Before I get to the topic of online reputation management for the hotel industry, I want to discuss what online reputation management is briefly. It is the management of one’s image on the web, it is a strategy on how to brand yourself. Given the vast expanse of the web and the numerous platforms on it, this can be a vague statement. Online reputation management encompasses but is not limited to reviews, feedback, comments, discussions, media coverage on the web and personal websites and blogs on a company or firm.
Now shifting gear back to online reputation management specifically for the hotel industry, online reputation management is important for hotels for a number of reasons. One of the standout reasons is that a hotel’s online reputation is directly tied to the number of bookings it receives. In other words, the reputation of the hotel will directly impact the profits of the establishment.
As you may have guessed, positive reviews will help bring in more business to an inn. Negative reviews will make it far less likely that someone will stay at a hotel. Positive reviews offers what is coined to be “social proof” of a hotel’s positive image and the experiences it offers to customers.
Take a look at some figures that show that online reputations do matter for hotels. Here are just a few examples. One study found that 65% of people use the internet to find out information about hotels and tourist sites for vacations. Furthermore, this is before people actually know the date of their vacation travel. Another study found that when a date has been set for a vacation, almost 75% use the internet as some point to plan their vacations. Another figures is that 38% of respondents to a survey said that numerous positive reviews make it much more likely that they would stay at an independently owned hotel.
The task of managing online reputations has been easier with the advent of software programs. This includes programs that can scan the net for reviews about a certain hotel. Other programs can pull out only negative or positive reviews so that you can respond to negative reviews first and then the positive ones.