Do you know what one of the biggest influencers is for people who want to go on holiday? It’s social proof. What a lot of marketers don’t understand, or perhaps choose not to follow is that when people go online, they are influenced by evidence.
To try and explain a little bit more about what we mean and why evidence of a trip is essential, we’re going to be looking at how social proof influences the booking cycle.
The Proof is in the Photos
When someone goes onto the internet to look for a holiday, what do you think they search for? Typically, it’s the same things every time. They look for good deals, destinations that have suitable weather, and social proof from friends, family or reviewers. They need to see photos that the holiday happened and it was as great as described.
Image by Nad Hemnani
Why is Social Proof Important?
So, let’s take a look at some of the different reasons why social proof is essential for people who are booking their ideal holiday.
If we’re honest for a second, a lot of people are cynical to the idea of incredible offers or investing in a luxury holiday. The horror stories of barely liveable conditions and overpriced charges from decidedly unsympathetic travel companies have hardened the average traveller. It doesn’t matter how legitimate you are; you’ll still be treated with a level of caution by most people.
Image by Johannes W
So how does this tie into social proof? Well, photos from trusted sources help to break through the layer of cynicism which guards most people. Seeing pictures of the event and how the facilities look allows people to not only seek reassurance but also to make their judgement and not just refer to the opinion of another.
Utilising Social Proof For Marketing
Image by Francesca Saraco
So how do we, as marketers, use social proof as a tool for business? Well, it’s all about providing people with what they want – real photos of the places they think of visiting. It helps to prove that what you offer is legitimate, and gives people the chance to make an informed decision about something. That’s something you can’t possibly begin to replicate without the aid of photographic materials. People have a unique chance to explore environments in more detail, which can be a big part of the marketing process.
So you may recognise by now the unique role that social proof has in influencing the booking cycle. It’s important to try and show people a little bit of what they could have because it builds up their interest. Your main aim will be to make sure that people are booking a holiday in your hotel or spa and that’s all down to the presentation of the product. It’s how people see what they are buying into and what to expect – it’s why a lot of people go on holiday at the recommendation of friends and family. You need to make sure that you are also trying to give people the chance to connect with their holiday, and it isn’t always easy to do, but completely worth it.