Long ago, marketers realized that word of mouth marketing was one of the best ways to get news of their products and services out there. It holds true in this time and age also, but it has evolved to take care of 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 test out a 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 at Alexander Mirza because we spotted nasty review which had been left by some disgruntled customer online. That, my pals, is the modern day version of word of mouth marketing actually in operation.
What is Social Proof? Human beings have this deep rooted instinct to get swayed by other humans and their activities. Consumer internet has demonstrated, time and again, that people implicitly trust other people’s reviews and feedback when it comes to brands and 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 workplace recommend an eating joint, you’re sure to give it a look sooner or later. Positive reviews have were able to draw in crowds for the best hopeless of movies, while lack of reviews have caused stellar cinema to fade into oblivion.
There are 7 billion plus individuals in today’s world. Every single day, increasingly more of these appear on the digital grid, the omnipresent network that this Internet is. Increased smartphone penetration, internet access 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.
In other words, if enough people like it, the service or product needs to be good. Social proof is currently a valued dynamic used by marketers and firms around the world to be able 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 by what others have to say in regards to a particular business than trust the brand itself.
The hospitality market is particularly relying on social proof. Many people count on testimonials and opinions they are offered across on social media marketing. Increasing numbers of people consider Trip Advisor and other sites to read through the other customers need to say in regards to a specific hotel. And, as long as the entire perception and feedback is positive will they actually proceed to book a room inside the hotel.
On the face from it, social proof may be an all-encompassing phenomenon that overlaps a variety of fields and industries, but 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 must have reassurance and the expert social proof offers just 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 have a skin specialist backing them. And when a restaurant or hotel gets a thumbs up from a renowned critic, you could be fairly sure that people will flock to it by the hundreds.
The name says it all. Celebrities use a swaying effect on the population, and they have their particular seal of legitimacy. If a celebrity endorses a hotel, the probability of it rendering it to the very top ten establishments within the city are extremely high. That said, probably the most authentic and genuine celebrity social proof is the unpaid one.
User social proof can be found in any sort of user generated content that showcases their experiences. This consists of success stories, pictures on social media marketing, testimonials, and reviews on websites. User social proof is one of the best ways to improve the credibility of a hotel. Just about the most obvious examples is Tripadvisor, where an incredible number of users arrive every knxkot to see and write reviews and recommendations.
“A million people can’t be wrong” is definitely the saying most marketers comply with. And they also use sheer numbers to sway prospective consumers. It may be subtle, or obvious according to who’s doing the marketing. Take leading bloggers, for instance, who display their website hits along with other numbers on their blog to determine their credentials.
A consumer will usually rely more on the personal experience of a buddy than the word of the stranger. Also, the stats reveal that many customers rely heavily on recommendations from friends and family. This social proof has got the possibility 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 your business. However, what works for one industry might not necessarily meet the needs of your requirements. Therefore, you have to find the perfect concoction of various kinds of social proof to find out the ones that are best suited to your brand.