Social proof is based upon “informational social influence,” meaning that people will conform in order to be liked by, similar to, or accepted by the influencer (or society).
In terms of restaurant marketing, social proof occurs when customers or potential customers see what others are saying about your business.
When consumers are looking to buy something, they look for ratings & reviews, recommendations, and ways that others have used a product before making their decision.
Examples of Social Proof to Get More Customers
For instance, rating sites like Google or Facebook are avenues of social proof because users can see the ratings and reviews of your business. The better your ratings, the more likely people are to give you their business.
When you are on a website and you see a testimonial from a happy customer or industry expert, that’s social proof. Deciding to choose a restaurant because you love steak and saw someone leave a comment about how good their steak is, that’s social proof. When you see an item on a menu with a star that says “Customer Favorite!”, that’s social proof.
All of these different tactics help build trust, convey value and improve conversions. It is a simple way to borrow valuable third-party influence to market your restaurant.
Because social proof is such a powerful psychological trigger, it is a great item to incorporate into your marketing. Every customer touchpoint should display social proof. Consider incorporating elements of social proof on your:
- website pages
- social media platforms, including Google My Business
- paid marketing media (Google Ads, print, radio, etc.)
- physical location (signage, table tents, etc.)
- menu items
- email and SMS communication
- Google search results schema
- loyalty program/mobile apps
Let’s focus today on your Google search results and your website pages.
Have you ever been searching for something on Google and come across a result that is displaying a star rating and the number of votes? This is great social proof because the ratings come directly from customers who have left a rating on Google. People trust Google!
Using Google for Social Proof
Rating schema, or structured data, is a standardized format for providing search engines information about a web page and classifying the page content. If you’re new to structured data, you can learn more about how structured data works here.
When users search for businesses on Google Search or Maps, Search results may display a prominent Google knowledge panel with details about a business that matched the query.
When users query for a type of business (for example, “best NYC restaurants”), they may see a carousel of businesses related to that query. Likewise, some results will show the restaurant’s average rating and the number of ratings given.
With Local Business structured data, you can tell Google about your business hours, different departments within a business, reviews for your business, and more. In turn, Google may add some or all of these things to your search result.
There is no guarantee that Google will display structured data along with your search result, however, there is a way to help convince them. To find out how, download our whitepaper, “Using Social Proof to Save Time and Drive More Business.”
Using Your Website for Social Proof
Another great way to show your customers and potential customers social proof is to display your aggregate ratings on your website and blog pages.
With the Bloom Intelligence Website Ratings Widget, you can display a small badge on your website pages that will display your aggregate ratings from Facebook, Google, and Bloom.
Adding this widget directly onto your website can not only help display your reputation, but it can also have a positive effect on your bottom line by creating positive social proof for new visitors to your website.
Unfortunately, most restaurant marketers do not have the ability or the time to create this type of website widget on their own. But with Bloom, it is simple and fun. Click the banner above for instruction on how to do it!
Are you ready to improve your restaurant’s reputation by automatically building positive online reviews and using social proof?
The answer is simple. Show your positive online reviews to your customers and potential customers.
Discover Bloom Intelligence
Using rating schema, you can get your average ratings to appear under your Google result when someone searches for your business online and increase the visibility of your restaurant online.
Likewise, creating a website widget that will display your real-time aggregate Google, Facebook, and Bloom ratings will showcase your positive ratings, and improve your reputation, helping you drive new customers into your restaurants.
Call us or schedule a free demo online and Bloom will show you how our WiFi marketing automation & customer intelligence platform can help you save time and increase your customer lifetime values by automatically building first-party customer databases, unlocking important customer insights to trigger marketing at the right time and place to build positive online reviews, showcase your positive ratings, save at-risk customers, increase your current customers’ frequency, and find new customers.