regent marketing hotel online reputation management (1)

Online Reputation Management: 10 Tips For Hotels

Protect Your Hotel With A Solid Marketing Strategy

Regent hotel marketing guides (3)As a Hotel Manager, you’ve probably faced your fair share of reviews both lauding your hotel property and condemning it. Thanks to the internet, these reviews last forever which is why online reputation management for hotels is so essential.

With the right strategies you can minimise any slander against your hotel, promote your brand name in a good light and increase your bookings.

Unfortunately there are an entire range of options and channels that you have to employ and monitor – so we’ve tried to make it easy. Here are 10 tips for online reputation management for hotels.

What is Online Reputation Management?

Why is Online Reputation Management Important?

10 Tips To Manage Your Hotel’s Online Reputation

Our Final Word

What is Online Reputation Management?

The online reputation management of hotels is all about positive image, brand promotion and handling any online negative impact.

This extends across a vast range of digital channels such as social media, review sites and travel forums – essentially anywhere where your brand name is mentioned in both a good or a bad light.

Such as this example which is taken from a real hotel review found on TripAdvisor:

regent marketing trip advisor bad review

The strategies involved don’t always have to be technological however. For example, physical review cards left in rooms is a perfectly valid strategy to promote customer reviews which will eventually end up online.

Why is Online Reputation Management Important?

For hotels, your brand name has an enormous impact on the rate of direct bookings you receive. But even more impactful than that are the customer reviews posted online.

A TripAdvisor study from over 23,000 users highlighted some interesting results for hotels when it comes to online reputation management.

      • 81% of guests always check reviews before making a hotel reservation
      • 79% of guests, when faced with two identical properties, will choose the one with a better rating from customer reviews
      • 52% of guests will not make a booking at a hotel that has zero reviews

For boutique hotels, and other smaller independents this is fantastic news, as you can achieve a powerful reputation without the support of a large-scale chain at your back. It just takes a simple, strong system in order to exceed guest expectations, encourage good reviews, enhance the guest experience and drive up those bookings!

10 Tips to Manage Your Hotel’s Online Reputation

As we said before, the internet does not forget, but if you play your cards right, it can forgive. 

With these 10 tips, you can take control of your hotel’s online reputation and shape it into a way that promotes your hotel property. 

Regent hotel marketing guides (5)Protect Your Hotel Brand

Keep all of your branded accounts under the same title. Your channels should be unique, memorable and more importantly – unable to be confused with another. This is the first step to protecting your hotel brand as you want guests and potential guests to see all of your online reputation as one and the same.

On a side note – you may also consider purchasing similar domain names to yours in order to protect any confusion!

Respond to Reviews

Not just the negative ones either – if a guest has something nice to say about your property, then thank them for their input! Keep in mind that as they post positive reviews about their experiences with your hotel, they are actually providing you with free marketing!

Guests will often appreciate your input and happily return to hotels that go the extra mile to provide a personalised connection with their guests. Potential guests will also be interested by the care and attention you lavish on your existing guests.

Accept Criticismregent_marketing_hotel_reception_(2)

It is easy to get defensive – after all, sometimes there is no way to reason with a Karen. However, getting into online fights with previous guests or trolls will have an adverse effect on your online reputation management.

Instead, make the personal apologies and request another chance to meet their expectations. As long as your replies to negative reviews are respectful, it doesn’t matter if they accept your apology – but other potential guests will see and judge you on your replies.

Cover All Channels

More exposure means more work – but it also means a greater online presence. This means you need to cover your:

    • Social Media Channels
    • Rating Portals
    • Blog Comments
    • Wiki Pages
    • External articles that feature your hotel

Anywhere and everywhere that your hotel can, and is, mentioned should be a priority in order to enhance your hotel’s online reputation.

regent_marketing_hotel_receptionKeep Your Tone Consistent

Your language, structure and escalation should follow a similar example across your entire online profile. It helps build your credibility as a singular brand. 

While customers do appreciate direct responses from the General Manager of your hotel, they also need to know that they can depend upon the responses you provide. With predefined structures and language, you can maintain the right tone of voice with personalised alterations for each different case.

Stay in Touch Through the Guest Journey

The best way to resolve a problem is before it becomes a problem.

With pre-stay emails preparing personalised requests and some form of LiveChat integration during a guest’s stay, you can keep on top of any issues as (or even before) they arise.

For example, if there is a problem with something in the room, which review would sound better after the guest’s stay?

Option 1:

“Staff were friendly, helpful and immediately addressed my concerns with deep apologies. They held themselves accountable and recompensed me with an immediate discount and helped me enjoy my stay.”

Option 2:

“The problems with the room actively bothered me during my stay, staff hadn’t been bothered to sort it out before I turned up for my booking. Shoddy preparations led me to a below-average stay.”

One of these is an excellent example of online reputation management – the other is something that will deter any future guests from booking at your hotel.

Encourage Reviews In Follow Up Emails

When it come to your online reputation, especially in the hospitality industry, there is a wonderfully simple cycle that you can rely on:

More Reviews = More Bookings = More Reviews

Follow up each guest stay with emails that push them to review your hotel. Add in questions including what you can do better in your hotel’s preparations or day-to-day activity. Get some kind of online interaction with your guests after they’ve finished their stay and you can provide a personalised experience that will translate into their online reviews.

Maintain Customer Profiles

hotel marketing tips

With review management software that can integrate within your property management system, you can not only build an effective booking system, and outreach to previous guests, but also add notes to guest profiles.

This means that you can monitor returning guests and improve your service based on the guest’s previous feedback. Whatever they felt was missing, you can include it. If they didn’t feel welcome last time, upgrade them if you have the space. Maybe left glowing reviews of your hotel last time, so offer them a complimentary drink upon arrival.

All of those decisions are up to you according to your revenue management!

Set up Alerts

Responding to reviews is brilliant and you shouldn’t leave those guests waiting but you can’t always be double-checking your online channels at every moment of the day.

Luckily, you don’t always have to.

With tools such as Google Alerts or Mention.com you have easy access across the web and social media for mentions of your hotel property. Get instant notifications as soon as you are mentioned and reply to those guest reviews with lightning speed and attention!

Offer What Your Competition Can’t

Other hotels may be your biggest competition, but they are also your biggest helper as well.

With a bit of online research and scanning across multiple channels, you can identify the weaknesses of your competitors fairly easily. How did they leave guests unsatisfied? What are their weak points? Most importantly – how can you outperform them in this regard?

Final Tip For A Good Hotel Reputation 

Our last, but most vital tip is this:

Don’t be afraid to change!

Your marketing strategies and perhaps even your daily operations can and will be subject to changes. It’s natural to monitor and engage with different possibilities in order to maximise your hotel’s potential.

Whether it’s adapting an overbooking strategy, altering rate plans or keeping up to date with your Hotel SEO, your hotel will always have to tweak its approach to keep up with the times. If you’re curious about the latest updates within the hotel marketing industry, why don’t you get in touch with one of our specialists?

With a vast range of experience within the hotel industry, our digital marketing experts are here to help you with any questions you may have. So fill out our form today!

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