65% of TripAdvisor travelers are more likely to book a property that responds to traveler reviews than one that doesn’t.
In the post-social media revolution, online reviews and content matter. It isn’t enough to have high-quality customer service and friendly staff. If it is not included in the internet’s conversation, only a few will recognize its value. Hotels should invest in properly responding to online reviews and social media as it impacts occupancy with these tips from experts.
Understand the value of online reviews
Hotels should consider online reviews as much a part of the guest experience as check-in. As consumers increasingly spend more time online than interacting with neighbors and friends, online reviews are given the same credence as personal recommendations. They are also valued for presenting the truth of a property and may be the deciding factor in whether a viewer considers it for their next stay.
Online reviews are a good way to find areas of improvement and demonstrate stellar customer service. When a review, positive or negative, is posted, respond. A carefully handled situation can lead to an irate reviewer changing their review or being willing to dole out a second chance. Potential guests want to see quick and thoughtful action in real time. Detail how the changes were promptly made, which steps will be taken to avoid reoccurrences, and apologize if need be to smooth over hurts. If an experience was particularly damaging, take the conversation offline.
Don’t be discouraged if every review isn’t five stars; this actually works in your favor. A hotel that is too well-reviewed looks fake. It is nearly impossible to make everyone happy with each stay. With that in mind, guests want to see how situations are handled and the tone the staff takes when presented with a complaint. Respond to every review. Leave a simple thank you and a wish to see them again soon once you have directly addressed any issues.
Engage on social media
Another realm of the digital world is social media, which never stands still. New platforms pop up promising to be the next big thing only to fizzle a few months later. The only constant is engagement. Find out which networks guests prefer and go to them. Mature guests prefer Facebook, Gen X and Y like Instagram and Gen Z almost always uses SnapChat. Visit these sites and those of your competitors to see which content is engaging guests.
People turn to social media for an escape from the world. Keep content light and optimistic. Your website should still be doing the heavy lifting in terms of detailed information and logistics. The goal is to have guests book on the website and engage on platforms. Persuade them to interact with you by consistently posting every day with polished copy and curated visuals, such as a peek behind the scenes or profiles of employees. Content should be shareable to increase your organic reach. Be consistent with every aspect of your social media presence, even if the logo is not front and center. Fonts, tone and colors should be recognizable as part of the hotel’s brand. Tone and voice should be distinctive.
Boosted ads also add to your digital identity. These ads make targeting a simpler process and should be carefully constructed to increase the chances of likes and shares. Grow guests into brand ambassadors by sharing their comments and photos. Social media will return what you put into it, given the proper time to grow.
Guest Supply helps you stay on top of trends with insider tips and knowledge. Speak with one of our sales team members to explore how you can exceed the expectations of each guest.