It’s lunchtime, you’re hungry and you spot two food trucks. Both are offering tacos that look similar at roughly the same price, but the difference is that one truck has a line and the other doesn’t.
Which do you choose?
If you’re like most people, you’ll follow the crowd and stand in line. This is because you’re assuming that the taco truck with the line offers better food than the one without one.
This is an example of social proof, a concept in which people conform to the actions of the masses. The assumption is that since so many other people are taking a certain action, it must be the correct choice.
Although the example above is an IRL (In Real Life) scenario, social proof can be just as powerful — possibly even more so — when it comes to digital marketing. By presenting your apartment community as a highly desirable place to live, you’re instilling confidence in prospective renters that if they choose your community, they’ll be making the right decision.
Read on to learn how to use social proof to your advantage in apartment marketing.
Types of social proof
Robert Cialdini, PhD. is credited with popularizing this concept with his 2006 bestseller, Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion. He identified six types of social proof:
- Expert – When an expert in a particular industry recommends a certain product or brand.
- Celebrity – When a celebrity endorses a product.
- User – When current users of a product recommend it to others.
- Wisdom of the crowd – When a large group of people recommend or endorse your product.
- Wisdom of your friends – When members of a social group use and recommend a certain product to their circle.
- Certification – When an authoritative figure in your industry gives your product its stamp of approval.
The social proof of other users — that is, residents of your apartment community — is not the only type that you can use in your marketing, but it’s arguably the most valuable.
Here are some ideas for using social proof in marketing your apartment community:
How to use social proof in apartment marketing
There are plenty of ways you can use social proof in your apartment marketing efforts, and they all stem from the idea that if current (and even former) residents are happy with your apartment community, others will be, too.
When looking for a new hair salon, are you more likely to make an appointment with one that has dozens of positive reviews, or one that doesn’t have any at all? Online reviews have a huge impact on which company gets your business. In fact, a 2018 study by BrightLocal found that 91 percent of consumers ages 18-34 trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations.
Using positive reviews in your apartment marketing efforts can be an effective way to enlist the power of social proof. One way to do this is to share positive reviews that your community receives. Respage makes it easy to do this through our Review Widget, which allows positive reviews about your apartment community to appear on the apartment website.
Social media following
Although your number of social media followers isn’t a true measure of success, follower count can be considered a form of social proof. An apartment community with an impressive number of followers could send a message that the property is established, people who live there are engaged, and residents who move out are still interested in seeing what’s happening at their old stomping grounds.
The bottom line when it comes to follower count as it relates to social proof is that people feel safer making an important decision when they see that others have done so.
More and more apartment communities are finding ways to use influencer marketing as a social proof. At its core, influencer marketing brings together old and modern marketing tools, combining the tried-and-true approach of celebrity endorsements with content-driven marketing campaigns.
But these endorsements aren’t coming from celebrities, they’re coming from so-called micro-influencers who have a social media following of 1,000 to 50,000. And unlike famous people, micro-influencers build relationships with their followers through engagement and, in turn, they build trust. If you find that an influencer lives in your apartment community, reach out and see if they’d be interested in partnering with you to promote your community.
Awards and recognition
These are strong forms of social proof because it’s not just you saying your apartment community is a great place to live. It’s a third party giving their stamp of approval.
Has your community or any of your employees won a National Apartment Association Excellence Award? Is your community certified as energy efficient, or has it been recognized for its green design and operational practices by, for example, EnegryStar or LEED? Adding the awards to your site can help to build trust.
Use social proof to your advantage
It’s clear that social proof is an important factor to consider when marketing your apartment community. If you need help in doing so, or if you would like to see a demo of our new Review Widget, contact Respage!