Social proof taps into the basic human instinct to follow the actions of others. In fact, one study found that, on average, interaction with any form of user-generated content can result in a 161% conversion uplift! If you’re running an online business, displaying and leveraging social proof can help you improve your conversion and sales significantly!
In this post, we’re going to explore the benefits of social proof and how you can use social proof on your WordPress website using social proof plugins.
We’ll help you pick the best plugin to fit your needs and understand how these plugins can help you improve your conversion rate and visitor counts using testimonials and reviews in just a few simple steps!
What is social proof? What are its benefits?
Social proof is a term that dates back to 1984, from the book Influence by Robert Cialdini. It is a psychological phenomenon where people mimic the actions and opinions of others, often demonstrated through reviews, testimonials, and positive comments.
Its main benefits include:
- Building trust: Social proof like reviews and testimonials from real customers indicate that their customer experience was positive, which is highly impactful in building trust.
- Increasing conversions: Social proof influences purchasing decisions and make it more likely for potential customers to make a purchase leading to higher conversion rates and increased sales.
- Improving customer satisfaction: Social proof validates the quality of a product or service, which improves customer satisfaction by making customers feel good about their purchasing decisions.
The easiest and most effective way to display social proof is to showcase product reviews on your website using a simple social proof plugin.
What is a social proof plugin?
WordPress has thousands of plugins to help you improve your website experience. A social proof plugin allows businesses to easily display testimonials, customer reviews, and other forms of social proof on their website.
A social proof plugin can help you leverage social proof in many ways, like displaying testimonials and customer photos on your home page, embedding Google reviews on your website, showing the number of downloads, showing real-time sales notifications, or displaying positive social media comments on your product landing pages.
Which are the best WordPress social proof plugins?
If you own an e-commerce site or have used WordPress websites in the past, you are probably already familiar with WordPress plugins like WooCommerce. These WordPress social proof plugins work in the same way to boost sales and improve conversion rates. We’ve compiled a list of the best social proof plugins for WordPress, taking both free versions as well as premium versions into account.
WP Review Slider Pro is a comprehensive social proof plugin for WooCommerce stores. It can pull reviews from over 90 platforms which means you can easily embed Expedia reviews, display your TripAdvisor ratings, and even create your own Airbnb-like website. It also provides powerful built-in analytics for gaining insights into website visitors and allows for custom forms to collect more customer reviews.
- Auto-updates: This ensures that you only showcase the most recent and relevant testimonials and reviews.
- Popups and slide-outs: Display reviews and testimonials as popups or slides anywhere on your site using pre-built templates or custom CSS.
- Analytics functionality: Analyzes data from user activities and reviews over time, presented in graph or chart format to understand your customers’ activities and gain insights into customer trends.
- Custom review forms: You can easily build custom social proof collection forms complete with Google reCAPTCHA and advanced form logic.
- Helps serve customer needs: Leverages analytics data and review forms to better understand and meet customer needs.
Smash Balloon is a social proof plugin focused on social media platforms like Instagram, Twitter, and others. It enables you to set up and display your social media feeds on your WordPress site without needing any coding knowledge.
- Gutenberg Editor support and quick customization options.
- Auto-inherits styles from your theme with the ability to change styling and layouts.
- Very useful if you have a very active and positive social media community backing you.
However, the plugin is priced at $299 per annum for the all-access bundle, which may be considered expensive. There have been some issues reported regarding the plugin, either not working properly or failing altogether after long-term use, which is concerning!
TrustPulse is one of those FOMO plugins that really taps into customers’ fear of missing out. You can showcase notifications and popups on your website about recent purchases, signups, and customer behaviors on your site.
- Creates a sense that a lot of activity is going on on your website with notifications and popups.
- Enables you to display purchase notifications, visitor activity, and other conversion-related notifications with easy customization.
- Ideal for eCommerce stores looking to boost revenue.
- Motivates users to convert with fear of missing out (FOMO) strategy.
TrustPulse is not a traditional WordPress social proof plugin, as it doesn’t provide customer reviews or feedback, which can be a limitation compared to other social proof plugins. It is best suited for vibrant eCommerce brands with existing, effective reviews through another social proof plugin.
Customer Reviews for WooCommerce comes with features that include automated or manual review reminder emails, importing and exporting options for your reviews, and options like ratings, images, voting, and filtering.
- Automated or manual email campaigns, including reminders, to get reviews.
- Import and export options for reviews.
- Ratings, images, voting, and filtering options for better user interaction with reviews.
