“I don’t care where I buy. Reviews? Never check them.”
Said no one, ever.
Most people check what others are saying about products they want to buy. About 87 percent of customers read reviews before even deciding to give a business a chance.
Your business can also get more visits, sales, and attention, but only if there’s a lot of positive social proof from customers. Thankfully for us, WordPress makes it a bit easier to collect and display those reviews.
But the first step is —
Add social proof functionality to your site.
Keep reading to know how to add social proof to WordPress and start collecting customer reviews.
There are many ways in which your website can use social proof for marketing and promotion. But all these ways come down to one idea: people like and/or buy your products or services, so newcomers should consider following suit.
The five most common social proof types are:
- Customer reviews — star-based reviews with small supporting texts from happy customers.
- Sales notifications — small, non-obstructive windows showing that a customer has recently bought a product or service, installed an app, etc.
- Customer testimonials — a customer’s description of their experience with your company or product; might be a video or a text.
- Celebrity endorsements — videos or textual reviews from celebrities such as influencers can generate $5.20 for every $1 spent on influencer marketing.
- The number of followers or users — information about a customer base can serve as proof that your product or service is popular.
You can add all social proof types to your WordPress website and grow your business faster. Next, we’ll talk about how you can achieve that.
There are multiple techniques of adding social proof to WordPress, including through a plugin, a dedicated page, or a product page. All techniques can be equally effective because the power of social proof depends on the quality of reviews.
In some cases, though, the plugin way might be more effective because it allows putting social proof in front of more eyes through automation.
Let’s now go over the most popular techniques to add social proof.
Social proof plugins are apps designed to make it easy to place trust signals — aka social proof — on WordPress websites. You can add various trust signals, including all five common types of social proof we mentioned.
You can use a plugin to place social proof in many forms: website widgets, dedicated web pages, pop-up windows, notifications, and more.
To find a social proof plugin—
- Search WordPress.org plugin directory for “social proof” or “customer reviews”
- Read descriptions of plugins to choose a suitable one
- Add a chosen plugin to your site
WordPress plugin directory search results for “social proof” or “customer reviews” should look something like this (see image below).
Consider checking out the best-reviewed options first — top-rated apps should receive more support from developers. But your final choice should depend on your needs. For example, if you prefer a plugin with review widgets instead of website sliders, go for it, even if it has a slightly lower rating.
Try taking advantage of all features in a social proof plugin to see what works best. Most plugins are very easy to use (and free), so consider installing some for the sake of experimenting. If you notice that a particular social proof feature increased conversions, keep the plugin and experiment further.
Are you running an online store on WordPress? WooCommerce, the WordPress eCommerce integration, has product reviews feature enabled by default. This means that you can start collecting reviews without even having to install plugins.
But some plugins can disable or somehow interfere with this feature.
To check and enable reviews in your WooCommerce store:
- In the WordPress dashboard, go to “WooCommerce” > “Settings”
- Click the Products tab in the content that appears
- In the Products tab, scroll down to the Reviews section
- Select all checkboxes (“Enable product reviews,” “Show ‘verified owner’ label on customer reviews,” etc.)
Here’s the view of the Reviews section. Consider checking all checkboxes — they ensure that each review will be as useful as possible for customers.
Once you enable the reviews feature, your WooCommerce store will provide the customers with the ability to leave reviews. Every review will have to go through your approval, so check the reviews you get for spam.
A “social proof page” is a page dedicated to showing customer-generated content. Such a page might contain textual reviews, social media posts, images, videos from customers, and other related content.
Having a social proof page can help increase conversions and user engagement. Studies show that 72 percent of customers are likely to take action only after reading positive reviews, and a dedicated page is an excellent way to showcase those reviews.
Nalgene, a popular producer of water bottles, has an excellent example of a social proof page. The brand’s WooCommerce website has a #Nalgene page with customer-generated content from social media.
Author’s screenshot, Nalgene.com
Consider designing a dedicated page for your WordPress eCommerce store, too.
It’ll be a fairly simple page containing social media posts or textual reviews from customers. The point is to add customer-created content mentioning your products or services and promote this page in blog posts, on social media, and other marketing channels.
Influencer marketing, a marketing approach featuring popular social media users promoting products, is super popular. Influencers impact buying decisions of millions, so you can also use them in your marketing strategy.
Influencer-made content can create favorable conditions for social proof. Here’s how this strategy works:
- An influencer creates content featuring your products
- You use that content to promote your business (on a social proof page, via social media, in email newsletters, product pages, etc.)
- Customers check out influencer-made content; your brand makes a good first impression
The ultimate benefit of influencer marketing is the credibility it gives your business and products. That content is a powerful social proof that can make a difference for your business, so consider investing in an influencer marketing campaign.
Ask your customers for reviews.
A social proof plugin or a dedicated page will work only when there are enough good reviews to share. Since most customers don’t usually leave reviews, we’ll need to encourage them to do so.
You can generate more reviews by asking for them in order-related emails, product pages, and social media. Consider giving a discount or free shipping in some cases to get some reviewing going.
That’s it. Feel free to use these techniques to add social proof to your WordPress website. They can help promote your business greatly and achieve your marketing goals.
Nicole Garrison is a marketing specialist, an academic writer, and an eCommerce blogger. She shares tips about marketing and helps CEOs of startups write better. Besides, she also writes the BestWritersOnline. Nicole helps with proper academic writing and research. In her free time, Nicole reads mystery novels and learns about horseback riding.