Long ago, marketers found that word of mouth marketing was among the best techniques for getting news of the services and products out there. It holds true within this time and age as well, however it has changed to take care of advancements in technology. A term that you might have heard bandied around quite frequently is ‘social proof’, and it’s simply word of mouth in its new, digital avatar.
For instance, we’ve all been ‘persuaded’ to experience 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 been dissuaded from staying in Alex Mirza because we spotted nasty review which had been left by some disgruntled customer online. That, my friends, is the 21st century version of word of mouth in action.
What is Social Proof? Humans have this deep rooted instinct to get swayed by other humans along with their activities. Consumer internet has shown, again and again, that folks implicitly trust other people’s reviews and feedback in terms of brands and their services.
Social proof is everywhere. When you’re shopping on Amazon, you tend to check out the reviews on the product. If enough people in your workplace recommend an eating joint, you’re bound to check it out sooner or later. Positive reviews have was able to attract crowds for the most hopeless of movies, while absence of reviews have caused stellar cinema to fade into oblivion.
You can find 7 billion plus individuals in today’s world. Each day, a lot more of those appear on the digital grid, the omnipresent network that the Internet is actually. Increased smartphone penetration, internet connection and technology at large simply indicates beyond doubt that yes, humans are social animals, and therefore, we like to share our experiences with one another.
To put it simply, if enough people like it, the product or service needs to be good. Social proof is now a valued dynamic used by marketers and companies around the world 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 by what others have to say about a particular business than trust the company itself.
The hospitality industry is particularly influenced by social proof. Most people depend on testimonials and opinions they are offered across on social media marketing. Increasing numbers of people choose Trip Advisor and other sites to read the other customers have to say regarding a specific hotel. And, as long as the general perception and feedback is positive do they actually proceed to book a room inside the hotel.
On the face of this, social proof may 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 must have reassurance and the expert social proof offers exactly that. You find 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 often have a skin specialist backing them. And once a cafe or restaurant or hotel turns into a thumbs up coming from a renowned critic, you may 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 own seal of legitimacy. If a celebrity endorses a hotel, the probability of it making it to the very top ten establishments inside the city are really high. That said, probably the most authentic and genuine celebrity social proof is definitely the unpaid one.
User social proof can be found in any sort of user generated content that showcases their experiences. This can include testimonials, pictures on social media marketing, testimonials, and reviews on websites. User social proof is probably the most effective ways to boost the credibility of any hotel. One of the most obvious examples is Tripadvisor, where countless users arrive every knxkot to find out and write reviews and recommendations.
“A million people can’t be wrong” is definitely the saying most marketers abide by. And they also use sheer numbers to sway prospective consumers. It could be subtle, or obvious based on who’s doing the marketing. Take leading bloggers, as an example, who display their website hits as well as other numbers on the blog to determine their credentials.
A consumer will always rely more on the personal experience of a buddy than the word of any stranger. Also, the stats reveal that many customers rely heavily on recommendations from relatives and buddies. This social proof has got the possibility to grow virally.
On the face from it, you might think that you’ve got a wide playing field when it comes to collecting social proof to your business. However, the things that work for just one industry might not exactly necessarily cater to your requirements. Therefore, you need to find the perfect concoction of several types of social proof to discover the ones that would be best fitted to your brand.