Once upon a time, travelers flipped through the Yellow Pages to find accommodations, and reviews were passed through word of mouth. Today, however, strangers from opposite sides of the country — or world — can share information with the stroke of a key, influencing how your property is viewed. This makes management of your reputation more important than ever before.
- Social Media Content
Social media has changed the marketing game. It is no longer you, alone, who shares content regarding your property or to bring people to your page; your followers now can share that positive content as well as negative information that they come across. Social media does not have to be intimidating if you approach it as a tool to help you improve and polish your image.
- Personal Reviews Trump Marketing Materials
Four out of five people report that they are swayed based on the personal reviews that they find online. Just a couple bad reviews have been shown to strongly deter over two thirds of potential guests from booking with that particular hotel. On the flip side, however, if the majority of the reviews are of a positive nature, they are more apt to book immediately. Keep in mind that creating faux reviews does you no favors. Consumers can often identify fraudulent input and tend to be influenced against the intended response when a review comes off as less than authentic.
- Management Response
Do not disregard the opportunity offered to you by responding to reviews. Over 70 percent of customers say that seeing a response from the management to a negative review does, in fact, reassure them, increasing the chances of booking at that hotel. Responding to positive reviews is also beneficial. Nearly 80 percent reported being affected by those responses when researching properties, holding the hotel in higher regard. Keep in mind the tone that you use in your response as it can greatly affect the way your message is absorbed.
- Reach for the Stars
Those little stars are more than decoration for the rapid researcher. When a potential client begins looking at properties, having a positive star rating can make a great first impression as well as capture the attention of those who are in a time crunch. If your star rating drops below the three or four out of five, it is time to make a big change to bring the ratings back up.
Keep on top of your reputation and build it by earning good reviews from guests. Have survey cards available in the rooms for them to turn in upon checkout and be sure to request reviews if they enjoyed their stay. Engage with both past and potential customers and pay attention to feedback; you will be able to manage your reputation and keep your rooms booked.