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3 Ways to Manage Your Hotel’s Online Reputation

Don’t let negative hotel reviews send potential guests packing.

Before booking a hotel, I always search online for reviews, mainly those that aren’t posted on the hotel website such as reviews on TripAdvisor, Google and other online review sources.

I’ve changed my mind about my first hotel choice many times based on negative reviews, especially those that criticize room cleanliness, poor service or lack of safety measures on the hotel grounds. And plenty of other consumers feel the same way, usually scanning reviews for red flags that could forebode an unpleasant stay.

“Traveler reviews remain a go-to source of information, with 72 percent of respondents always or frequently reading reviews before making a decision on places to stay and eat, or things to do,” according to TripAdvisor.

“The figure is even higher when it comes to accommodation bookings, with four out of five participating travelers (81 percent) always or frequently reading reviews before booking a place to stay.”

When choosing between two comparable hotels, 79 percent of travelers say they’re more likely to book a hotel with higher ratings. More than half (52 percent) say they would “never” book a hotel that has no existing online reviews, says TripAdvisor.

“The significance of online reviews has increased over time and is going to amplify soon,” according to hotel technology platform GuestTouch.

“Nowadays, hoteliers cannot really ignore the role of online reviews in the prospect of creating a brand image and widening of customer base, and thereby it directly correlates with changes in the revenue.”

Read on for three tips for managing your hotel’s online reputation.

1. Maintain a positive social media presence

“Social media is the place to showcase your brand visually and give your brand a voice when connecting directly with your followers,” according to event management and marketing company Cvent.

“With the overwhelming amount of content available on every social media channel, consistency is key to building and maintaining your community of planners and your target audience. Make sure you strike a tone that is on-brand and maintains it across platforms.”

Cvent also recommends highlighting in your brand’s social media profile positive aspects of your hotel such as adherence to health and safety guidelines.

“Your guests look to you as the expert on your hotel, so post updates on what’s going on in your area and how your property has adapted…Reply to comments — both negative and positive —  and provide answers to any questions as fast as you can.”

2. Respond positively to negative feedback

Bad reviews needn’t ruin your brand’s reputation if you respond to them appropriately, says hotel technology platform SiteMinder.

“To the contrary, less-than-glowing comments about your hotel represent a great opportunity to respond to customers and show off your commitment to a high level of quality service. In fact, savvy operators welcome the opportunity to respond to customers’ complaints (as well as praises) because it gives them a chance to shine.”

3. Remove fake reviews

If you determine that a review slamming your hotel is fake, act promptly to remove it by notifying the website where the review appears. To determine whether a review is fake, look at the reviewer’s online profile and read other reviews they’ve posted to check for a negative pattern.

“If a review is all positive or all negative, take a good look at what it says,” recommends reputation management expert Andy Beal. “Often, especially with consumer products, people will find pros and cons in just about anything. If the review is filled with nothing but glowing praise or complete hatred, it may be worth a closer look.”