How to Collect Reviews and Leverage Social Proof on WordPress
Who cares what other people are doing right? Well, actually, what others do, think, and say (social proof) makes a big difference to the decisions we make.
As a marketer, you can use this to boost conversions on whatever action you want people to take. You’ll likely be surprised by the huge impact it can have.
So, how can you leverage social proof on your WordPress website?
What is Social Proof?
Social proof is based on a natural tendency humans have to copy the actions of others. It’s an inbuilt psychological phenomenon that’s served us well throughout our evolution.
For instance, what do you do if you find yourself in a dangerous situation you’ve never experienced before? You likely look to others for cues on how to behave.
Luckily for marketers, this natural tendency also has a big impact on our purchasing behavior. We’re more likely to try things that other people are buying, using, and recommending. This explains why you’ll see social proof absolutely everywhere around the internet!
- 32% of consumers list “high review score or rating” as the most important factor in their purchasing decision (higher than any other factor)
- 91% of shoppers read online reviews before making a purchase
Simply put, social proof can improve your conversion rates and boost your sales.
Why is Social Proof So Powerful?
The fact that social proof is one of the most important motivators for people’s purchasing decisions is quite incredible when you think about it. We like to think of ourselves as rational beings, and yet, we see that a stranger on the other side of the world has written a review and we want to buy the product?
Why does social proof have this effect on us?
Well, we might not be aware of it, but there is rational thinking behind our love of social proof.
Picture this: you walk past a restaurant and it’s empty, but the next restaurant is packed full of happy diners.
Naturally, you’re going to think the second restaurant must be great because you’re presented with visible evidence: happy-looking customers. You’ve got limited information to judge on and it’s not a decision you want to invest lots of time researching, so you make a snap decision based on the information you have.
Our brains do this all the time. We don’t have the time to carefully and consciously think about every single action we take, so we’ve developed shortcuts to help us quickly make good decisions. These shortcuts are based on assumptions and established norms, and one of those assumptions is that if lots of other people are doing something it must be good.
Many times, these assumptions are going to be accurate, after all, they’ve served us pretty well throughout history. At the same time, these assumptions are sometimes open to manipulation: think about all the fake reviews on the web.
Social proof is effective because it helps people to consistently make good decisions on the go (for the most part), and this is what marketers need to tap into.
Why is Social Proof Important for Affiliate Marketing?
Social proof is important for affiliate marketing because you’re trying to persuade people into taking a certain action. For affiliate program managers, there are two key reasons why you should be using social proof:
- Signing up new affiliates isn’t easy, you need to use every tool at your disposal
- No matter how good your affiliates are, you’re still responsible for making the sale
Let’s start with signing up new affiliates.
You can create a beautiful affiliate program landing page and make all these big promises, but how do potential affiliates know you’re legit? They want to see proof that other people are in your affiliate marketing program and are having success with it.
The other element is that affiliates need to believe you can make sales. They’re working hard to send you traffic, but if you can’t convert, then they’re not going to earn any money for their efforts.
Social proof is a great way to convince potential affiliates that your products are amazing and that you know how to sell them!
A great way to do this is by putting a social feed on your affiliate program landing page using Smash Balloon’s Custom Instagram Pro. This enables you to share the buzz your customers have for your products and leverage social proof.
5 Tips to Help You Collect More Reviews
Collecting reviews is about convincing people to take action. It’s the same as when you want people to make a purchase, sign up to your newsletter, become an affiliate, or any number of things, you’ve got to optimize your processes.
To give yourself the best chance of getting reviews, you need to take a look at these 5 tips.
1. Be Present on the Right Platforms
In marketing, we talk a lot about reaching people where they hang out. Ask yourself where the people who write reviews like to hang out and make sure you’re on those platforms:
- Social media
- Angie’s List
There are lots of different options, so figure out which ones matter to your customers and make sure you have a presence there.
2. Follow Up with Your Customers
If you want people to take action, you’ve got to encourage them into it.
Here’s where your email software is going to come in handy because it will allow you to automate the process.
Set up a flow that engages your customer post-sale. Make sure you’re not diving straight in and asking for the review, but actually creating a conversation. Ask them if there’s anything they need help with, give them helpful tips, and then ask for the review.
3. Ask the Right Questions
People don’t have time to write you an essay. If they’re going to leave you a review, then you’ve got to make it easy for them.
Link them to where you want them to write the review, and prompt them by asking the right questions.
It’s not always easy to come up with a review on the spot, but if you’ve given people questions to think about, then it’s going to result in more in-depth feedback.
4. Make it Fun
OK, so it’s not easy to make writing a review fun, but it is possible to make things a little less boring.
When you’re asking for feedback, make sure you’re using your brand voice to make things interesting. Look at this as marketing copy and focus on what’s needed to get people to take the action you want.
Personality and a sense of fun are good ways to achieve this.
Bonus Tip: Keep reading down to our list of tools for leveraging social proof to find another great way to keep things fun.
5. Offer a Reward
You’re asking your customer to do something for you, so what are you offering in return?
There’s nothing wrong with offering a reward in return for people leaving you a review. For instance, you’ll often receive a coupon code when you leave a review on a brand’s website.
We all respond to rewards, so this is a great way to boost review collection.
Note: If you’re using third-party platforms it’s always a good idea to check the terms and conditions when considering your rewards.
Tools to Leverage Social Proof on Your WordPress Website
We’ve looked at how you can get your hands on more social proof, so now let’s look at how you can showcase it on your site.
These three tools are the perfect way to leverage social proof to get more sales.
RafflePress allows you to set up amazing competitions and giveaways all from your WordPress website.
Why’s this important?
It’s the perfect way to encourage people to take action.
For instance, you can set up a raffle where everyone who writes a review on your chosen platform goes into a draw to win a prize. We mentioned that one way to get more reviews is to make the process fun and this is easy to do with RafflePress.
Not only can RafflePress help you get more reviews, but it can help you showcase them as well. There are lots of different goals you can set up as part of your giveaway, allowing you to collect and share social proof all in one go.
So, you’ve done an amazing raffle with RafflePress and now you’ve got reviews all over your Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter feeds.
That’s great, but I hear you saying, “OK, but I want them on my site, that’s where I make sales.”
Here’s where Smash Ballon comes in: it allows you to create stunning social feeds on your WordPress website. Bring all those Instagram snaps, Facebook reviews, and Tweets together in a seamlessly integrated feed.
No coding needed, just simple setup for next-level social proof.
When we think of social proof, we tend to picture reviews and testimonials. However, just the knowledge that another person purchased a product is a powerful motivator.
This is why live sales notifications are one of the most powerful forms of social proof.
When someone makes a purchase, a live notification is sent out to everybody on the site. Essentially it says, “look Dave just bought this so it must be great, don’t miss out!”
If you look in the bottom left-hand corner of our home page, you’ll probably see an example of this.
Looks complicated to set up right?
Not at all, with TrustPulse, you can create live sales notifications in just a few minutes, increasing your conversion rate by up to 15%.
It’s Time to Up Your Social Proof Game
Social proof is way too powerful to ignore!
The great news for people who run their websites on WordPress is that it’s incredibly easy thanks to tools like RafflePress, Smash Balloon, and TrustPulse. You can use the human psychology of not wanting to miss out on what everyone else is doing to make more sales, and you can easily get started in under an hour.
Once you’ve got social proof sorted, and you’re inevitably looking for even more ways to grow your business, then it’s time to look at setting up that affiliate marketing program you’ve always been talking about.
We’re here to help you do that, so check out how to set up an affiliate program in WordPress, and start growing your business today!