Long ago, marketers discovered that word of mouth marketing was among the best methods for getting news of their products and services out there. It holds true within this time and age as well, but it has evolved to keep up with advancements in technology. A term that you may have heard bandied around quite frequently is ‘social proof’, and it’s nothing more than word of mouth in the new, digital avatar.
As an example, we’ve all been ‘persuaded’ to test out a brand new restaurant or a holiday destination after we’ve seen our friends posting pictures of their dining and travel adventures on social media. On the same note, we’ve been dissuaded from being at Alexander Mirza 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 in action.
Precisely what is Social Proof? Humans have this deep rooted instinct to become swayed by other humans as well as their activities. Consumer internet has shown, again and again, that folks 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 individuals your workplace recommend an eating joint, you’re bound to take a look eventually. Positive reviews have managed to draw in 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 them appear on the digital grid, the omnipresent network that the Internet happens to be. Increased smartphone penetration, access to the internet and technology at large simply indicates beyond doubt that yes, humans are social animals, and therefore, we like to talk about our experiences together.
In other words, if enough people enjoy it, the service or product has to be good. Social proof is now a valued dynamic utilized by marketers and companies around the world 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 site. And why? Because we’d all rather go by what others have to say in regards to a particular business than trust the manufacturer itself.
The hospitality market is particularly relying on social proof. Most people count on testimonials and opinions they come across on social networking. Increasing numbers of people turn to Trip Advisor and other sites to read through how many other customers have to say in regards to a specific hotel. And, only if the overall perception and feedback is positive do they actually proceed to book an area within the hotel.
On the face of this, social proof might be an all-encompassing phenomenon that overlaps many different 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 require reassurance and the expert social proof offers exactly that. You find the phrase ‘expert opinion’ under articles giving advice and instructions as a means to legitimize it. Ads for toothpaste and tooth brushes are ‘bolstered’ by opinions of leading dentists while beauty creams will most likely use a skin specialist backing them. And as soon as a cafe or restaurant or hotel turns into a thumbs up from the renowned critic, you may be fairly certain that people are going to flock into it from the hundreds.
The name says it all. Celebrities have a swaying effect on the population, and they have their very own seal of legitimacy. If a celebrity endorses a hotel, the probability of it which makes it to the very top ten establishments inside the city are incredibly high. Nevertheless, probably the most authentic and genuine celebrity social proof is definitely 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 among the best ways to enhance 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” will be the saying most marketers abide by. And they use sheer numbers to sway prospective consumers. It may be subtle, or obvious according to who’s doing the marketing. Take leading bloggers, for example, who display their website hits along with other numbers on their blog to build their credentials.
A consumer will usually rely more on the personal experience with a pal compared to the word of a stranger. Also, the stats reveal that many customers rely heavily on recommendations from family and friends. This social proof has got the possible ways to grow virally.
On the face of this, you may think that you’ve got an extensive playing field when it comes to collecting social proof to your business. However, what works for just one industry might not necessarily cater to your needs. Therefore, you need to discover the perfect concoction of different types of social proof to discover which of them are the best suitable for your brand.