Social Media

Tips for Successful Hotel Review Management Responses

As an agency managing the online presence for many hotels, we know that social media networks aren’t the only places where businesses can shine online. In fact, hotels are fortunate enough to have additional sites like TripAdvisor, Expedia, hotels.com, etc., where potential guests can read what others say about the property and gauge whether or not it’s the right hotel for them. Hotels can certainly benefit from being active members on review sites by responding to guest reviews.

Barbara Messing, chief marketing officer, TripAdvisor says, "There is no denying that reviews are a powerful and a significant part of the travel planning experience...not only are travelers referencing reviews before they book, they are clearly more highly engaged by businesses that respond to reviews.” In fact, according to PhoCusWright, 77% of global respondents usually or always reference TripAdvisor reviews before selecting a hotel.

While many hotels understand the importance of responding to guest reviews, many do not understand exactly how to respond. Many times, they get nervous that their responses may actually work against them and push potential guests away, or that it's not worth the amount of time it takes. What we have found is that guests want to see management responses. They want to know that the hotel cares enough to read reviews and respond. And with the following recommendations, your hotel will be on the path to review management success!

  • Be genuine yet professional, while still maintaining the tone of your property. Responses should not sound like copy and pasted scripts. Instead, really take the time to read and understand from where each guest is coming.
  • Stick to the facts. Don’t get too emotional, and when responding to a negative review, don’t get aggressive or angry. Try to stick to the fact of the matter while still being constructive and getting to the bottom of the guest’s dissatisfaction. 
  • Respond in a timely manner. Depending on the number of reviews your hotel receives, daily or weekly response times will be appropriate.
  • Treat each review as a learning opportunity. In most cases, the past guest is giving their honest feedback regarding their stay. Learn from their experience. If you see the same complaint frequently, do something about it on-site. The more improvements you make based on the reviews you receive, the less you’ll see these constructive/negative reviews.
  • There is no need to respond to every review. In fact, a recent Cornell University study found that "responding to some reviews may be beneficial, but perhaps that impact decreases as hotels start to respond to all reviews.” A good rule-of-thumb is to respond to all 1, 2, and 3 star reviews, and 50-75% of 4 and 5 star reviews.

Remember when you respond, you’re not just responding to the guest who wrote the review. Anyone who is looking at your hotel reviews will likely scan the review and your response. These stats from PhoCusWright were especially informative when remembering this recommendation:  

  • 87% of users agree that an appropriate management response to a bad review "improves my impression of the hotel.”        

  • 70% of users agree that an aggressive/defensive management response to a bad review "makes me less likely to book that hotel" 

  • 62% of users agree that seeing hotel management responses to reviews generally "makes me more likely to book it" (versus a comparable hotel that didn't respond to travelers.)

Lastly, if you are responding, and plan to take action, be sure you thank the reviewer and let him/her know that you will be investigating, or taking some action based on their review. Not only will this be a positive mark for the guest to read, but also other readers.

 If you are looking to partner with an agency and have experts manage your review management, don’t hesitate to contact us

The Day That Brought Us Online Together

I was 16 when it happened. Barely a senior in high school. Most kids didn’t have their own cell phone yet. Social media didn't yet exist. The digital languages that would help our country cope, grieve, and grow together had not yet been invented.

Millennials were supposed to be defined by January 1, 2000. But to us, that was mostly a dud. Instead, a year and a half later, we found ourselves united by a common challenge:

Learning how to inherit and lead a post-9/11 America.

The last 16 years have included their fair share of troubles and hardships, but they’ve also given us new beacons, new ways of communicating, and new tools to bring us closer together. Social media was largely invented by Millennials who came of age in a post-9/11 national environment. The old ways weren’t enough for us; we wanted to connect to everything and everyone that we could.

