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Simple ways to add social proof to your website

Social Proof

Using social proof on your website is a no-brainer. It is kind of like being linked to the “cool kids” in high school or being known by a celebrity. The effect is real and something you should tap into because people are more likely to purchase when they see the “proof” that your product is good from others.

Wikipedia says,

Social proof (also known as informational social influence) is a psychological and social phenomenon where people assume the actions of others in an attempt to reflect correct behavior in a given situation.

To be sure, there are many kinds of social proof. Depending on how you break it down, there can be as many as six or twelve.

Two types of social proofs that WordPress professionals can rely on are testimonials and social media. Today we are going to look at some tools that make it easier to implement these two types of social proof on your website.

Social Media Proof

Social media can become a great resource for proof of your product or service. There are two ways you can implement social media for proof.

Social Sharing

First, you can use a social sharing plugin to show share counts for blog posts. Plugins such as Social Warfare shows sharing data.

Beware, however. You must guard against the negative effect of no shares at all. It looks much better when you have dozens, hundreds or, especially, thousands of shares.

For example, take a look at this image from a Buffer post. Wow, 1.7K shares! That looks impressive and makes it easier for others to share.

Screenshot of Buffer Social Proof
Screenshot of Buffer Social Proof

If you have no shares it could leave a negative impact. Notice what Collin Newcomer says at Revive,

First, set a minimum count to display share numbers. This means you can still have social share buttons on all of your pages, the buttons just won’t display share count numbers until a minimum number of shares is reached.This lets you still enable social interaction and take advantage of positive social proof while eliminating the possible pitfalls of negative social proof.

You can set your count to display when there is a certain number. This is a great idea.

Another way to use social media is to import social media testimonials you receive.

Social Testimonials

Testimonials you receive from customers is a tried and true method of social proof. These testimonials provide the credibility you need to show potential customers your worth. While there are several types of testimonials, I am referring to quote testimonials.

Using WordPress, you can easily embed tweets into your website. Once you have your praise tweets, you can do something similar to KWFinder,

Screenshot KWFinder Social Proof
Screenshot KWFinder Social Proof

It is easy to embed Tweets.

Choose embed from the drop-down arrow (see below)

Embed Twitter tweet
Embed Twitter tweet

Copy the highlighted code,

Embed Twitter
Embed Twitter

And, paste the code into your webpage.

Embed Tweet - Paste into your webpage
Embed Tweet – Paste into your webpage

And you get a nice looking embed of the tweet on the front end,

Embed tweet, front end
Embed tweet, front end

Twitter isn’t the only social media you can embed a post. You can do this with Facebook and Instagram as well.

For Facebook, you click three little dots and choose the embed,

Embedding Facebook posts
Embedding Facebook posts

Highlight and copy the embed code,

Copy Facebook embed code
Copy Facebook embed code

Then, paste it into your WordPress page just like you did for the tweet embed.

As with Twitter, you get a nice looking post from Facebook on the front end.

With these embeds, you can create columns and customize the look however you wish.

For Instagram, the process is the same as you see below.

Copy Instagram embed code
Copy Instagram embed code

Below are two WordPress plugins mentioned in a Facebook group that help you import social media testimonials.

Testimonial Plugins

Kudobuzz Testimonial Widget

Strong Testimonials

Testimonials

I am an advocate of using a testimonial plugin that adds custom post types (CPT) to manage the testimonials. This allows you to manage the testimonials and includes them in a slider or as an archive on a page.

Custom Section

Social warfare – Here, Social Warfare, the social media plugin, has a custom section on the homepage using column classes in a text widget.

Social Warfare Social Proof
Social Warfare Social Proof

Custom Post Types can also serve you well to create both a testimonial and/or case study management.

Plugin

There are many plugins in the repository that helps manage testimonials, and some include a slider layout.  As with any plugin, check the reviews and the developer and test the functionality.

This example of a testimonial slider layout is from WPForms.

 

WPForms slider layout for testimonials
WPForms slider layout for testimonials

Looking for a plugin to add testimonials? There are several. Below are three resources that review several of those plugins.

Sources

5 Top Testimonial Plugins For WordPress: Leverage Social Proof In Style – Blogging Wizard

The Best WordPress Testimonials Plugins (Free & Premium) – Elegant Themes

11 Best WordPress Testimonial Plugins 2017 – WP Dean

Over to you

Building trust by establishing credibility is one of the best things you can do to help sway potential customers to purchase from your company. Highlighting social proof by sharing testimonials from social media or more traditional testimonials will help build that credibility.

What ways do you build trust and credibility?

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Todd Jones
Along with being the resident writer for MainWP and content hacker at Copyflight, I specialize in writing about startups, entrepreneurs, social media, WordPress and inbound marketing topics.
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