What is Social Proofing?
Social proofing is the psychological concept that people will conform to the actions of others, under the assumption that those actions are reflective of the correct behaviour.
It all boils down to humans being evolutionarily hardwired to be group animals. This innate herd instinct means we subconsciously feel like we are behaving correctly when following the crowd, and behaving as others do.
In simple venue talk, this basically means that the more people come to your venue and leave a positive review or feedback – the more new clients will follow suit.
Thanks to social media, social proofing has gained steam over the past couple of years, but in truth it’s been around for a while in the world of marketing.
It’s a simple and low-cost way for you to spread the word on what your venue can do and all the happy experiences you have hosted there.
A recent survey by Podium suggests 61% of customers read online reviews before making a purchase decision, and this will include event planners of all capacities.
A simple review could determine where individuals or whole companies spend their annual events budget. So it’s crucial to your business.
The main way you will see social proof in action, is with ratings and reviews, especially within the online community. Trustpilot, Google Reviews, TripAdvisor and all social media channels allow people from all over the world to review your venue. Preview Changes (opens in a new window). Which can seem a little daunting, but used correctly, it can be a huge advantage to your sales and revenue streams.
See it in action
The stats behind social proofing and its business advantages are undeniable – that’s why we implemented a review system on the HeadBox platform that allows for this. After every event booked via the marketplace, both the Guest and Host have to leave a review.
The review process is quick and easy for both parties and takes no longer than 2 minutes.
It’s also compatible across all devices – so no one has any excuses. These reviews provide your venue with the social proofing that will encourage more bookings, so making it as easy as possible for people to review is very important.
Social media is also a great way to promote your venue to a wider audience and to reap the benefits of social proofing.
Lisa Barone from Outspoken Media, said that social proof on social media is ‘highly effective, especially for an entrepreneur or small business owner. Developing a presence on the social web adds credibility to your blog/website because it allows people to see you engaging with other people.’
So you want to make sure your venue has a major online presence across social media channels.
Facebook, which is great for venues with more of a B2C focus, is crucial for social proofing.
Facebook has all kinds of social widgets you can install directly to your website that can show new customers how many people “like” your venue, or how many people have recently shared your content on Facebook.
You can even show how many people are looking at the venue’s page at that exact moment in time! Which can be very impressive for those with a bigger following.
Twitter is another great tool to utilise on your mission for social proofing mastery.
It’s great for showing how many people are following your account, and the number of times potential customers have retweeted your content or mentioned you on their own feed.
Another great tip is to include testimonials and logos of brands and big customers you may have worked with before. If you’ve recently hosted a big event with a well-known brand then ask them to leave you a testimonial which you can post on your site.
As soon as respected customers come to look at your site, it will automatically increase your credibility and make them much more likely to book.
Social proofing demonstrates the level of demand for your venue. making it seem more desirable.
A great example of this in action is on booking.com. This e-commerce platform often gives website users visibility of how many people are on that page, how many people have booked the same hotel or apartment within the last 24 hours or who else is looking at accommodation in the same area.
This makes venues seem desirable to potential customers, as well as providing an urgency to book.
- Make sure you are regularly checking your Guests’ reviews, no matter which channel they came from. Negative reviews won’t necessarily damage your reputation, as long as you respond promptly offering the customer a solution to their problem.
- 44% of online customers only read reviews written within one month, as these are the most relevant. So, make sure you continue to work hard to get updated reviews, ratings and testimonials.
- Don’t be afraid to ask! Always be open to customers and ask them to leave you feedback or an online rating. If you don’t ask you won’t get.
- Make it easy; create buttons or links on your website that makes it easy for customers to leave reviews.
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