Managing your hotel’s online reputation is no easy task. With so many factors-such as OTAs, social media channels, and third party review sites-contributing to how guests view you, staying on top of them all can be a challenge.
But it’s a challenge all hoteliers face. As TripAdvisor notes, 79% of their users will read at least 6-12 reviews before choosing their hotel, so you need to ensure you are crafting and cultivating your online reputation to capture guests as they search and book their travel. In order to help make the task a bit more manageable, we at Sojern have highlighted six steps you can take today to manage your hotel’s online reputation.
1. Reply to negative reviews.
Responding to negative reviews can have a huge impact on your hotel’s online reputation. In our eBook, Managing Guest Expectations in the Digital Age, we outline a three-pronged approach for doing just that:
Time is of the essence—respond within 48 hours of a review
Remember, they’re still a valued guest—be respectful and do your best to listen in an open and positive manner.
Reach out—if possible, take action and address the guest's complaint or concern.
Keep in mind; not all reviews need a response. According to one Cornell University study, responding to 40% of reviews is effective in helping your guests and your bottom line. Anything more has diminishing returns.
2. Get social with your guests.
With 67% of consumers admitting they use a company’s social media channel for customer service, you need to have a strong social presence. Monitor your social media channels, such as Facebook and Twitter, and use relevant hashtags to know when people are talking about you.
Want help getting social media savvy? Check out our on-demand webinar: Top 7 Tips to Make Social Media Work for Your Hotel.
3. Automate the work.
Set up Google Alerts for your property’s name, area, or keywords you know guests use to describe you. Then you get new comments about your property delivered straight to your email. This will save you loads of research time and lets you get straight to work resharing the good news or responding to anything negative.
4. Don’t go at it alone.
Companies like INNsight offer reputation management tools that can make managing your online reputation a breeze. What’s better, INNsight’s tool elicits feedback and reviews for your website, so that you can proactively build out your online reputation.
Sojern’s RevDirect™ product offers a risk-free model for driving direct bookings straight to your website. Nowhere, but on your own website, is your reputation set the clearest and strongest. Getting guests to book direct on your website is one of the best ways to manage your online reputation, as well as your bottom line.
Catlyn Origitano is Senior Content Marketing Manager at Sojern, a data-driven performance marketing company that works with top travel brands and independent hotels. With nearly a decade of social media and content marketing experience, Catlyn helps hoteliers and travel marketers improve their marketing efforts worldwide. Catlyn hails from Illinois and holds a PhD in Philosophy.