brightness or add a transparent color layer, and then add a text overlay.
When you share the quote post on Instagram, mention the featured person in the graphic and the caption. Linking to the customer’s Instagram account gives a shout-out to the person who provided it and also emphasizes there’s a real person behind the quote.
Pro Tip: If you don’t have photos of your customers, stock photo sites are a good place to find high-quality background images. Another example, Depositphotos lets you purchase premium images on an individual basis or sign up for a flexible plan, starting at $29.99/month.
Customer testimonials come in various forms—customer quotes, case studies, reviews, and video testimonials, among others. When used properly, customer testimonials on Instagram can provide social proof and give your visitors and followers a solid reason to trust your brand.
What do you think? Have you used customer testimonials on Instagram? If so, what kinds of testimonials have worked best for you? Please share your thoughts in the comments below.