Social Media, Online Hotel Reviews and Reputation management
In recent years there has been a plethora of articles and communication strategy workshops highlighting a hotel’s need of having a social media presence and how a Facebook page or tweeting can lead to converting online followers into brand ambassadors. But the influence of online travel review websites is not discussed enough.
There are millions of hotel reviews on popular websites like TripAdvisor and Yelp. Therefore what the customers are saying about a hotel on such websites is a matter of significant value to hotel management.
According to Warren Marr, PWC’s managing director of hospitality and leisure for a prospective leisure traveler online review websites have greater importance compared to social media outlets like Facebook. Business travelers will mostly book through their company’s travel website. However research has indicated that once travelers have collected information and shortlisted lodging options they will make the final decision after consulting online reviews. This applies to all travelers, business and leisure.
So what should be hotel management’s response to this?
Brain Payea, the head of industry relations at TripAdvisor says that now it is almost mandatory to manage and optimize what is being said about ones hotel. Online reputation management is now a big part of one’s overall reputation and the hotel’s brand image is determined by what its guests are saying about the hotel.
After hotel management decides to manage their reputation on review websites they need to develop an action plan. There is a formal process of hotel reputation management. The first step is monitoring and second response. If these two are done properly a hotel can gain an edge on its competition.
Important of management response
While a good number of hotel reviews keep your hotel in the limelight, management responses to negative reviews are also very important. Surveys have revealed that the tone and number of management responses are valued highly by prospective hotel guests.