4 Ways for Tourism Operators to Build Social Proof and Credibility

Simply put, the term ‘social proof’ refers to how people are influenced by the actions and interests of others in an attempt to reflect the correct social behaviour.  In marketing, it means that as consumers we want to know and do what everyone else is doing and is socially acceptable. When it comes to booking holidays especially, we take the reviews and recommendations of friends, family, experts, influencers, other credible sources, and even strangers into account before making decisions. This includes where to go or what operators are credible and trusted based on existing social proof.

Social proof is only effective if it’s visible. There are many forms that you may not have considered to leverage for your business. We have outlined the top 4 ways you can build your social proof for your business to thrive in the tourism industry.

1. Customer Testimonials

Ratings, reviews and testimonials from your customers are a great form of social proof to leverage, especially as a small or local business. Studies show that 80% of people are more likely to purchase from a business if they see positive reviews on the company’s Facebook page. Whether you run a hotel accommodation or paddle board equipment hire, encourage your customers to leave Google or Facebook reviews on their experience with your service. You can leverage these testimonials in your marketing material as social proof and boost your SEO ranking.

2. Awards and Certifications

The tourism sector is a heavily regulated market. There are a number of memberships with governing bodies and organisations that may be relevant to your business. Accreditations like this, awards, and certifications are like a seal of approval. They can help to build trust with your customers and perceive your business as credible. If you have an accreditation or partnership, promote this social proof on your website and social media, and within marketing materials.

Consider the following and how they could apply to your business:

  • Industry accreditations
  • Partnerships
  • Awards
  • Certifications

3. Exposure and Media Mentions

Brainstorm ways that you can increase exposure and media mentions for your business to foster good social proof. Some ways you can gain exposure for your tourism business are through an Influencer Marketing campaign (e.g. Celebrities, Experts), create a hashtag and encourage your customers to use it if they share photos and to tag your business so you can respond and reshare.

Another great way to increase exposure for your business is to create a free listing on the Australian Tourism Data Warehouse (ATDW) website. ATDW has partnerships with large Distributors with access to over 90,000 listings from tourism operators across Australia. Distributors use content from local businesses listed on ATDW on their websites. This is a great, free way for our Operators to increase exposure for their businesses and build credibility from these large organisations. 

If your business has been mentioned by authoritative publications such as magazines, product/service reviews, blogs, etc (i.e. The Urban List), consider displaying these logos and links to the articles/publications on your website, social media and other marketing materials.

4. Milestones

Reaching milestones as a business is a big deal, and it’s also a great opportunity to share this information with your audience. Accomplishments such as attaining a certain number of visitors, social media followers, company anniversaries and more are occasions to leverage and promote. Show your gratitude and thank your customers for their support in reaching your business milestone. Doing so increases your credibility by displaying your social proof and promotes the human element of your business.

Interested in building your business’ social proof? Creating a tourism operator listing for your business on www.atdw.com.au