Boost Your Hotel Reputation with Social Proof: Insider Tips

Mireille • May 29, 2023 • 9 min read

Improve your Hotel Reputation with Social Proof

Are you tired of guests choosing your rival hotel down the street? Are you sick of hearing the same crickets chirping in your empty rooms? Well, fear not my hotelier friends, because I have the secret to building your hotel reputation and attracting more guests: social proof! And no, I’m not talking about bringing your imaginary friend to vouch for you (although that might work too).

Social proof refers to the influence that the actions and opinions of others have on our own behavior. And in the world of hotels, it can make or break your reputation. So grab a drink, put on your thinking cap, and let’s dive into the wacky world of social proof!

In this article, we will explore the different types of social proof that hotels can use to build their reputation, and provide actionable tips for incorporating social proof into your hotel marketing strategy. From customer reviews and ratings to social media and awards, we’ll cover everything you need to know to use social proof to your advantage.


1. What is Social Proof?

Social proof refers to the psychological phenomenon where people rely on the actions and opinions of others to guide their own behavior. In the context of the hotel industry, social proof refers to the use of other people’s opinions and experiences to influence potential guests’ decisions about where to stay. 

Simply put, it’s the idea that if a lot of people are saying something is good, then it must be good. By leveraging the power of social proof, hotels can build their reputation and attract more guests.

2. Importance of Social Proof for Hotel Reputation

Social proof is crucial for building and maintaining a hotel’s reputation. In an age where people have access to a wealth of information at their fingertips, potential guests are increasingly relying on social proof to inform their decision-making process.

According to a study by BrightLocal, 91% of consumers read online reviews before making a purchase decision. This means that positive reviews and ratings can be the deciding factor in whether or not someone chooses to stay at your hotel.

  1. Building Trust: Social proof plays a crucial role in establishing trust with potential customers. When people see positive reviews, ratings, and testimonials from other guests, they feel more confident in booking a hotel. It provides reassurance that the hotel delivers a positive experience.

  2. Influence on Decision-making: Social proof has a significant impact on consumers’ decision-making process. Research shows that people are more likely to choose a hotel with a high number of positive reviews compared to one with few or negative reviews. Positive social proof can sway potential customers to choose your hotel over competitors.

  3. Enhanced Credibility: Social proof serves as evidence of a hotel’s credibility and quality. It demonstrates that others have had positive experiences and validates the hotel’s claims. Customers are more likely to trust a hotel that has numerous positive reviews, ratings, and testimonials from real guests.

  4. Word-of-Mouth Amplification: Social proof amplifies positive word-of-mouth recommendations. When guests share their positive experiences online, it reaches a wider audience beyond their immediate circle. Positive reviews and social media shares can attract new customers and contribute to the hotel’s reputation.

  5. Increased Bookings and Revenue: A strong social proof strategy can lead to increased bookings and revenue for a hotel. Positive reviews and ratings act as endorsements, encouraging potential customers to choose the hotel over competitors. More bookings translate into higher occupancy rates, increased revenue, and a positive bottom line.

  6. Competitive Advantage: In a saturated market, social proof can give a hotel a competitive advantage. A hotel with a strong online reputation and positive social proof stands out from the competition. It becomes a more attractive option for travelers seeking assurance and quality.

  7. Online Visibility and Ranking: Social proof can also impact a hotel’s online visibility and search engine rankings. Positive reviews and ratings contribute to higher search engine rankings, making the hotel more discoverable to potential customers. This increased visibility can lead to more website traffic and bookings.

  8. Guest Feedback and Improvement: Social proof provides valuable feedback from guests that can help a hotel identify areas for improvement. Negative reviews or constructive criticism highlight areas that need attention, allowing the hotel to make necessary changes and enhance the guest experience.

  9. Brand Reputation and Loyalty: Positive social proof contributes to a hotel’s brand reputation. When guests consistently have positive experiences and share them online, it builds a favorable perception of the hotel. This reputation, in turn, fosters guest loyalty, encouraging repeat bookings and recommendations.

