How Social Proof Can Help You Increase Vacation Rental Bookings - Ecom Agora Reviews

How Social Proof Can Help You Increase Vacation Rental Bookings

According to Nielsen’s “Global Trust in Advertising” study, 83% of users trust recommendations from friends and family, while 66% trust reviews from people they don’t know. But how about ads? Less than 40% of people trust them. So if you want your vacation rental website to be trusted by potential customers, you need to use social proof!

The Fogg Behavior Model confirms that customers’ behaviors occur (e.g., booking a night on your vacation rental website) when the following elements come together: motivation, ability, and trigger. If customers aren’t booking, at least one of these elements is missing. Make use of social proof to ensure motivation! Big brands like Airbnb, Hilton, and any other type of company on their websites use social proof.

But what exactly is social proof, and how can it help your vacation rental business? Continue reading to find out!

What is social proof, and why is it important for my vacation rental website?

“Social proof is the positive reaction when people observe others doing the same thing and conclude that it is correct”, explained Lodgable. It’s similar to how trends start: someone initiates a new trend, many others follow, and eventually, people like you join in because it’s cool or appealing.

Marketers use social proof to alleviate customer concerns and boost conversions and bookings.

Social Proof Types

There are various types of social proof, each with its advantages. However, if we had to categorize them, we would do so as follows:

1. Social proof from users:

Customer testimonials, success stories, and reviews You can even invite users to make videos about their vacation rental experience.

2. Social proof from experts:

When a credible expert, such as a journalist, blogger, or business leader, comments on your vacation rental company. For example, suppose a popular YouTube Vlogger stays at your VR and recommends it in a video with one million subscribers. In that case, you may increase bookings and be able to feature the testimonial on your website.

3. Friends’ knowledge:

People trust their family and friends, so if someone has had a positive experience with you, their peers will want to have the same positive experience.

4. Social proof from celebrities:

Having a celebrity book on your VR can get you free press, but if you can get them to endorse your property, social media will go crazy.

How to Increase Vacation Rental Bookings Using Social Proof

How can social proof assist you in increasing conversions? The following are social proof strategies for your vacation rental business 

1. Customer feedback and ratings

Even if users don’t know who the reviewers are, reading about their experiences can help them decide whether or not to book your vacation rental.

According to studies, nearly 70% of online consumers read reviews before making a purchase, and 88% trust them as much as personal recommendations! Another 68% of people visit a local business after reading positive online reviews.

Why does it work?

People like to put themselves in the shoes of others; customer reviews resonate with them because they can relate to them.

2. Certifications and badges of credibility

If you operate vacation rental properties in regulated areas and want to demonstrate legitimacy, you can use certifications and trust seals as social proof. Most secure and accrediting organizations provide badges, certificates, or seals that can be freely displayed on your website. VeriSign, for example, is known for increasing e-commerce website conversion rates by up to 30%.

Why does it work?

Potential customers can see that you’re a trustworthy, respected vacation rental owner by including trust seals and credibility badges on your website. They will naturally increase online credibility with potential visitors!

3. Media coverage

Is your vacation rental company ever mentioned in the media? This includes interviews, appearances in magazines and blogs, TV segments, and so on.

Having big media names on your site gives your company a lot of credibility. Which would you prefer: a vacation rental with no badges or one featured in The New York Times and Condé Nast Traveler? Exactly.

Why does it work?

Customers continue to trust the media, with a whopping 66% trusting newspaper articles and any form of written editorial content. Suppose the media mentions your vacation rental business. In that case, it must be because you’re doing well and have something unique.

4. Expert approval

Instead of focusing on general media mentions, you should target industry experts and bloggers in this case.

The stronger the social proof, the more influential and relevant the expert. So, if you’ve ever received a compliment from Matt Landau, Heather Bayer, or any other vacation rental expert, include it on your website! Remember to include a picture of the person who endorsed you, as studies show that it adds credibility to the statement.

Why does it work?

Influencer marketing is supported by science. These kinds of endorsements are made possible by the Halo effect. Influencers and industry experts have already built solid reputations for themselves. Any positive comments or relationships they are seen to have with your VR business are good press for you and will increase your likeability.

5. Endorsements from celebrities

are admittedly more difficult, especially because they can be very expensive, and there is no guarantee of a good return.

Finding a celebrity who matches your brand’s goals, objectives, and personality is key. Your target audience should be familiar with and like the celebrity. If there is a mismatch, you may harm your company and brand.

Why does it work?

It works psychologically because of the extended self-concept; people see their possessions as a reflection of themselves. As a result, they seek products that reflect their social status and make them feel like they belong to a group.

If a celebrity they admire endorses your vacation rental, potential guests will be curious to learn why, visit your website, and possibly book their next trip!

6. Marketing based on FOMO

FOMO stands for fear of missing out, which is the anxiety customers experience when they hear about something exciting and feel compelled to act on it or risk missing out big time!

Although FOMO appears to have been invented by and for millennials, it has been around for a long time. You can use FOMO to persuade potential guests that you have something special they might not be able to access. For example, sending an email to previous guests with an exclusive offer that expires in five days. If the deal is too good to pass up, they’ll book again immediately.

Why does it work?

This newly labeled social anxiety is mostly seen on social media, where users see what’s going on in their friends’ lives and compare it to their own.

7. Unprocessed data (customers, stats, following)

This is one of the most basic social proof strategies for increasing bookings: display the total number of customers, visits, social media followers, newsletter subscribers, or any other statistic that lends credibility to your brand.

Why does it work?

If you have numbers to back it up, people believe in your VR business and have had positive experiences. People appreciate knowing they are not the first to stay at your establishment!

Now it’s your turn.

It’s time for you to start using social proof on your vacation rental website! Let’s put what you’ve learned about the various types of social proof and how to use them to get more bookings into action.

We recommend that you choose at least one or two types of social proof and incorporate them into your website. Keep track of how these strategies affect your conversion rates and return to find the next one to try.

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