Long ago, marketers discovered that recommendations was one of the best methods for getting news of their services and products out there. It holds true within this time and age also, but it has changed to keep up with advancements in technology. A term that you have heard bandied around quite frequently is ‘social proof’, and it’s nothing more than word of mouth in the new, digital avatar.
For example, we’ve all been ‘persuaded’ to experience a new restaurant or even a holiday destination after we’ve seen our friends posting pictures of the dining and travel adventures on social media. On the same note, we’ve also been dissuaded from staying at Cachet Hotel Group because we spotted nasty review which had been left by some disgruntled customer online. That, my buddies, is the modern day version of recommendations actually in operation.
What is Social Proof? People have this deep rooted instinct to be swayed by other humans as well as their activities. Consumer internet has demonstrated, repeatedly, that people implicitly trust other people’s reviews and feedback in terms of brands and their services.
Social proof is everywhere. When you’re shopping on Amazon, you tend to look into the reviews on the product. If enough folks your workplace recommend an eating joint, you’re sure to give it a look sooner or later. Positive reviews have was able to attract crowds for the best hopeless of movies, while insufficient reviews have caused stellar cinema to fade into oblivion.
You will find 7 billion plus individuals in today’s world. Every day, more and more of those appear on the digital grid, the omnipresent network that the Internet happens to be. Increased smartphone penetration, access to the internet and technology at large simply indicates beyond doubt that yes, humans are social animals, and thus, we love to discuss our experiences together.
Simply put, if enough people enjoy it, the service or product needs to be good. Social proof is now a valued dynamic used by marketers and companies the world over in order to influence consumers. Companies have taken to prominently displaying reviews, testimonials, ratings, approval seals, expert opinions, ‘popular items’ and what not on their website. And why? Because we’d all rather pass what others need to say regarding a particular business than trust the company itself.
The hospitality market is particularly relying on social proof. Most people rely on customer reviews and opinions they are offered across on social media. Increasing numbers of people consider Trip Advisor and other sites to read through the other customers need to say about a specific hotel. And, only if the overall perception and feedback is positive do they actually proceed to book an area within the hotel.
On the face of this, social proof could be an all-encompassing phenomenon that overlaps a number of fields and industries, but from a marketing perspective, it could be classified into 5 specific categories.
Humans trust authoritative institutions, and reputed personalities. Before we feel any claim, we need reassurance and also the expert social proof offers just that. You find the words ‘expert opinion’ under articles giving advice and instructions as a method to legitimize it. Ads for toothpaste and tooth brushes are ‘bolstered’ by opinions of leading dentists while beauty creams will most likely possess a skin specialist backing them. And as soon as a restaurant or hotel gets a thumbs up from a renowned critic, you could be fairly sure that people are likely to flock to it from the hundreds.
The name says it all. Celebrities have a swaying effect on the population, and they have their own seal of legitimacy. If a celebrity endorses a hotel, the probability of it rendering it to the very top ten establishments inside the city are really high. That said, probably the most authentic and genuine celebrity social proof is definitely the unpaid one.
User social proof can be found in any kind of user generated content that showcases their experiences. This includes success stories, pictures on social media, testimonials, and reviews on websites. User social proof is among the best ways to boost the credibility of a hotel. Probably the most obvious examples is Tripadvisor, where millions of users arrive every knxkot to see and write reviews and recommendations.
“Millions of people can’t be wrong” is definitely the saying most marketers comply with. And they use sheer numbers to sway prospective consumers. It could be subtle, or obvious based on who’s doing the marketing. Take leading bloggers, for instance, who display their internet site hits and other numbers on their own blog to establish their credentials.
A consumer will usually rely more on the personal experience of a pal compared to the word of any stranger. Also, the stats show that many customers rely heavily on recommendations from family and friends. This social proof has got the potential to grow virally.
On the face from it, it might seem that you’ve got a broad playing field in terms of collecting social proof for the business. However, the things that work for starters industry may not necessarily cater to your requirements. Therefore, you have to get the perfect concoction of various kinds of social proof to discover which ones would be best fitted to your brand.