The final of 3 parts in our Value of Social Proof series
There are two distinct approaches that almost any business can leverage to make sure social proof is an asset, not something to live under the tyranny of. Where possible, take advantage of platforms where your hotel has a high aggregated score.
This ‘quantity’ focused approach shows that your hotel is of an objectively high standard. Similarly, be aware of how quantifying these metrics can work to your advantage. 4 out of 5 stars will always sound better than 80% positive.
If your stats aren’t fantastic, either in number of reviews or if you have less than stellar ratings, taking a more qualitative approach is a highly effective way to leverage social proof. Just as movie posters and book covers use quotes from authorities like movie reviewers, including specific praise from guest feedback and reviews can offer seemingly unbiased information as to the quality of your various amenities. For example, a review praising how comfortable your beds are could be featured on your rooms page, or positive feedback about a specific meal could be included with information about your restaurant.
Of course just as the UK tax department did, the most effective use of social proof comes from combining a qualitative and quantitative approach. Using a large dataset tailored to an individual provides powerfully persuasive social proof by leveraging the principle of similarity.
For example, by segmenting your reviews, you may find that business travellers rate your wifi at 5/5 stars. By dynamically showing this statistic to people specifically browsing for a single guest on a weeknight, you can leverage the assumption that these guests are likely also business travellers, thereby increasing the relevance of these reviews by way of similarity.
Social Proof is a powerful psychological technique that can make or break a business. But social proof is far more than just Facebook or followers – the power of ‘general consensus’ is present in everything from sitcoms to overdue tax reminders. By understanding the objective value of social proof, smart marketers can weaponise it to persuade and personalise their audiences.
Written in collaboration with TrustYou