Encourage Travel This Summer By Leveraging Social Proof

Social proof is defined as a psychological phenomenon where people assume the actions of others in an attempt to reflect correct behavior for a given situation. It explains why advertising agencies hire athletes and celebrities to pitch products and why we read travel reviews before booking hotels and why we love product recommendations on social media. 

Social proof gets us over the ‘hump’ of trying something new. It gives us confidence in our decisions. So, as you think about your Covid-19 recovery strategy, we encourage you to add some social proof into your email promotions. Here are three ideas you can leverage to ensure travelers know that it’s safe to travel this summer.

1) Cite the experts

During a recent HSMAI event, Founder and President at Avrio Institute, a boutique research and strategy consultancy, suggested leveraging information from experts to let your guests know that it’s ok to travel. Who better to quote than epidemiologists, public health professionals who investigate patterns and causes of disease and injury in humans.

According to a recent article in The New York Times, more than half of epidemiologists surveyed will be vacationing overnight this summer, within driving distance of their homes. 

Share this stat in your email promotions and make your guests feel more confident in making travel plans. For example, you can say, “56% of epidemiologists will vacation overnight within driving distance this summer. If the experts are traveling, you should, too!

2) Reshare glowing reviews about cleanliness

With safety top of mind, prospective guests will be scouring online reviews looking for proof that your hotel is clean, regularly sanitized and ready for business. Make it easy for them by featuring recent guest reviews on your website and in your emails. (Revinate Guest Feedback customers can automatically syndicate survey feedback to TripAdvisor or Google.) 

You can snapshot the reviews or copy and paste the key phrases into your emails. Make sure to include the dates so your prospective guests know that others had great experiences staying with you, even during the pandemic.

3) Promote certification programs 

In a recent Business Insider story about whether it’s safe to stay in a hotel amid Covid-19, John Marroni, owner and president of National Restoration, a disaster recovery company with a new dedicated coronavirus arm suggests that guests seek ‘signs that your hotel’s cleaning standards are up to par’. 

He says, “We work with a lot of hotels, and they should each have some kind of certificate that indicates the place has been disinfected, which is what we make sure to provide after we service them.”

If your hotel has taken the AHLA Safe Stay Pledge or has received cleaning certificates, make sure to include the banner or logos in your promotions to guests so they can see how seriously you are taking their safety. 

Looking for more marketing strategies to aid recovery this summer? Check out our Covid-19 recovery guide, packed with email templates and examples you can use to drive bookings.

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