Long ago, marketers discovered that word of mouth marketing was among the best ways to get news of their products and services out there. It holds true in this time and age too, but it has changed to take care of advancements in technology. A term that you may 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 whole new restaurant or perhaps 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 in Cachet Hotel Group because we spotted nasty review which was left by some disgruntled customer online. That, my pals, will be the modern day version of word of mouth actually in operation.
Precisely what is Social Proof? Humans have this deep rooted instinct to get swayed by other humans as well as their activities. Consumer internet has demonstrated, repeatedly, that individuals implicitly trust other people’s reviews and feedback when it comes to brands as well as their services.
Social proof is everywhere. When you’re shopping on Amazon, you tend to look into the reviews on the product. If enough individuals your business recommend an eating joint, you’re certain to give it a look sooner or later. Positive reviews have was able to attract crowds for the best hopeless of movies, while absence of reviews have caused stellar cinema to fade into oblivion.
You will find 7 billion plus individuals in today’s world. Every single 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 share our experiences with each other.
Simply put, if enough people like it, the service or product must be good. Social proof is currently a valued dynamic utilized by marketers and companies the world over to be able to influence consumers. Companies have got to prominently displaying reviews, testimonials, ratings, approval seals, expert opinions, ‘popular items’ and what not on their site. And why? Because we’d all rather pass what others must say about a particular business than trust the manufacturer itself.
The hospitality sector is particularly influenced by social proof. Many people rely on testimonials and opinions they come across on social media marketing. More and more people choose Trip Advisor and other sites to read what other customers must say about a specific hotel. And, only when the overall perception and feedback is positive do they actually proceed to book an area in the hotel.
On the face of it, social proof could be an all-encompassing phenomenon that overlaps a variety of fields and industries, but from the marketing perspective, it may be classified into 5 specific categories.
Humans trust authoritative institutions, and reputed personalities. Before we believe any claim, we must have reassurance as well as the expert social proof offers that. You find the words ‘expert opinion’ under articles giving advice and instructions as a way to legitimize it. Ads for toothpaste and tooth brushes are ‘bolstered’ by opinions of leading dentists while beauty creams will usually use a skin specialist backing them. And as soon as a restaurant or hotel turns into a thumbs up coming from a renowned critic, you can be fairly sure that people will flock into it through the hundreds.
The name says all of it. Celebrities use a swaying effect on the population, and they come with their particular seal of legitimacy. If a celebrity endorses a hotel, the probability of it which makes it to the top ten establishments in the city are extremely high. That said, by far the most authentic and genuine celebrity social proof will be the unpaid one.
User social proof is found in any sort of user generated content that showcases their experiences. This includes success stories, pictures on social media marketing, testimonials, and reviews on websites. User social proof is one of 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 view and write reviews and recommendations.
“Millions of people can’t be wrong” is definitely the saying most marketers adhere to. And they use sheer numbers to sway prospective consumers. It could be subtle, or obvious depending on who’s doing the marketing. Take leading bloggers, as an example, who display their website hits as well as other numbers on the blog to determine their credentials.
A consumer will invariably rely more on the personal experience of a buddy compared to word of the stranger. Also, the stats demonstrate that many customers rely heavily on recommendations from friends and family. This social proof has the potential to grow virally.
On the face of this, you might think that you’ve got an extensive playing field in terms of collecting social proof for the business. However, what works for starters industry might not exactly necessarily meet the needs of your preferences. Therefore, you have to find the perfect concoction of various kinds of social proof to learn which of them are best suited to your brand.