TripAdvisor held a webinar recently, which proved to be extremely beneficial to Hotel and Lodge owners. I’ve extracted the most pertinent information to summarize the impact and importance of Online Reputation Managemement.
Reputation management starts at the property – by the way you treat your guests, train and empower your staff and the consistent service that you offer. However, the digital world has revolutionized the way consumers are interacting with businesses and the hospitality industry has not been left behind. The Internet has made it possible for consumers to have access to a wide range of online resources to search for and compare hotels and lodges to make an informed decision.
What exactly is online reputation?
Online reputation is a Consumer’s perception of a business, as shaped by reviews, comments, imagery and other content shared online.
So, Online reputation management is:
The process of monitoring reviews and other online content and taking action to build a positive impression of your business
And, Total Reputation Management is:
Integrating reputation management principals and practices across your property and making it part of your daily operations and culture
Why is Reputation Management important?
As more travellers go online to research trips and share experiences, Online Reputation Management has become a critical function. Numerous studies have shown a direct relationship between the Online Reputation of hotels and their financial performance. A positive reputation generates more demand as travellers are 3.9 times more likely to choose a property with a higher hotel review score.
A positive reputation gives a hotel a higher pricing power as well as higher occupancy!
Online reputation management tools
Online reputation management tools include web monitoring systems (e.g. Google, Yahoo), review portals (TripAdvisor, Yelp) and social media management (Facebook, Twitter). Choose channels that are a good fit for your business and excel at those. Communicate your brand promise by posting and sharing relevant content across your chosen platforms. Update website content with relevant info that genuinely represents the experience that is on offer. Stand true to your value and be honest, but creative with the content posted and try to add a variety of images, videos, reviews, comments and awards.
Encourage guests to review their stay and engage with your property online by posting their own content and comments. Share feedback with staff and recognize them for positive reviews, and use negative criticism to improve on where your team is falling short. Responding to guest reviews is very important – whether positive or negative - as it shows sincerity and portrays a good impression of the property. Don't rant in a response to a negative review. Sleep on it, so the emotions have settled and you feel less angry about it in the morning. Always respond as a true hotelier!
What to look for in Monitoring & Evaluation:
We’ve selected Google, TripAdvisor and Facebook as examples of free external online reputation management tools for web monitoring, reviews and social media. Here’s what to look out for to understand if your online reputation management efforts are working:
Google – your property has increased in ranking (i.e. your website is listed on the first page of a Google search for keywords highlighting your service offering)
Trip Advisor – focus on scores and percentage ratings, as well as the ranking of your property within your region (e.g. #1 of 20 properties in Johannesburg CBD)
Facebook – compare reach of posts with previous posts (i.e. how many potential guests did we reach in the past 30 days)
Internal monitoring tools include:
Setting up alerts to notify you when a guest has reviewed your property or commented on a post so you may respond timeously
Guest surveys and comment cards are helpful to get direct feedback during or directly after a guest stays at your property.
How does TripAdvisors popularity ranking work?
These 3 elements must prove to be consistent over time in order to drive more visibility on TripAdvisor:
Quality – good reviews are better than poor reviews Quantity – more reviews are better than fewer reviews Recency – recent reviews are better than older reviews
There you have it - A quick guide on how to manage your online reputation. For more information, research and other best practices, please see the references and sources below.
References and sources: Source info: https://www.tripadvisor.com/TripAdvisorInsights Source Guide: The Ultimate Online Reputation Management Guide
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