  10. Influencer Marketing Opportunities: A strong social proof strategy can attract influencers and travel bloggers to collaborate with the hotel. Influencers often seek hotels with positive reviews and a good reputation to maintain their own credibility. Collaborating with influencers can further enhance the hotel’s reputation and reach new audiences.


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3. Social Proof with Reviews and Ratings

In today’s digital age, social proof is more important than ever for hotels to build their reputation and attract new guests. One of the most powerful forms of social proof is customer reviews and ratings.

In this section, we’ll explore the importance of online reviews, how to encourage customers to leave reviews, how to respond to negative reviews, and how to monitor and manage your online reputation using review management software.

A. Importance of Online Reviews

Online reviews have become a critical component of the hotel booking process. According to a study by TripAdvisor, 95% of travelers read reviews before booking a hotel. This means that positive reviews and ratings can be the deciding factor in whether or not someone chooses to stay at your hotel.

B. Encouraging Customers to Leave Reviews

While many guests may be happy with their stay, they may not necessarily think to leave a review. That’s why it’s important to actively encourage guests to leave feedback.

One simple way to do this is to include a note in your post-stay email asking guests to leave a review. You can also include a link to your hotel’s profile on popular review sites like Yelp, or Google Reviews.

It’s important to note that while you want to encourage guests to leave reviews, you should never offer incentives or rewards in exchange for positive reviews. This is not only unethical but can also get your hotel penalized or even banned from review sites.

C. Responding to Negative Reviews

No hotel is perfect, and negative reviews are bound to happen. However, how you respond to these negative reviews can make all the difference in how potential guests perceive your hotel. It’s important to respond to negative reviews in a timely and professional manner, showing that you care about your guests’ experiences and are willing to address any issues.

When responding to negative reviews, it’s important to be empathetic, apologize for any issues, and offer a resolution if possible. Keep in mind that your response is not just for the reviewer, but also for potential guests who may be reading the review.

By addressing the issue and offering a solution, you show that you are committed to providing excellent customer service.

D. Monitoring and Managing Online Reputation

In addition to actively encouraging guests to leave reviews, it’s important to monitor and manage your online reputation. This involves regularly checking review sites and social media platforms for mentions of your hotel and responding to any comments or reviews in a timely manner.

One effective way to manage your online reputation is to use review management software. These tools allow you to monitor and respond to reviews from multiple platforms in one place, making it easier to stay on top of your online reputation.

Some popular review management software options include ReviewTrackers and Trustpilot.


Bring Your Hotel to the Next Level:


4. Social Media for Social Proof

In addition to customer reviews and ratings, social media has become a powerful tool for hotels to build their reputation through social proof. A strong social media presence can help build trust with potential guests and position your hotel as a top choice in the eyes of travelers.

A. Importance of Social Media Presence

The importance of social media presence for hotels cannot be overstated. In fact, a study by the Cornell School of Hotel Administration found that a hotel’s social media presence had a positive impact on both its online reputation and its financial performance.

By creating a strong social media presence, you can attract new followers and engage with potential guests.

B. Creating Engaging Social Media Content

To build a strong social media presence, it’s important to create engaging content that resonates with your target audience. This can include anything from behind-the-scenes photos and videos to showcasing local attractions and events.

One effective strategy for creating engaging social media content is to use user-generated content (UGC). UGC refers to any content that clients or visitors have produced, such as pictures or videos of their stay.

By sharing UGC on your social media channels, you not only create engaging content but also showcase the experiences of real guests, which can be a powerful form of social proof.

C. Influencer Marketing

Another way to leverage social media for your hotel is through influencer marketing. Influencer marketing involves partnering with individuals who have a large following on social media to promote your hotel. This can include bloggers, Instagram influencers, and YouTubers.

When choosing influencers to work with, it’s important to consider their audience and whether they align with your hotel’s brand and target market. You should also establish clear expectations and goals for the partnership, such as the number of posts or the type of content that will be created.

D. Using Social Media to Engage with Customers

Social media also provides a unique opportunity to engage with customers and build relationships. By responding to comments and messages in a timely and personalized manner, you can show that you value your guests and are committed to providing excellent customer service.

