The Mews Blog > The importance of social proof in the hospitality industry
In a world of user-generated content, hotel social proof has never been more relevant. It can serve as the icing on the cake when deciding where to stay or to generate brand awareness. The more people are talking about your brand online, the more you will grab their attention and inspire the trust of potential guests, which is just what your hotel needs to boost sales.
Let's dive deeper into hotel social proof – what it is, why it matters, and how you can use it to catapult your hotel ahead of the competition.
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What exactly is social proof?
Social proof is a psychological term that recognizes the ability of other people to influence our decision-making process. Many hoteliers use it to prove a hotel's popularity, as it encourages guests to stay at your property and keep returning.
Many elements go into deciding where to stay – scarcity, reciprocity, authority, commitment, consistency and social proof. You can leverage them all to persuade potential guests and foster loyalty among existing customers.
Why is social proof crucial for your hotel?
Social proof plays into the FOMO (fear of missing out) that people often experience when they see something that resonates with them online. Leverage the idea of "Everyone's doing it, so I should too" to encourage people to book a room at your hotel. You can increase conversions and drive loyalty by creating hype around your services. Discover other marketing strategies to boost bookings.
To successfully market your hotel, you first need to identify your ideal client profile and understand what motivates them. Once you know why people decide to stay at your hotel and how to convince them, you can intensify these efforts to attract more guests. With the help of social proof, you can seal the deal and boost occupancy and profitability.
What are the different forms of social proof for hotels, and how can they be enhanced?
Social proof comes in many shapes and forms – discover how it can be used to influence traveler decision making.
Social media and user-generated content
Social media and other user-generated content should be at the core of your hotel’s marketing efforts. Both can turn guests into marketers who amplify your message and help prove to potential guests that your hotel is the place to be. Discover more social media strategies.
When your guests publish on social media, it feels more authentic and genuine than when you do it. People love to share their experiences on social media, so encourage them to do so. Create raffles or competitions for the most liked or shared photo posted by a guest, and reward a winner with a stay or a free dinner.
Awards and certifications
Awards and environmental certifications are a powerful form of social proof. Whether it’s a LEED certificate for being environmentally friendly or claiming the title of “the cleanest hotel,” these awards can help boost your reputation.
Decide what you want your hotel to be known for – being green, the highest quality of service, or collaborations with local architects, to name a few. Then, nominate your hotel for relevant awards and certifications. If you win, hang certificates in prominent locations throughout your hotel and share them online.
Influencers are the celebrities of today’s world. People with a big following on social media influence their followers by promoting a brand or service. They can boost your follower count and drive more engagement.
Find influencers with audiences similar to yours, invite them to stay at your hotel, and let them introduce your brand to their followers. Discover more hotel promotion ideas.
Hotel reviews are a perfect example of social proof. Most guests read reviews before booking at your hotel, so make sure you have a recognizable online presence. Also, collect reviews on social media, Google and other channels frequented by your target audience.
Feature all good reviews front and center on your website and create campaigns around them – it will do wonders to boost your brand.
Now you know what social proof is, why it’s relevant in the hospitality industry, and how to leverage it for your marketing efforts. With the right tactics, you can influence purchasing decisions, increase engagement, and truly understand your guests. Implement social proof in your hotel’s marketing strategy, and watch profitability grow.
Eva has over a decade of international experience in marketing, communication, events and digital marketing. When she's not at work, she's probably surfing, dancing, or exploring the world.
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