Long ago, marketers found that word of mouth was among the best ways to get news of their services and products out there. It holds true in this time and age too, however it has evolved to take care of advancements in technology. A term that you have heard bandied around quite frequently is ‘social proof’, and it’s simply word of mouth in the new, digital avatar.
As an example, we’ve all been ‘persuaded’ to try out 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 marketing. On the same note, we’ve already been dissuaded from staying at Cachet Hotel Group because we spotted nasty review that was left by some disgruntled customer online. That, my buddies, is definitely the twenty-first century version of word of mouth actually in operation.
Precisely what is Social Proof? People have this deep rooted instinct to become swayed by other humans as well as their activities. Consumer internet has shown, repeatedly, that folks 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 sooner or later. Positive reviews have managed to attract 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. Each day, increasingly more of these appear on the digital grid, the omnipresent network that this Internet is. Increased smartphone penetration, access to the internet and technology at large simply indicates beyond doubt that yes, humans are social animals, and therefore, we love to talk about our experiences with one another.
To put it simply, if enough people want it, the service or product has to be good. Social proof is now a valued dynamic employed by marketers and firms the world over in order to 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 must say regarding a particular business than trust the company itself.
The hospitality industry is particularly relying on social proof. Most people rely on customer reviews and opinions they are available across on social networking. A lot more people choose Trip Advisor and other sites to read through what other customers have to say in regards to a specific hotel. And, only if the general perception and feedback is positive do they actually proceed to book a room in the hotel.
On the face of it, social proof might be an all-encompassing phenomenon that overlaps many different fields and industries, but from a marketing perspective, it can be classified into 5 specific categories.
Humans trust authoritative institutions, and reputed personalities. Before we feel any claim, we require reassurance and also the expert social proof offers exactly that. You find the text ‘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 possess a skin specialist backing them. And when a cafe or restaurant or hotel turns into a thumbs up from a renowned critic, you can be fairly confident 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 very own seal of legitimacy. When a celebrity endorses a hotel, the probability of it rendering it to the top ten establishments inside the city are really high. Nevertheless, probably the most authentic and genuine celebrity social proof will be the unpaid one.
User social proof is found in any kind of user generated content that showcases their experiences. This can include successes, pictures on social networking, testimonials, and reviews on websites. User social proof is one of the most effective ways to improve the credibility of the hotel. Just about the most obvious examples is Tripadvisor, where millions of users arrive every knxkot to find out and write reviews and recommendations.
“One million people can’t be wrong” is the saying most marketers abide by. And they also use sheer numbers to sway prospective consumers. It may be subtle, or obvious depending on who’s doing the marketing. Take leading bloggers, for example, who display their website hits and other numbers on their blog to establish their credentials.
A consumer will always rely more on the personal knowledge of a buddy compared to word of any stranger. Also, the stats show that many customers rely heavily on recommendations from relatives and buddies. This social proof has got the possibility to grow virally.
On the face of it, you may think that you’ve got a broad playing field in terms of collecting social proof for the business. However, what works for just one industry might not exactly necessarily cater to your needs. Therefore, you have to find the perfect concoction of several types of social proof to discover the ones that are best fitted to your brand.