Have you ever heard about term social proof? For those who did, skip ahead. But if you are new to it, lets see what it means. Social proof is a part of Robert Cialdini’s Weapons of Influence. In general, social proof is the effect of taking an action that other people already took. People simply assume that if so many people did it, it cannot be wrong.
Today, we are going to talk about how you can use the theory of social proof in order to ease and speed up decision making of your potential and existing guests. As this is broad topic, we cannot cover the whole story. So within this article, I am going to focus only value you can extract from TripAdvisor Widgets. Ready?
Rating or Reviews?
Before we start, it is good to know that there are several types of TripAdvisor widgets which can be found here. Find your business in the search box to get widgets. For the purpose of this article, I chose Double Tree by Hilton in New York.
Note, that according to the new study of Oxford Economics, TripAdvisor reviews generated 2 billion GBP solely in the UK! TripAdvisor influenced about 10% of all travel spending globally.
After submiting the hotel, you are given several types of widgets you can use. If you are a holder of any Certificate of Excellence, definitely don’t skip this one. You can use logo or widget here. Check picture below for comparison:
In this case, I would use the logo placed on the left but it is just a matter of taste.
If you don’t have any certificate of excellence, don’t be disappointed. If your rating is good, you can still use the Rating widget as shown in the picture below:
The only thing I miss here is the relative number like 4.3 of 5 you can find on Booking.com. You can also use Bravo widget that shows how many visitors rated you as excellent, see picture below:
Power tip: If you place Rating and Bravo! Widget abreast, people can see ratio of your excellent rating. In this case, you can see that 5,447 reviewed the hotel and 2,951 travelers rated it as excellent. In this case we can talk about 54% excellence rate (number of people who rated excellent devided by the number of people who reviewed x 100). Blink of an eye can tell me that this ratio is greater than 50% without actually calculating the real number.
The real social proof is about reviews. With TripAdvisor, you can choose several widgets as shown below:
You can also use scrolling showcase for you most recent reviews.
As you can see, you have several options. We will talk about the right choice, later in this post.
How to install the widgets
The installation of the widgets is pretty much nothing special. All you need to do is to copy a piece of HTML code TripAdvisor will generate for you and paste it to the suitable place within your website. That’s it!
Use the right widget at the right place
First things first, there is no such a formula about where to paste the widgets but I have some tips for you. However, if you have different ideas, feel free to make it happen (and don’t forget to let me know!).
So, do you remember about our Certificate of Excellence? You can place the widget (or logo) anywhere within the page. The design of the logo allows you to put it within the cover photo at each page. So feel free to let your visitors know (along with other certificates of excellence you have).
The importance of social proof increases in the case of reservation booking. It means that you should use some widget on the pages in your checkout funnel. The rule of thumb: the bigger widget with reviews might be a trigger that can persuade the people to start checkout process. But remember that later in checkout process, widget like this one might be distracting and can cause page abandonment, so use it carefully.
During initial steps in the checkout process (on the landing page with room description, date range etc.), I would use Rating Widget just to assure the people that your hotel is highly appreciated. On the confirmation page, I would definitely use Bravo widget, maybe alongside with Rating Widget to persuade and assure visitors they are going to have an excellent stay. This might help them pull down a wall of distrust which will result in booking itself.
Always remember, that human behaviour can’t be predicted. What does it mean? You should test the placement of the widgets on different positions within the website using A/B/n testing in order to find your top perfomers.
Bonus tip: you can use some of the widgets as social proof within your lead nurturing or e-mail campaigns. You can paste the widget into the e-mail if your e-mail provider allows you to create HTML e-mails. As Excellence logo is a regular picture, you can use it with almost each e-mail provider. Find out on your own if widgets work better in the headline or in the signature.
If you have some great ideas about how to use TripAdvisor widgets, we will be glad to hear your insights. Which one are you using/going to use and where on your website? Let us know in comments.