E. Awards and Recognition

In addition to customer reviews and social media, awards and recognition can also be a powerful form of social proof for hotels. Participating in industry awards and displaying awards and recognition in your hotel can help build credibility and differentiate your hotel from competitors.

F. Participating in Industry Awards

There are a variety of industry awards and recognition programs that hotels can participate in, including the TripAdvisor Travelers’ Choice Awards, the World Luxury Hotel Awards, and the Conde Nast Traveler Readers’ Choice Awards. These awards can help showcase your hotel’s excellence in specific areas, such as service, design, or amenities.

G. Displaying Awards and Recognition in the Hotel

Once you’ve received an award or recognition, it’s important to display it prominently in your hotel. This can include displaying plaques or trophies in the lobby, incorporating the award into your marketing materials, and mentioning it on your website and marketing channels.

H. Incorporating Awards and Recognition in Marketing Materials

Awards and recognition can also be incorporated into your hotel’s marketing materials, such as brochures, flyers, and advertisements. By highlighting your hotel’s accolades, you can showcase your excellence and build trust with potential guests.

5. Using Social Proof to Build Hotel Reputation

Social proof is a powerful tool for building your hotel’s reputation and attracting new guests. In this section, we’ll explore how you can use social proof to build trust with potential guests, differentiate from competitors, and increase bookings and revenue.

  1. Building Trust with Potential Guests
    Building trust with potential guests is a crucial part of using social proof to build your hotel’s reputation. Trust is built through a combination of factors, including a strong online presence, excellent customer service, and providing accurate information about the hotel.
  2. Building a Strong Online Presence
    In today’s digital age, having a strong online presence is essential for building trust with potential guests. This includes having a well-designed and informative website, active social media channels, and positive reviews and ratings on popular review sites.
  3. Providing Excellent Customer Service
    Providing excellent customer service is another crucial component of building trust with potential guests. This includes responding to customer inquiries and feedback in a timely and personalized manner, as well as providing a high level of service throughout their stay.
  4. Responding to Customer Feedback
    Responding to customer feedback, both positive and negative, is an important part of providing excellent customer service and building trust with potential guests. By responding to feedback in a professional and empathetic manner, you show that you care about your guests’ experiences and are committed to providing excellent service.
  5. Providing Accurate Information About the Hotel
    Providing accurate information about your hotel is also important for building trust with potential guests. This includes providing clear and detailed information about your hotel’s amenities, policies, and location, as well as being transparent about pricing and fees.
  6. Differentiating from Competitors
    In addition to building trust with potential guests, social proof can also be used to differentiate your hotel from competitors. By highlighting your hotel’s unique selling points, offering promotions and special deals, and showcasing positive reviews and awards, you can position yourself as a top choice in the eyes of travelers.
  7. Highlighting Unique Selling Points
    One effective way to differentiate from competitors is to highlight your hotel’s unique selling points. This can include anything from your hotel’s location and amenities to your hotel’s design and architecture. By showcasing what sets your hotel apart, you can attract guests who are looking for something unique and different.
  8. Offering Promotions and Special Deals
    Offering promotions and special deals is another way to differentiate from competitors and attract new guests. This can include discounts on room rates, free amenities, or special packages for holidays or special events. By offering something extra, you can entice potential guests to choose your hotel over others.
  9. Highlighting Positive Reviews and Awards
    Another way to differentiate from competitors is to highlight your hotel’s positive reviews and awards. This can include displaying plaques or trophies in your hotel, incorporating awards into your marketing materials, and highlighting positive reviews on your website and social media channels.
  10. Offering Personalized Experiences
    Offering personalized experiences is another way to differentiate from competitors and attract new guests. This can include anything from personalized welcome messages to customized room amenities. By offering a personalized touch, you can create a memorable experience for guests and set yourself apart from other hotels.
  11. Increasing Bookings and Revenue
    Finally, social proof can be used to increase bookings and revenue for your hotel. By using social proof to drive direct bookings, increase rates, and upsell and cross-sell to guests, you can maximize revenue and increase profitability.
  12. Using Social Proof to Drive Direct Bookings
    One effective way to increase bookings is to use social proof to drive direct bookings. This can include prominently displaying positive reviews and ratings on your website, offering a Best Rate Guarantee to incentivize guests to book directly, and using retargeting ads to target guests who have previously visited your website.
  13. Using Social Proof to Increase Rates
    Social proof can also be used to increase rates for your hotel. By highlighting positive reviews and awards , you can position your hotel as a top choice in the eyes of travelers and justify higher rates. Additionally, offering unique amenities and experiences, such as spa services or exclusive dining options, can also justify higher rates.
  14. Upselling and Cross-Selling
    Upselling and cross-selling can also be effective ways to increase revenue for your hotel. This can include offering guests additional services or amenities during their stay, such as room upgrades, late check-out, or restaurant reservations. By upselling and cross-selling, you not only increase revenue but also provide guests with a more personalized and enjoyable experience.

