Hello everyone, I’m Josiah Mackenzie, publisher of HotelMarketingStrategies.com – which has become the web’s most-visited source of original hotel marketing stories – read by about 20,000 executives around the world. I spend a lot of time looking at the top technology trends, and this evening I’d like to give you a little overview of what hotels I work with have identified as the top trends in reputation management for hotels.
Interactions made public, and each interaction becomes a reflection of your brandCustomer complaints can be a great opportunity if we satisfactorily resolveBut you need to catch things quickly. Social media is real-time mediaFirst trend: Customer service is going public and is becoming the new marketing. This is because increasingly, our interactions are made public. The way your staff treats each interaction goes beyond just that one guest and can be seen by thousands of other people on social media. Extraordinary customer service is rewarded with viral word of mouth – and the flipside is true as well. The reality is that customer complaints and guest problems can become a great opportunity for us in that by delivering remarkable service when it’s needed most, we can create loyal customers. I’ve seen case after case of someone complaining on Twitter or another website, and with fast resolution of the problem by staff, the complaint was turned into praise for the company. The big thing is is you need to catch issues quickly. I wish we called social media real-time media, because the opportunities happen in real time. Make sure you have alerts systems setup so the right managers in your organization can be aware of things instantly, and delegate it to the appropriate person.
External responses important (most review websites allowing public responses)But the real opp is in internal responseDo you have procedures in placeMove social beyond abstract into something affecting day-to-day operations by creating department-specific reporting for each managerContinuing with the theme of “customer service is the new marketing” – review responses are increasingly important. Most review websites allow you to respond publically to any guest reveiew – positive or negative. But the real business opportunities lie in internal responses. What procedures do you run through for each positive and negative review? Do you have alerts setup and clear delegation and workflow systems in place? The best organizations are putting review responses at the foundation of their operations. They seek continual improvement by acting on the reviews of their guests and customers. After all, if you’re not going to act, listening is just a waste of time.We need to move social media and online reputation beyond an abstract concept into something that affects day-to-day operations. I encourage you to setup very specific reporting systems for each of your department managers that they can improve each area of your hotels’ operations.
What is influence scoring?ReviewPro is first toolInfluence is very helpful for PR and marketingWhen providing service, treat everyone well, but Klout gives us one more metric for referenceInfluence scoring – such as the metrics provided by Klout.com – give social media practioners a quick and easy look at what someone’s online influence is. It takes into consideration how many followers they have, how influential their followers are, how often their messages are passed along as retweets on Twitter or Facebook shares – among other things.ReviewPro is the first reputation and social media analytics tool to integrate influence scoring, so you have this functionality at your disposal. It can be extremely helpful when planning PR and marketing campaigns. When it comes to providing service, it’s a little controversial. I like to see it as just one more metric for decision making. Who on your staff should be involved in providing service? We need to provide consistently excellent service to everyone, since many influential people may have low social media influence scores, but wield high influence offline.
Google important, 90% beginReputation management – what do people find when they GoogleGoogle algorithm more social, one more reason to participateGoogle has long been a very important part of hotel marketing and reputation management. We know upwards of 90% of travel buying decisions begin with a Google search, so the websites that appear in the top results get a disproportionate Google has also begun to get a lot more social recently. They begun to display businesses with a lot of customer reviews near the top of rankings. Additionally, they just confirmed that activity on sites like Twitter and Facebook affects the ranking algorithm. So this ties back to what I said earlier – if you want to increase your direct website traffic, you need to start proactively building your presence in social media.
Semantic for sentimentUse to make marketing decisions on what to highlight in marketing, and what to minimize All about expectationsKimpton exampleOlivia Plaza breakfastSemantic analysis is technology that alllows you to understand the sentiment – or attitude – toward specific elements of your guest experience….such as is the breakfast, location, amenities, serviceYou can use it to decide what guests appreciate most about staying at your hotels – then highlight that in the rest of our marketing communication? Use it in your advertising. It also can be used to determine what guests do not like, and should be minimized in them promotional material. I recently heard an example of a hotel in the US that was receiving many negative reviews from guests surprised that they had to pay $40 to park their cars. The hotel then posted the car parking fee clearly on their website and even created a special promotional package around car parking. Because they disclosed this potential negative up front, guests arrived with the expectation of what the parking fee would be, and their online reputation dramatically improved. So it’s all about expectations. Another of ReviewPro’s clients in Barcelona was receiving negative comments about the breakfast they offered. They used the semantic analysis offered by ReviewPro to continually improve it until now they receive great reviews about their breakfast. So using semantic analysis to understand sentiment can improve your marketing and your operations.
Consumers trust other consumersUse social proof to increase direct salesEven better: publish a summary with Quality sealEver since social media began gaining popularity, executives have wondered how to best monetize it. What we’re seeing now is reviews might be the single most important factor in affecting a buyer’s decision.Research done by Neilsen and others indicate that consumers trust other consumers – which makes online reviews a powerful sales tool. If you’ve done a great job with reputation management, you can use the social proof provided by other reviews to increase your direct sales. Now, you could do this by just writing the guest review on your website, but and ReviewPro offers a tool that makes it But it’s even more powerful when guests see you publish the overall score of all reviews. Visitors will see you don’t just chose the best one. The ReviewPro Quality Seal is a little badge that can sit on your website and instantly show visitors what other visitors experienced. This can be great for increasing sales conversion rates on your website.
Social media is very diverseTracking just a few sites is a huge missed opportunityReviewPro tracks 70 million , etcetc so you can spend less time on data collection and more time serving guestsFinally, social media is exploding. It’s no longer enough to just be tracking just a few sites. I know hotels that only look at one or two travel review websites, and this is a huge missed opportunity. ReviewPro analyzes over 70 million reviews on over 60 websites in 8 languages. As Use a tool like ReviewPro that allows you to support guests and potential guests wherever they are – not just on a few sites that are easy for you. As social media becomes increasingly international, it’s important to engage with these emerging sites as well.
And that’s it! I’m collaborating with ReviewPro on creating a lot of educational material and research on these areas, so to download these guides for your staff, visit reviewpro.com/blog – and follow us on Twitter @reviewpro for new ideas each day. Thank you very much!
Trends in Hotel Online Reputation Management for 2011
Reputation Trends for Hotels<br />By Josiah Mackenzie<br />
Trend: Customer service goes public<br />(You’re not just serving one guest, you’re defining your brand)<br />
Trend: Review responses become important<br />(Both externally and internally)<br />
Trend: Influence scoring goes mainstream<br />(It provides one more reference point for decision making)<br />
Trend: Social search integrates closely with reputation<br />(Increasing links make social participation even more important)<br />
Trend: Semantic analysis for operations, marketing<br />(Using semantic analysis to understand sentiment can improve your efficiency)<br />
Trend: Reputation becomes a sales tool<br />(Leveraging insights and social proof)<br />
Trend: Going wherever your customers are<br />(It’s not enough to monitor a few sites)<br />
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