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Review Management: the Front Desk of your Online Equity

Reviews can be one of the most powerful means for hotels to connect with guests, build brand loyalty, and drive brand message online. Moreover, they are a great way of driving fresh, new content about your property. Review channels offer a conversational platform to interact, resolve, and engage in any conversation that may be going on around your brand, whether positive or negative. Given both the SEO and guest-facing value of reviews, it is becoming increasingly important to drive new reviews and manage your online reputation.

Guest value of user-generated content: The ability to read and write reviews is beneficial for both potential and existing guests of your hotel, as follows:

  • Potential guests: According to a study by the Opinion Research Corporation (ORC), 80% of travelers research the venue prior to booking; furthermore, 84% of Americans say that online reviews heavily influence their purchase decisions. Make sure the reviews that are out there are making a good impression!
     
  • Existing guests: For those guests that have already visited your hotel and seek to speak their experience, whether good or bad, online reviews are a frequented outlet. By leaving reviews, they are providing you with the opportunity to 1) thank them for their visit and encourage a repeat customer; 2) identify the strengths and unique selling points of the property; 3) correct or address any concerns that they may had with their stay; and 4) build trust for other potential visitors.
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SEO value of reviews:   With the ongoing convergence of user-generated content on social channels and search, users are no longer only using one method to find your property. The number of reviews you have on Google Places, the rating, and frequency of those reviews are correlated with the visibility of your listing according to research and local search ranking factors.

Furthermore, any additional activity generated around your property’s web equity, both on and off-page, can contribute to the freshness quotient and relevancy of your listing. In a nutshell, it’s worth it.

Brand value of reviews and responding to reviews: By ensuring that you are interjecting yourself in any conversation that may be generated around your brand, you can be sure to have a hand in driving its developing image and message. You are acting as the representative for your brand and hotel by responding and creating conversations with users that have taken the time to reach out – take advantage of this opportunity.

How do you drive and manage reviews? While it may seem simple, there is no better way to drive new reviews than to present an opportunity to leave reviews, and ask for them. Check out the step by step infographic for increasing reviews:

tips for increasing guest reviews

(For more information about how to generate new reviews, read Tips for Increasing Guest Reviews for your Hotel)

How to manage reviews: Given the variety of channels and frequency with which reviews are left, monitoring and gathering user-generated content across the web can prove to be cumbersome. With the recent release of eBuzz Connect 3.0, Milestone Internet Marketing’s social media and reviews monitoring solution, this challenge is addressed head-on. While rating systems can quantify a positive, neutral, or negative association with a review, the deeper sentiment of a review can often be ignored by alternative ORM tools. Ebuzz Connect crawls content for meaning, and analyzes it to then be integrated into brand strategies that facilitate innovative sales, operations, and marketing insights.  To find out more about eBuzz Connect 3.0, visit www.ebuzzconnect.com.

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Contributed by Brittany Bingham, Social Media Manager

Sources:

  • http://www.davidmihm.com/local-search-ranking-factors.shtml
  • http://blog.milestoneinternet.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/Tips-for-Increasing-Guest-Reviews-by-Milestone-Internet-Marketing-Final.jpg

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