Long ago, marketers found that word of mouth marketing was among the best ways to get news of their services and products out there. It holds true within this time and age also, but it has evolved to keep up with advancements in technology. A term that you might have heard bandied around quite frequently is ‘social proof’, and it’s nothing more than word of mouth in its new, digital avatar.
For instance, we’ve all been ‘persuaded’ to experience a whole new restaurant or a holiday destination after we’ve seen our friends posting pictures with their dining and travel adventures on social networking. On the same note, we’ve already been dissuaded from being at Cachet Hotel Group because we spotted nasty review that was left by some disgruntled customer online. That, my pals, is definitely the 21st century version of word of mouth in action.
What exactly 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 along with their services.
Social proof is everywhere. When you’re shopping on Amazon, you tend to check out the reviews on the product. If enough folks your workplace recommend an eating joint, you’re certain to take a look at some point. Positive reviews have were able to attract crowds for hopeless of movies, while lack of reviews have caused stellar cinema to fade into oblivion.
You can find 7 billion plus individuals in today’s world. Every day, more and more of them appear on the digital grid, the omnipresent network the Internet is actually. Increased smartphone penetration, access to the internet and technology at large simply indicates beyond doubt that yes, humans are social animals, and therefore, we like to discuss our experiences with one another.
To put it simply, if enough people like it, the services or products has to be good. Social proof is currently a valued dynamic employed by marketers and firms the world over so that you can influence consumers. Companies took 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 have to say regarding a particular business than trust the company itself.
The hospitality sector is particularly influenced by social proof. Most people depend on customer reviews and opinions they are offered across on social media marketing. Increasing numbers of people turn to Trip Advisor and similar sites to see how many other customers must say regarding a specific hotel. And, only if the overall perception and feedback is positive do they actually go ahead and book a room within the hotel.
On the face of this, social proof could be an all-encompassing phenomenon that overlaps a variety of fields and industries, but coming from a marketing perspective, it could be classified into 5 specific categories.
Humans trust authoritative institutions, and reputed personalities. Before we know any claim, we need reassurance and also the expert social proof offers that. You locate 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 usually possess a skin specialist backing them. And when a cafe or restaurant or hotel gets a thumbs up from a renowned critic, you may be fairly certain that people are likely to flock into it through the hundreds.
The name says it all. Celebrities possess a swaying effect on the population, and they have their very own seal of legitimacy. When a celebrity endorses a hotel, the probability of it which makes it to the peak ten establishments within the city are incredibly high. Having said that, by far the most authentic and genuine celebrity social proof is the unpaid one.
User social proof is located in any sort of user generated content that showcases their experiences. This includes testimonials, pictures on social networking, testimonials, and reviews on websites. User social proof is among the most effective ways to enhance the credibility of any hotel. Probably the most obvious examples is Tripadvisor, where an incredible number 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 adhere to. And they also use sheer numbers to sway prospective consumers. It can be subtle, or obvious depending 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 determine their credentials.
A consumer will always rely more on the personal experience of a pal compared to word of the stranger. Also, the stats reveal that many customers rely heavily on recommendations from friends and family. This social proof provides the potential to grow virally.
On the face from it, you might think that you’ve got an extensive playing field when it comes to collecting social proof for the business. However, what works for just one industry may not necessarily meet the needs of your needs. Therefore, you have to find the perfect concoction of several types of social proof to find out which ones are best suitable for your brand.