Running a hotel is not a walk in the park! Things can get pretty rough when you are clouded by multiple moving parts: from managing the bar, customer service, and online presence. Get a few things wrong and in the blink of an eye, your online reputation is damaged. Furthermore, the current digital era affords travelers the opportunity of spreading opinions about your property, whether negative or positive, throughout multiple online platforms such as social media and review websites, to which potential guests from across the world can approach.
If you have a great online reputation, try to maintain it. If for different reasons, you’re plagued with reputation issues, then put yourself on the highway to recovery by following these 5 useful tips.
1) Identify the problem
To repair your online reputation, your first step should be identifying the source of the problem. You’re now conversant with the fact that travelers have a negative perception towards your property. Take a step back, dig deep, and identify the problem source if you want to make any substantial improvements.
Here are a few questions you can ask yourself to help you identify what’s tarnishing your online reputation:
- Is it a recent problem or one that has been creeping up over the years?
- Have my guests provided feedback regarding the problem before?
- What might be the real source of the problem? Employees? Accommodations? Food? False promises to guests who reserve with us?
- How frequently do I engage with online reviews?
Dig deep and try finding honest answers. This will help you develop a relevant plan tailored to a specific problem.
2) Stay active across relevant social media platforms
While your hotel is physical in itself, its reputation and overall image is digital. How do you capitalise on that? By actively showcasing your brand, its intent, relations with customers and much more, across all your social media platforms.
Social media can help you reach your community of followers and target audience, and you should be consistent in constantly updating them on what’s going on in your property. Use your different profiles to guarantee guests that your property is safe and how it stands out against competitors in your area.
We recommend posting more videos to boost your engagement rates with your audience. Short videos are increasingly becoming more popular than images and blog posts. In fact, studies show that viewers can retain up to 95% of the message after watching a video and take appropriate action like visiting your website.
3) Search Engine Optimization
Optimise your hotel’s website for SEO purposes. This is extremely important in reputation management. The higher your rank, the better the chances of your website being found. Furthermore, given that a majority of online experiences usually begin with search engines, it is in the best interests of your hotel that the website stands out.
Side note: We design beautiful SEO-friendly websites that not only help your hotel stand out against competition, but also inspire guests to book with you.
Now, back to tips on online reputation repair!
4) Get those positive reviews
Online reviews speak louder about your online reputation than traditional expert opinions that were common before the age of the internet. Now, social media platforms and booking sites like Yelp, Expedia, and TripAdvisor have made it increasingly easy for travelers to rate their stay in your property and leave a comment regarding your services. In fact, a study by TripAdvisor found that 93% of travelers refer to online reviews before determining whether to book with a hotel or not.
So how do you get those much needed positive reviews? By investing in your hotel’s online presence in popular review sites like TripAdvisor and Google reviews. This indicates to potential guests that you are one of the top-notch hotels. Likewise, let your satisfied guests know just how important positive reviews are to you. You can send follow-up emails or encourage employees to ask guests for reviews. Make sure that you do not overstep!
Do not ignore the negative comments and reviews. A prompt and friendly response will let your unsatisfied guests and target audience know that your brand values them and their opinions.
5) Engage with your audience
Another crucial step towards your online reputation repair is engaging in real-time with your audience. To strengthen your brand loyalty that will ultimately lead to referrals, bookings, and repeat stays, you need to engage and build a healthy relationship with guests. Achieve this best by engaging in online activities that trigger authentic communication and interactions such as hosting Twitter Q&A or going live on Facebook, Instagram or TikTok to answer questions.
If you are able to, create an online team that will be available to guests 24/7 to answer all their burning questions. Alternatively, you can also add a live chatbot on your website that provides instant answers and customer service. In fact, businesses indicate that live chats have had positive effects on their revenue, sales, and consumer loyalty.
Your damaged online reputation cannot be resurrected overnight. With these five tips and consistency however, it will gradually happen. Don’t give up if you’ve found yourself in this situation. And if you manage to repair your reputation, ensure that you continue to closely monitor it, while striving to make your guests’ experience better.