6. Hotels with a Strong Social Proof

  1. The Langham, Chicago: This luxury hotel has a strong online presence and has received numerous awards, including the Travel + Leisure World’s Best Awards and the Forbes Five-Star Award. It also has a high rating on popular review sites like TripAdvisor and Yelp.
  2. The Peninsula Hotels: The Peninsula Hotels is a collection of luxury hotels with a strong social media presence and a reputation for exceptional customer service. It has won numerous awards, including the Travel + Leisure World’s Best Awards and the Forbes Five-Star Award.
  3. The Waldorf Astoria: The Waldorf Astoria is a luxury hotel chain with a strong social media presence and a reputation for sophistication and elegance. It has received numerous awards and recognitions, including the Conde Nast Traveler Readers’ Choice Awards and the TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence.
  4. The St. Regis: The St. Regis is a luxury hotel chain with a reputation for opulence and exceptional service. It has a strong social media presence and has won numerous awards, including the Travel + Leisure World’s Best Awards and the Forbes Five-Star Award.
  5. The Mandarin Oriental: The Mandarin Oriental is a luxury hotel chain with a strong online reputation and a reputation for exceptional service and amenities. It has won numerous awards and recognitions, including the Travel + Leisure World’s Best Awards and the Conde Nast Traveler Readers’ Choice Awards.

These hotels have established themselves as top choices for travelers through their exceptional customer service, luxurious amenities, and strong social proof.

Conclusion

Social proof is a crucial tool for building your hotel’s reputation and attracting new guests. By leveraging customer reviews and ratings, social media, and awards and recognition, you can showcase your hotel’s excellence and position yourself as a top choice for travelers.

Social proof can also be used to differentiate your hotel from competitors, increase bookings and revenue, and provide personalized experiences for guests.

To make the most of social proof for your hotel, be sure to actively encourage customers to leave reviews, respond to both positive and negative feedback in a timely and professional manner, and showcase your hotel’s unique selling points and positive reviews and awards.

Additionally, use social media to engage with potential guests, offer promotions and special deals, and upsell and cross-sell to guests during their stay.

By using social proof strategically, you can build trust with potential guests, differentiate from competitors, and increase bookings and revenue for your hotel. So, don’t underestimate the power of social proof in building your hotel’s reputation and attracting new guests.

To start leveraging social proof for your hotel, consider partnering with a reputable review management software provider, creating engaging social media content, and displaying awards and recognition prominently in your hotel.

Remember, every little bit of social proof counts when it comes to building your hotel’s reputation and attracting new guests.

So, what are you waiting for? Start using social proof to build your hotel’s reputation and attract new guests today!

 

Further readings:
Social Proof: 10 Immediate Ways To Boost Marketing Results
How Reputation Management May Work at Google
Are reviewers crazy? Or are they saints?
Amazon’s fight against fake reviews is a success so far
A Look at Customer Reviews on Local Services ads

 

How do you boost Your Hotel Reputation with Social Proof? Let us know in the comments.

By Mireille
Meet Mireille, a marketing and tourism expert. She crafts compelling marketing strategies using the latest techniques to attract, engage, and retain customers. Her deep understanding of consumer behavior and attention to detail drive measurable results for business growth. Find her exploring the world for new marketing insights to help clients stay ahead.

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