- Enables you to offer discounts in exchange for reviews
- Integration with Google Shopping
It’s an easy plugin to install and use, but it’s not the most sophisticated on the market. There have also been a few negative reviews, particularly pertaining to a lack of customer support, and the paid version will set you back $49.99. However, if you have a solid email marketing base and want a quick and simple tool to generate and leverage social proof for your ecommerce store, this is a good plugin to use.
This is a useful plugin to create a dedicated space to get more reviews and social proof for your business.
- Enables you to set up a specific page for accepting testimonials and customer reviews.
- Submissions are moderated, which gives you some control over which reviews become visible.
- Provides functionality similar to Google Places or Google Local Search.
We weren’t sure about putting WP Customer Reviews on this list because it’s not a great choice for international, non-English-speaking sites, and according to online reviews, it’s not that easy to use. However, if you operate a service business and want to leverage social proof for your WordPress site, this is a good option to consider.
Shared Counts is a straightforward plugin for WordPress, but just like TrustPulse, it’s not a typical social proof plugin. Shared Counts essentially lets you display your post’s or page’s share count on social media.
- Includes buttons, social count display, and tracking for the most popular social media services like Facebook, Pinterest, Yummly, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.
- Gives you an easy way to increase traffic and engagement through social media sharing.
- Can attract sponsors by showcasing how popular your content is through social proof.
- Built for scale, the plugin comes with impressive catching methods which ensure it doesn’t affect site performance.
It is important to note that this plugin is limited to showcasing social media shares, so it might not be ideal for new sites with few content shares or content that is not typically shared by users.
OptinMonster is less of a WordPress social proof plugin and more of a lead-gen tool. It uses popups and signup forms to increase your email marketing list, although it can be used for social proof as well.
- Helps you leverage social proof by highlighting details like the number of subscribers.
- Offers options for regular-sized popups, full-screen popups, inline campaigns, and slide-ins.
- Customizable templates for more control over design.
- Comes with countdown timers and engagement tools like spin-the-wheel for creating a sense of urgency and FOMO on your site.
On the downside, it has many negative reviews, and we never love it with a free plugin that asks for your credit details upfront.
Thrive Ovation is a social proof plugin for WordPress that focuses on testimonials, making it a good option for B2B WordPress sites.
- Converts comments into testimonials with a single click, capturing the name and photo of the person who left the comment.
- Integrates with social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter.
- Allows creation of landing pages with online forms to collect testimonials which can be emailed to your base to request testimonials.
Keep in mind, though – it comes at the price of $39 plus annual fees if you want to continue receiving support after a year of use!
Choosing the best social proof plugin (our verdict)
There are dozens of excellent plugins on the market, and you’ll definitely find one that meets your needs. Here are some factors to consider when choosing one for your website:
- Comprehensive features: It should offer various display options like masonry-style grids, sliders, badges, and forms, which can be customized to suit your social proof.
- Ease of use: A plugin helps you avoid the risks and labor associated with coding. Make sure to pick a plugin that has an easy user interface and has positive reviews!
Options that are relevant to your needs: Choose a plugin that suits your business and requirements. For example, if you want to leverage FOMO, use TrustPulse. If you want to showcase your popularity, use Shared Counts. To improve your lead-gen while displaying popups, use OptinMonster.
However, if you are looking for a good all-rounder, we can highly recommend WP Review Slider Pro. It not only has the most comprehensive features, but it’s easy to use, comes with great customer support, and offers the most value for money at just $29 per annum.
Here are some of the social proof display options you can use with WP Review Slider Pro:
You can display reviews with a header, search box, sort options, quick tags, and pagination so that users can scroll through reviews and testimonials.
This is perfect for hoteliers and B&Bs. Download reviews from VRBO and Airbnb and display them together or separately for multiple properties.
Advanced Slider Options
The advanced slider comes with even more customization options, including different pagination options.
Badges and forms
Add badges and forms to your site to generate even more reviews.
WordPress social proof plugins can take your website (and sales) to new heights. A simple plugin like WP Review Slider Pro will do the hard work for you by gathering and displaying positive comments about your products and services in an attractive way, generating conversions and providing new insights into your customers from the start.
Download WP Review Slider Pro and harness the power of social proof for your business today.
Hear it from our happy customers –
“Recommend! The WP Review Slider Pro plugin works great and is very easy for a novice like me to set up. I’d highly recommend it!”
Fred Porter, Porter Real Estate
“Best Review Plugin I’ve used yet! It’s inexpensive, easy to implement, and reasonably flexible. It can load reviews from multiple sources such as Google, Facebook, Trip Advisor, Yelp, etc.”
Rooksads, Rooks Agency