Actually, this post could have been solely about Amendoeira Golf Resort‘s Faldo course and Christy O’Connor Jnr course nominations for the title of ‘Portugal’s Best Golf Course’ in 2017 (+‘Portugal’s Best Golf Hotel’) at the World Golf Awards.
However, I think it is much more important to analyze the importance of social proofs in our marketing communication and sales.
I think social proof is about trust and reputation. You can hardly find any research that would not highlight the importance of friends’ and family members’ opinion on our purchasing decision. Nilsen’s Global Trust in Advertising report found in 2015 for instance, that 83% of us trust completely or somewhat trust the recommendations of friends and family. It is also hard to find people who have never ever read a customer review in his life.
Just to explain how social proof works in the real world, I give you an example. You are planning your golf holiday in Algarve. You will find a vast number of golf resorts and golf clubs. How do you decide where to try to book tee times and room? The one without reviews or the one with 20+ reviews. It is more likely the one with 20+ reviews, especially if they are not totally negative ones. This is the power of social proof in action!
I hear many times from my clients how bad is that our golf course receives negative or less than 5* reviews. Would people believe in your reviews if they were only laudatory ones? I don’t think so. Negative reviews can make the overall review more reliable (=validate) and at the same time a great way to learn about our customers’ expectations and experience.
What is also important that you have to manage these reviews whether they are positive or negative. If you do not respond to negative ones, then your customers will think you don’t care about them. The same applies to unanswered comments and direct messages on your social media channels. I believe this is a great opportunity to get into a conversation with your clients and turn a negative experience into a positive one.
Here are 6 great ways to drive more social proofs:
- “As seen on” – if your golf club/resort was mentioned somewhere in the media, then you can refer to it as a positive example.
- Proactively request reviews from your guests. If you already have got an account on golf review sites like Leadingcourses.com then ask people to review your golf course. This can be done in many ways: POS communication (e.g. table tent in your restaurant, reception), email/newsletter, in Facebook posts, etc..BrightLocal‘s survey found that 70% of the people would leave a review about your service or product if you ask them.
- Ask your social media heavy user colleagues to share your content (e.g. Facebook/Instagram/YouTube posts, website or blog page etc.). The visitor of your website or Facebook brand page will see that a significant number of people shared the post and he will think that it must be something really awesome.
- Amendoeira Golf Resort was smart when he added the World Golf Awards, Tripadvisor and Today’s Golfer Awards badges to his website (at the bottom of the website). Have you got any of these? If yes, then add them quickly to your website!! You should highlight them in your electronic and offline newsletter, + in your social media channels.
- Ask for testimonials from your customers and highlight them on those pages of your website where people can book tee-times, rooms, holiday packages etc.
- The golf course could limit the availability to create FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out). I saw this marketing technique at Booking.com and Amazon.com to motivate people to purchase.
If you need more ideas how to generate more social proofs or explanation of this topic then just let me know. 🙂