In this post, I’ll talk about using testimonials to create content for all of your social channels.
If you know about the power of social proof, you know how important it is to have reviews on your website. But those reviews don’t need to stay static wherever your customers felt inspired to post.
You can, and should, be recycling written reviews into social media content that attracts the right buyers long before they land on your site.
Get Reviews Seen On Social Media
It’s not enough to rely on prospects seeing your Facebook page reviews. Those starred ratings are great IF your potential customers take the initiative to pop over to your page for a browse.
But how often do you see a review appear in your news feed?
Never, in my experience.
There are plenty of ideal customers who won’t encounter the great things other people are saying online about your brand.
Here, I’ll show you how to get your best reviews in front of the right people before they know they want what you have to offer.
Let Your Customers Sell Your Product On Social Media
Next to video, images get the best play on social media.
The ideal image to promote your business is one of a raving fan using your product.
If these aren’t coming your way, don’t despair. It typically takes a bit of encouragement.
Try running a contest in which the price of entry is such a photo (and an agreement to give up rights to the photo to your brand).
Even if you’re selling something as one-dimensional as software or as invisible as an audiobook, you can and should be collecting user photos. These are essentially testimonials in jpeg format.
More user photos = more social proof.
But what about those text-only reviews? How can you repurpose those?
My client, Natural Calm Canada, is lucky to have devoted users who not infrequently post happy comments on the Facebook page, or send glowing reviews by email.
I know that these testimonials can have a lot more reach if I make the text visual. With visual content, I can stand out on Facebook and Twitter and meet the basic requirements for Instagram and Pinterest.
Do I ask for the reviewers’ photos to post with the testimonial?
I wish I could, but often the messages are too personal. People are sharing about their health, and it just feels invasive to ask for a photo. Especially when I plan to show that testimonial to thousands of complete strangers.
So, instead, I create social media graphics with the testimonials embedded.
How to Create Social Graphics Using Customer Reviews
Whether you get reviews on Google My Business, social media, your website or by email… that testimonial is pure gold.
Over time, you’ll get more. So, put in place a process for repurposing those testimonials as social media content.
Here are my steps:
- Thank the reviewer and ask for permission to use their quote with first name and last initial only. Sometimes I first offer a free gift of product as thanks, and make clear that the gift is not conditional on permission. I always explain that their testimonial helps other people discover the product. Never have I been refused.
- Head on over to Unsplash and find a free photo that’s on-brand and in some way evocative of the testimonial.
- Upload the chosen photo to Canva, and overlay the testimonial onto the photo, with the product logo.
- Use the “Magic Resize” button to reproduce the graphic to the specs of different social media platforms. (So, if I start with a design sized for Facebook, I resize and adjust for Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, etc.).
- Share on social! I always have quite a few in the queue, so I use Buffer to schedule the posts in such a way that the testimonials are gradually dripped out. And I re-post the same testimonial every few months.
Here are four different examples of testimonial graphics for four different social channels.
Here’s what a testimonial graphic looks like for Facebook.
And here’s one customized for Pinterest.
Here’s a testimonial formatted to the specs of Twitter.
And finally here’s one in the dimensions of Instagram.
How Do Social Testimonial Graphics Perform?
If you’re breathing today, you know about the inspirational quote phenomenon. I’m sure none of us wake up thinking we really need more quotes in our lives, and yet we read them in droves.
Personally, I can’t even help myself. If a quote so much as passes my peripheral vision I fall completely victim to the message.
The same is true of testimonial graphics. They’re just hard not to read!
Marketingland recently published an article on content preferences by generation. Across Millennials, Gen Xers and Baby Boomers, images are second only to blog posts. And for Baby Boomers, consuming reviews is among their Top 5 preferred forms of content.
Testimonial graphics are images + comments + reviews, all rolled into one!
People are going to love your visual testimonials. There’s no question.
But will your review graphics get views on social media?
In my experience, the reach for social graphics is consistently much higher than the reach for link shares, which it’s no secret are out of favour with Facebook.
Organically, a testimonial graphic will reach at least 10% of a business page’s Facebook fans, sometimes up to 30% without any special stimulus.
If there’s a strong call-to-action, such as “Share your testimonial for a chance to win!” you can expect even higher reach – without paying a cent.
But you can’t be running contests all day, every day, just to reach your audience. Sometimes it makes complete sense to pay to get the social proof in front of potential customers.
Turning Testimonials Into Social Ads
The beauty of paying for reach is that it allows for greater targeting.
You can promote the testimonial graphic specifically to the people who would be most interested in that particular quote. And the more relevant the ad, the lower the cost per click.
For example: If I have a testimonial on the benefits of Natural Calm for ADD, I would get inside Facebook Ads Manager and create a paid post targeting potential customers within my demographic with demonstrated interests around ADD.
I’d also include a link in the ad to a page on the Natural Calm website where they can find more information on this particular topic.
*Post update (2020): This kind of targeting by health condition is obviously no longer allowed on Facebook. Choose testimonials that talk about a positive experience or outcome, rather than a negative.
Ideally, I’d have an audience-specific offer on that page, to move the reader further into our sales funnel.
In this case, I might drive the traffic directly to Natural Calm’s magnesium supplement for kids or an e-book on magnesium for kids, in exchange for an email.
While social media changes TOO fast…
For now, using reviews in this way feels authentic and fresh. It’s an ad, yes, but it’s also someone’s story, and it’s a little piece of art, and that’s the sort of content that people want to see when they’re skimming their social networks.
2020 update: Hey! We’re no longer doing social media marketing, but hopefully, this has been useful to you. If it has, please click below to share it. And if you’re also interested in conversion copywriting, check out our more recent posts.