Before going on a trip, it is common practice to check online reviews of hotels. Travelers want a better idea about what to expect from a hotel before actually booking a room. A common place to check hotel reviews is TripAdvisor, one of the world’s largest travel websites with over 200 million people visiting the site each month. TripAdvisor alone has over 100 million reviews according to its site. Hotel owners should not see TripAdvisor as merely a place for customers to leave reviews but instead, take advantage of the fact that TripAdvisor allows business accounts. With a business account hotels can better manage their online reputation. If you do not currently have a TripAdvisor business account, follow the steps below to get started.
1) Register for a Business Account
Before getting started, you first need to claim your hotel on TripAdvisor. Click on this page and enter the name and city of your hotel. Select the hotel then click on the “Register for this business” button. You can choose to sign up with either your hotel’s Facebook page or the standard way via your email address. TripAdvisor may choose to verify the account by contacting your hotel by phone.
2) Update Hotel Details
Now that you have registered for a business account, it is important to make sure that all details regarding the hotel are listed and correct. Details that may be listed about your hotel include amenities, the address, contact email address, phone number, website, special offers, and number of rooms as well as a small description. Double check to make sure details do not contain errors so guests inquiring about your hotel will have the right information to make an informed decision.
3) Upload Photos
This can very easily be the first time a potential customer will catch a glimpse of your hotel. You want to be sure your property is being represented properly with professional images that truly showcase the hotel. Remove any dated or unflattering images. TripAdvisor allows the hotel to choose a cover photo, so be sure to select a great image that will be the forefront of your page. Photos should give potential guests a good idea of what the hotel is really like, so be sure to upload images of hotel rooms, the lobby, facilities, and any other areas of your hotel along with descriptive captions for each photo. TripAdvisor users are allowed to vote on the photos, so do not try to be deceptive and only post actual photos of your hotel.
4) Respond to Guest Reviews
This is the most important reason for creating a business account for your hotel. When responding to reviews, never use a single stock response. Instead, personalize each message and direct it to the individual situation. This could very well be your last chance to remedy a problem or complaint. Remain professional in all responses and remember that your message will be available for millions of viewers to see in the future. It is also a good idea to thank guests who leave stellar comments about your hotel and invite them to visit again.
5) Track Your Performance
A great feature that TripAdvisor offers hotel owners is a free analytics tool. Through the analytics tab, hotel owners can view:
- Status at a glance: Total reviews, current popularity ranking and TripAdvisor rating
- Reviews and comments summary: Latest review activity and top comments from reviews
- Photos metrics: Total number of traveler and business-submitted photos, photos in the last 30 days and the number of visitors viewing photos
- Most viewed competitors: A list of competitors most viewed by the same people who view the business’s page
- Top visitor locations: A breakdown of the countries generating the most number of visitors to the business’s page
TripAdvisor lists these free features on its site that are available to all business accounts. Businesses who subscribe to the Business Listings feature will also be able to view trend graphs, performance metrics, and top special offers by click-through.
Marketing for independent hotels requires monetary investment. If your hotel is not managing its online reputation, money you have spent to market your hotel could easily be put to waste. Take the first step in managing your hotel’s online reputation today.