Long ago, marketers found that word of mouth marketing was among the best ways to get news of the products and services out there. It holds true within this time and age as well, but it has changed 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 the new, digital avatar.
For example, we’ve all been ‘persuaded’ to test out a new restaurant or a holiday destination after we’ve seen our friends posting pictures with their dining and travel adventures on social media. On the same note, we’ve also been dissuaded from being at Cachet Hotel Group because we spotted nasty review which had been left by some disgruntled customer online. That, my buddies, is the twenty-first century version of word of mouth marketing actually in operation.
What is Social Proof? People have this deep rooted instinct to get swayed by other humans and their activities. Consumer internet has shown, repeatedly, that individuals implicitly trust other people’s reviews and feedback with regards 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 folks your office recommend an eating joint, you’re certain to give it a look eventually. Positive reviews have was able to draw in crowds for the most hopeless of movies, while lack of 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 the Internet is. Increased smartphone penetration, access to the internet and technology at large simply indicates beyond doubt that yes, humans are social animals, and thus, we like to talk about our experiences with each other.
To put it simply, if enough people want it, the product or service has to be good. Social proof has become a valued dynamic used by marketers and corporations 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 by what others need to say regarding a particular business than trust the company itself.
The hospitality sector is particularly relying on social proof. A lot of people count on customer reviews and opinions they are available across on social media. More and more people turn to Trip Advisor and other sites to see how many other customers need to say in regards to a specific hotel. And, only when the general perception and feedback is positive do they actually go on and book an area within the hotel.
On the face from it, social proof might 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 feel any claim, we need reassurance as well as the expert social proof offers that. You locate the phrase ‘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 nearby restaurant or hotel gets a thumbs up from a renowned critic, you may be fairly certain that people will flock into it through the hundreds.
The name says it all. Celebrities have a swaying effect on the population, and they come with their own seal of legitimacy. If a celebrity endorses a hotel, the probability of it making it to the peak ten establishments in the city are extremely high. Nevertheless, probably the most authentic and genuine celebrity social proof is the unpaid one.
User social proof is found in any kind of user generated content that showcases their experiences. This consists of success stories, pictures on social media, testimonials, and reviews on websites. User social proof is one of the most effective ways to improve the credibility of any hotel. Just about the most obvious examples is Tripadvisor, where countless users arrive every knxkot to view and write reviews and recommendations.
“One million people can’t be wrong” is the saying most marketers abide by. Plus 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 site hits as well as other numbers on their blog to establish their credentials.
A consumer will always rely more on the personal experience of a pal than the word of a stranger. Also, the stats reveal that many customers rely heavily on recommendations from friends and family. This social proof has the possible ways to grow virally.
On the face of it, it might seem that you’ve got a broad playing field with regards to collecting social proof for your business. However, what works for one industry might not necessarily meet the needs of your needs. Therefore, you should get the perfect concoction of several types of social proof to find out which of them are the best suited to your brand.