In today's fiercely competitive digital landscape, hotels strive to capture the attention and trust of potential guests. And simply having great offers is no longer enough. This is where the power of social proof comes into play.

Social proof can be your hotel’s saving grace in engaging online visitors and converting them into loyal guests. As a powerful way to make your hotel stand out by building trust and easing the buying decision, social proof is crucial for your hotel’s digital success. Traditional customer reviews and testimonials are valuable. However, there are even more innovative ways to leverage social proof effectively. We'll explore creative ways to harness social proof that will set your hotel apart from the competition. Moreover, we'll provide practical tips on how to display social proof prominently on your hotel website, ensuring your success.

People looking at a laptop and smiling
Potential guests look for social proof as a signal of trustworthiness.

Traditional forms of social proof

Customer Reviews and Testimonials

Customer reviews and testimonials are among the most well-known and influential forms of social proof. They are powerful because they offer potential guests direct insights into previous guests' experiences. Moreover, they are perceived as trustworthy and relatable, as they are thought to provide an accurate depiction of the actual experience of staying at your hotel. On top of that, they also provide you with invaluable feedback which you can use to improve your services. Plus, you can better understand your target audience.

86% of shoppers think that review recency is important when considering a product they haven’t purchased before. Needless to say, it’s crucial that new guests have fresh reviews to read through during their research phase. Continuously ask guests for feedback and reviews to make new guests more likely to book with you, and to be able to continuously improve your services.

Tip for displaying: Make it easy for guests to find your reviews when navigating your website. Consider dedicating an entire section of your website to showcase customer reviews and testimonials. Alternatively, you can also feature them on your homepage. A crafty way to highlight some of your best features is to also add some of these reviews when highlighting your rooms, amenities or services.

And don't forget the power of engagement! Responding to both positive and negative reviews demonstrates your commitment to guest satisfaction and showcases your responsiveness as a hotelier.

A screenshot from a hotel website displaying social proof in the form of customer reviews
StayOkay displays a summary of reviews, overall sentiment, what people say and who said it for each of their hostels.

Ratings and Certifications

In addition to customer reviews and testimonials, hotels often rely on industry-specific ratings and certifications to enhance their credibility and appeal to potential guests. They provide an objective and comparable assessment of a hotel's quality, service, and commitment to specific standards, instantly boosting its credibility. As a result, they serve as trust signals that assure potential guests of the quality and service standards of your hotel.

Tip for displaying: There is a variety of certifications that your hotel can earn, such as the LEED Certification (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design), Green Key Certification and ISO Certifications. These certifications showcase your hotel's dedication to sustainability, environmental responsibility, and quality management. Regardless of which type of certification you decide on, you have to showcase it on your homepage and ‘About Us’ page. Incorporating visual elements like badges, logos, or seals from reputable organizations further highlights your achievements and instils confidence in potential guests.

Remember that specific certifications and rating systems may vary by region and country. It's crucial to find certifications that are relevant to your target market or aligned with your goals. Also, stay updated on the latest certifications and industry standards to ensure your hotel maintains its competitive edge.

Screenshot of a hotel website where social proof is displayed in the form of awards and certifications.
Last Drop Village Resorts & Spa showcase their awards and certifications in the footer of their hotel website.

Creative Ways to Harness Social Proof

Influencer Collaborations

Influencers are a powerful asset for the hotel industry because of the trust and attention of their dedicated followers. 50% of Millennials trust product recommendations made by influencers and 33% of Gen Z have brought a product based on an influencer recommendation. On top of that, influencers can help you reach a wider, more engaged audience. As a result, partnering with influencers can not only expand your reach but also amplify your social proof.

Find influencers that fit your hotel—and don’t just limit yourself to travel influencers. Consider influencers who align with your hotel's values and target audience. Sustainable influencers can be ideal if you are committed to sustainable practices. On the other hand, family influencers can showcase special amenities or rooms for families, resonating with your target audience. They can show their experiences at your hotel, exposing your brand to their dedicated followers.

Tip for displaying: Create a dedicated section on your hotel website to highlight influencer collaborations. Incorporate captivating photos, engaging videos, and quotes from influencers to highlight their experiences and recommendations. Consider embedding social media posts or creating a dedicated influencer gallery—and don’t forget to leverage this content by reposting it on your own social channels.

SCreenshot from a hotel's Instagram page where they collaborated with an influencer.
Ayada Maldives Resort collaborated with a Swedish mom influencer.

User-Generated Content Campaigns

When travellers decide whether to book with your hotel, they seek the opinions, experiences, and authentic moments shared by other guests online. User-generated content (UGC) is any content, like text, videos, images and reviews created by users rather than the brand. Being acquired (mostly) organically, UGC provides authentic social proof from real guests. Because of that, it is seen as more than 2.4 times more authentic and trustworthy than your own branded content.

To harness the power of UGC, actively encourage guests to share their experiences and photos on social media using a branded hashtag. This not only increases guest engagement but also generates authentic content that showcases the real experiences of your guests.

Tip for displaying: To leverage UGC effectively, create a visually appealing gallery of guest photos and testimonials on your hotel website. Curate and feature this diverse content to provide potential guests with a comprehensive view of the unique experiences offered by your hotel. Remember to engage with guests online, respond to their posts, and foster a sense of community around your hotel brand.

A screenshot from a hotel's instagram page, showing a repost of a photo created by a guest.
FIVE Hotels frequently reshares content created by their guests.

Partnerships with Local Attractions or Businesses

Partnering up with local businesses and attractions can do so much for your hotel’s development. From improving reputation to building trust with guests, collaborating with local attractions, businesses, or major personalities in your area can power your social proof. These collaborations offer numerous benefits, including improving your reputation, building trust with guests, and showcasing your connection within the community. By aligning your hotel with local partners, you can cater to the growing demand for authentic local experiences and generate positive word-of-mouth.

Tip for displaying: To showcase your partnerships with the local community, create a dedicated section on your hotel website. Feature logos, photos, and testimonials from local attractions and businesses to showcase your network and affiliations. By highlighting these collaborations, you enhance your credibility and attract guests seeking a well-rounded experience. Consider creating dedicated pages or sections that visually showcase each partner, provide more information about their offerings, and include testimonials or case studies to further validate the partnerships.

Screenshot from a hotel website where social proof is used in the form of collaboration with local businesses.
Hotel Okura Amsterdam partnered up with local business ACS to achieve their sustainable goals.

Embrace creative ways of harnessing social proof

Unlock the potential of social proof to transform your hotel's digital success. Don’t be afraid to be creative in showcasing customer reviews, leveraging industry certifications, and exploring innovative approaches. By harnessing the power of social proof, you'll captivate guests, build trust, and stand out in a competitive market. Let your hotel's story be told through the voices of satisfied guests and watch your success soar.

May 26, 2023
Trends and Insights
Written by
Hotelchamp Team