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Importance of Social Proof for the Hospitality Industry
There are 7 billion plus independent people in the world today. Every day, more and more people are exposed to the digital, ubiquitous network that is the Internet. The proliferation of cell phones, the availability of the Internet and all of technology just goes to show beyond doubt that yes, humans are social animals, and as such, we love to share our experiences.
Long ago, entrepreneurs realized that word of mouth is one of the best ways to get news about their products and services out there. It still works from time to time, but it has changed to keep up with the advancements in technology. A term you’ve probably heard frequently is ‘public testimony’, and it’s nothing but lip service in its new digital avatar.
For example, we’re all ‘compelled’ to try a new restaurant or vacation spot after seeing our friends posting pictures of their food and travels on social media. Likewise, we have also been banned from staying at a hotel because we saw a negative review left by a disgruntled customer online. This, my friends, is the 21st generation of word of mouth at work.
What is Social Proof?
Humans have a deep-seated instinct to want to be influenced by other people and their actions. The consumer internet has shown, time and time again, that people trust other people’s reviews and opinions when it comes to brands and their services.
Social proof is everywhere. When shopping on Amazon, you tend to look for product reviews. If enough people in your office make a canteen, you should look into it soon. Positive reviews have managed to attract audiences for pessimistic films, while a lack of reviews has caused star films to falter.
In short, if enough people like it, the product or service should be good
Social proof is now a valuable tool used by marketers and companies around the world to attract consumers. Companies have begun to display reviews, testimonials, ratings, endorsements, expert opinions, ‘popular items’ and other content on their website. And why? Because we all like to follow what others say about a particular business instead of relying on the brand itself.
The hospitality industry is particularly concerned about people’s testimonials. Many people rely on customer reviews and opinions they come across on social media. More and more people are turning to Trip Advisor and similar sites to read what other customers are saying about a particular hotel. And, only if all the ideas and feedback are good then they go ahead and book a room in the hotel.
Types of Traditional Evidence
On the face of it, the social evidence can be all the events that go through different areas and industries, but from the commercial point of view, they can be divided into 5 special groups.
1. Traditional Expert Evidence
People trust legitimate organizations, and famous people. Before we can believe any claim, we need proof and social science evidence provides just that. You find the term ‘expert opinion’ in articles offering advice and guidance as a form of approval. Advertisements for toothpaste and toothbrushes are ‘recommended’ by leading doctors while lotions are often endorsed by a dermatologist. And when a restaurant or hotel gets the thumbs up from a celebrity critic, you can be sure that hundreds of people will flock to it.
2. Celebrity Testimonials
The name says it all. Celebrities have a ripple effect on people, and they come with their own stamp of approval. If a celebrity endorses a hotel, the chances of it reaching the top ten in the city are very high. That said, reliable and well-known testimonials are priceless.
3. Evidence of Public Use
User testimonials can be found in any type of user-generated content that reflects their experiences. This includes success stories, social media photos, testimonials, and website reviews. User testimonials are one of the most effective ways to build hotel loyalty. One of the most obvious examples is Tripadvisor, where millions of users come every month to view and write reviews and recommendations.
4. Wisdom of the Crowd
“A million people can’t be wrong” is a mantra that many marketers follow. And they use numbers to attract buyers. It can be subtle, or overt depending on who is advertising. Take top bloggers, for example, who display their page hits and other numbers on their blog to establish their credentials.
5. Wisdom of Your Friend
A buyer will always trust a friend’s personal experience more than the word of a stranger. Also, statistics show that most customers rely heavily on recommendations from friends and family. This public testimony has the potential to grow.
At first glance, you may think you have a big role to play when it comes to collecting evidence for your business. However, what works for one company may not meet your needs. Therefore, you need to find a good concoction of different types of social proof to find out who is suitable for your type.
Why Do You Need Social Security?
In the hospitality business, building and promoting public testimonials is essential to attracting attention and, subsequently, new customers. There are several reasons why you should try to spread digital word of mouth. Here are the main reasons why it is important to set aside a budget and create a marketing plan for building your hotel’s brand identity
With the amount of honest feedback (most of which will hopefully be positive), you will be able to build trust among your customers.
A social testimonial increases your credibility as an establishment and can help convert an unconvinced customer to your business.
Online reviews, ratings and testimonials are a great way to promote your hotel and can rival the cheapest advertising campaign you can think of to launch.
Method of Obtaining Public Evidence
As I said before, there are several ways you can collect social proof, the most common of which is asking customers to leave comments and reviews, getting people who are encouraging you to talk about you by giving you a good time, and encouraging each other (like check ins). ) on your social media page. This should be important for your online marketing and advertising. But I’d like to discuss a few other ways to get social proof for your hotel:
There’s a reason why Facebook’s traffic started to support GIFs and videos. Video clips can attract people and can go viral with little attention. A video showcasing your hotel’s offerings, sightseeing options, local attractions, and culinary delights in store for your guests should garner a lot of attention. And if it’s well designed, with lots of information in it, you can expect it to draw customers through your doors in no time.
They say a picture speaks a thousand words. Numerous studies prove that posts with images are 35% more engaging than text-only posts. Research also shows that people are more likely to trust words that are backed up by pictures. So, the next time you want to share customer reviews and testimonials, make sure you attach a photo to get more traction.
People are visual creatures and infographics are the best way to have when you want to present information in an interesting way without boring your audience with blocks of text and long paragraphs. Don’t forget to include them in your marketing campaign.
Collecting social evidence is not difficult, but every method is only as strong as its execution. When you use videos, photos, and infographics to convince travelers that your hotel is a great option, give them a call to action (CTA) to follow through. Drive them to your website or landing page and tell them what they need to do.
Leave nothing to the imagination. If you want them to leave a comment, make it clear. If you want them to book rooms and get discounts, make that clear. The minute you leave things unclear is the moment they will get confused and leave. Don’t let your efforts go to waste. If you’ve developed a marketing plan to take people’s testimonials seriously, don’t let a random call ruin your business.
Now go to the power of public testimony and take advantage of it. Get your past and present customers talking about you and use their enthusiasm to attract as many visitors as you can!
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