There’s a lot of talk lately about social proof (or social influence). According to Wikipedia, social proof is “a psychological phenomenon where people assume the actions of others reflect the correct behavior for a given situation…”. Many influential bloggers prominently display numbers such as their Alexa rank, their Klout score, the number of followers they have on Twitter and how many Facebook fans they have (and much more).
Think about it. Have you ever “liked” a Facebook page because someone you know recently liked it? Have you ever connected with someone on LinkedIn because someone you respect recommended them? Have you ever debated whether or not to follow someone on a social media site and then based your decision because you recognize mutual connections?
Is the Facebook Social Plugin Social Proof?
I personally do not spend a lot of time on Facebook. I have a page for KeepUpWeb where I publish my posts and share articles. (I also share techie posts and business related tips and ideas on my personal FB page.) I maintain a presence there but my blog is where I have conversations. I prefer to spend my time here and on LinkedIn.
Having said that, I still believe there’s value to maintaining a presence on Facebook. I also believe that there’s value in having the Facebook social plugin in the sidebar of my blog. (That’s the little widget to the right that says “Find us on Facebook” with the smiling faces of people you may recognize.) I don’t have thousands of FB followers but I am sure many of you have liked my FB page because I have that widget there.
I know I’ve liked Facebook pages because I’ve seen the same plugin, recognized people who I respect and wanted to join the party. Now, I know there are people reading this post saying why bother at all. Does a Facebook page convert to clients? I admit that Facebook is not a priority for me but since it takes so little time to add that widget why not? It’s a little piece of social proof isn’t it? It also is part of my overall social media strategy. People who I connect with online are there and that’s reason enough for me to be there too.
So, here are some simple step-by step instructions to use one of Facebook’s developer plugins to generate the HTML code that you need to add your own Facebook widget for people to like your page:
5 Steps to Add the FB Social Proof Plugin to Your WP Sidebar:
#1 – Go to the Facebook page that you want people to “like” and copy the URL (Ctrl+ C on PCs).
#2 – Go to the Facebook Like Box plugin page.
#3 – Paste (Ctrl+ V on PCs) the URL (from step #1) into the box under “Facebook Page URL (?). You can also specify the width and height of the box and tweak things like showing faces, your stream and the header. (As you change your selections, you’ll see the different options in the sample to the right.) When you’re happy with the options that you’ve selected, click on the “Get Code” button.
#4 –When the screen pops up with “Your Like Box plugin code“, click on the “IFRAME” tab. Then click in the box with the code. With all of the code highlighted, right-click on the code and select “copy“.
#5 - Go into your WordPress Admin panel under Appearance, Widgets and drag a text widget into the sidebar where you want the like box to appear. You can either enter a title or leave it blank. Then, simply paste the code that you copied (in step #4 ) into the box (under the title box). Click on the save button and you should be done.
For more information about using text widgets (including a tip on which plugin will let you control which pages you want the widget to show up on), check out my post: The Powerful WordPress Text Widget.
Over to you: What Marketing Tools Do You Recommend?
What are your thoughts? Do you have widgets in the sidebar of your website that you consider social proof? If not, is that something that you’re thinking of for the future? Do you use other methods of social proof like testimonials, product reviews and awards? What other marketing tools (like plugins and widgets) do you recommend using?
Note: Even though I’m using WordPress in this example, the HTML code that is generated can easily be incorporated in any website regardless of the software that it’s programmed in.