It’s no secret that companies all over the world want to attract as many customers as possible. In the business world, every customer counts because whenever someone buys something from you, it means profits and revenue.
However, when a lot of companies aim for the same goal, it becomes next to impossible for everyone to achieve that goal. Some will succeed, while others will be left behind. In such a case, companies will try every possible tactic or marketing strategy available to get more customers than their competitors do.
Sometimes you’ll make it, sometimes you won’t, and the main reason is that the online market isn’t as predictable as people often believe it to be. Still, using the best tactics, campaigns and strategies isn’t always the surest way to the top.
Oftentimes, you have to leverage your creative side and be smart about what you do. That’s how small companies manage to compete against better-funded and well-established competitors. That being said, you don’t have to convince everyone to buy from you.
A selected few will do the trick, and the rest will soon start to follow. This is what marketers refer to as social proof and there are even plug-ins available for the WordPress platform to help you leverage this phenomenon. With that in mind, here are a few of the best social proof WordPress plug-ins.
What is Social Proof and How Does It Affect Your Business?
As mentioned before, social proof is a behavioral phenomenon of sorts where the actions of a few can largely affect the actions of a group. People have a tendency to mimic the behavior of others so that they’ll respond accordingly in a given situation.
But what drives people to assume the behavior and actions of others? Simply put, people tend to believe that when others are doing something, they most likely possess more knowledge and information regarding the situation than others. Therefore, you might as well tag along to reap the benefits.
But what happens when you leverage social proof in your marketing efforts? Well, if you manage to use social proof the right way, you can generate not just a lot of interest for your offers but also greatly boost your conversions.
You only have to get a small portion of your audience moving in the right direction and the rest will quickly catch up.
This is much easier to do than convincing everyone to take the desired action at the same time. So, the way social proof will actually affect your business is by helping encourage your audience to buy from you, which will, in turn, help you significantly improve your sales.
Moreover, you’ll be able to show your audience that you’re trustworthy and that your offers have real value.
What are Social Proof Types and How Do They Benefit Your Branding Efforts?
Social proof comes in various shapes and forms. Which type of social proof you should use depends on your target audience. For example, some people prefer to fit in somewhere while others rely on data and information.
You can’t use the same type of social proof to target both of these categories. Instead, you need a specific approach for each one. If you’re not certain which type of social proof is best for your marketing efforts, you can always consult with one of the digital media marketing companies that can point you in the right direction.
That said, here are some of the types of social proof you can leverage.
- User reviews – User reviews are one of the best types of social proof. A lot of online consumers read those. More importantly, the majority of consumers trust these reviews as much as they’d trust personal recommendations from someone they actually know. Having a couple of positive reviews will encourage other consumers to buy from you.
- Influencer endorsement – Having someone famous endorse your products can get your audience moving. People like to fit in somewhere and if an influencer tells them your products are good, they’ll most likely make a purchase so that they can relate more to the person they are following.
- User-generated content – Similar to user reviews, user-generated content helps consumers trust your brand more because other users have tried your products and they’re satisfied with them. Moreover, there’s proof that they’re satisfied in the form of content they themselves have created. Consumers find this type of content to be more authentic than anything else.
How does social proof benefit your branding, exactly?
Using different social proof for different situations and consumer groups yields more benefits than simply helping you boost your sales. As a matter of fact, social proof helps you establish a more meaningful relationship with your customers that fosters trust and loyalty.
Furthermore, it also shows that your brand has authenticity and credibility, which is something consumers look for in a brand. Let’s take user reviews, for example. Many companies have both good and bad user reviews. Some hide the bad ones, while others are transparent about it.
A bad review can be very dangerous for brands. When others see negative reviews, they’re more likely to stop doing business with you altogether. However, if you reply to negative reviews and provide your customers with a solution, you show others that you’re willing to make an effort to help your customers.
To other consumers, this shows that you’re trustworthy and that you own up to your mistakes. They are more likely to continue doing business with you after seeing that, despite the negative review suggesting they shouldn’t.
What is Fake Social Proof and Why Should You Avoid It?
As you might imagine, fake social proof means leveraging this tactic without having any social proof to begin with. In other words, you fake the data to get results, such as fake user reviews and testimonials, fake influencers endorsing your products, fake social media following, and so on.
Every online consumer, or at least the majority of them, will do a bit of research before they make the decision. That includes researching your social proof as well. If they find out that you’re lying, you’re in for a nasty surprise.
That said, fake social proof can start a wildfire of negative publicity and reviews. You simply won’t be able to contain the situation before it spreads across the Internet.
The end result is that your business reputation will be ruined, and you’ll probably never recover. Not to mention that no one will want to do business with you anymore.
The Best WP Plugins for Social Proof
Now that you know what social proof is, what it does and how much trouble you can generate if you abuse this tactic, let’s see which WP plug-ins are the best for your social proof efforts.
This software is ideal for giving more efficiency to your social proof efforts. OptinMonster can be used as a popup plug-in for WP. It can help you add the fear of missing out (FOMO) effect to your social proof tactics, such as creating a countdown timer for your time-sensitive offers.
Remember how important and powerful user reviews can be? Well, this plug-in can help you manage user reviews more efficiently and boost your social proof efforts.
WPForms allows you to create user review forms for your website and display them accordingly for your customers to see. This plug-in comes with a wide variety of features that help you display user reviews on your WP website accordingly.
If you need to embed social media feeds in your WP website so that you can boost your social proof, this is the plug-in for you. More importantly, you can embed a social media feed anywhere on your site so that you can provide website visitors with the social proof they need when they need it the most.
Smash Balloon can help you with Facebook, Instagram and Twitter feeds so that you can effectively leverage user reviews, testimonials and user-generated content on your website.
WPformify is the most efficient at subtly nudging your website visitors in the right direction by using social proof. What it does is simply show recent subscribers, signups and purchases.
It also shows how many people are visiting your page at the moment. When other consumers see that there’s engagement on your site and that others are already buying from you, they will be more willing to do the same.
This is yet another subtle but effective WP plug-in for your social proof. The way it works is that it allows you to implement social share buttons to your articles or blog posts. It supports share buttons for all the major social media networks.
Therefore, whenever someone likes your content, they can share it on their social media pages. From other consumer’s point of view, this shows that your content is valuable and interactive, which is proof of your credibility. On the plus side, you can customize share buttons to match your web design.
Social proof can be a powerful asset when used properly. It can also spell your downfall if you misuse it. If you have the right strategy, implementing social proof into your marketing efforts will be seamless.
Even if you’re not sure how to use social proof the right way, there are many tools and WP plug-ins that can help you out immensely. The key is in determining your needs and picking the best plug-in that will not only meet your needs but also help you achieve your goals.