The advent of social media
was our generation’s official response to 9/11

Some say the rise of networks like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram was inevitable; that these were simply the next steps in our inevitable technological evolution. But today, looking back at 2001, almost exactly half my life ago, I see bigger dots on the map, and the strings that connect them.

Patriotism wasn’t enough for Millennials. We joined our fellow Americans as they stood with solidarity in the face of terror. But we needed more—we needed nothing short of a societal breakthrough.

In 2004, Facebook came to colleges around the country. No one seemed to realize it at the time, but the advent of social media was our generation’s official response to 9/11. In a world threatened by those who would tear us apart, Millennials chose instead to build networks, communities, and limitless connections. And that building happened faster than anyone could have anticipated. Despite the institutional voices telling us not to trust certain kinds of people, we ventured outside our own comfort zones every day to discover the abundant diversity of faces, stories, values, and expressions in our world.

Now, in 2017, it’s becoming clear just how many people in America—and elsewhere—are committed to a culture of curiosity and connection. Social media hasn’t just given us memes and selfies. It’s given our world’s citizens a base level feeling of inclusivity. It’s a place where everyone belongs.

And it’s not just personal users who have quickly evolved to be more accepting of others. Brands have joined in over the years, and are now in many ways leading the charge.

Here at Thin Pig we’re lucky enough to work with businesses like Hyatt, whose #WorldOfUnderstanding campaign truly understands the importance of inclusion (watch their awesome Super Bowl commercial below). They show us the benefits we all experience when we embrace our common humanity, regardless of borders or backgrounds. They create a real sense of interdependence, a dynamic in which we all truly depend on each other in both large and small ways.

Now, thanks to social media, those values have been forged into American history, and our potential to create the peaceful future we want grows stronger every day.

Today we honor all those we lost, all those who have kept us safe, and all those who will soon join our social network.

A post shared by Hyatt (@hyatt) on

Boomerang: 1-Second Video Loops Everyone Loves

What is Boomerang?

Boomerang is an Instagram app that allows you to create mini videos that continually loop back and forth (much like the toy “boomerang” itself.) The app essentially takes a quick burst of photographs and combines them together to make a soundless, 1-second video. It’s a fun and unique way to add something a little “extra” to your videos.

Why it’s great:

One word: simplicity. Anyone who’s used Boomerang before will tell you that it’s one of the simplest apps to use! Once the app is open, you only have to hold down one button to capture your mini video. The content of the video doesn’t need to be complex either, as you only have a brief moment to capture the subject in action.

Boomerang for your business:

Businesses can take advantage of Boomerang to showcase their products, services, and culture in a unique way. Users are more likely to engage with, and remember a Boomerang post more than they will a normal video. This is due to the quick succession and aesthetically pleasing way in which information is relayed.

For example, IKEA used a Boomerang to announce its new bicycle:

Vans captured its “free spirit” vibe with this Boomerang:

@leilahurst cutting loose like it's Friday. 📸 @jatecson #Regram from @vanssurf

A post shared by vans (@vans) on

Ulta Beauty frequently uses Boomerang to show off new product releases and makeup tutorials:

#Repost @lovemelisamichelle

A post shared by Ulta Beauty (@ultabeauty) on

Jus by Julie loves to promote a healthy lifestyle by featuring its employees eating its product:

Using the Boomerang app is simple, effective and engaging. With a video length so short, the possibilities of content are endless. Let your creative juices flow and spice up your Instagram posts with these mini videos.

Adobe Spark: Content Creation for Every Skill Level.

What better time of year to talk about one of my favorite (newer/revamped) products from Adobe, Adobe Spark, than on the 4th of July. It just seems fitting as I listen to all of the bottle rockets and roman candles being fired off by the neighborhood kids. No, Adobe Spark won’t blowup or light your neighbors overgrown lawn on fire, but it will help you put on quite a show for your fans, followers and clients.

Adobe Spark is comprised of a suite of apps which allow users to create social graphics, animated videos, and web stories. According to TechCrunch, “the Spark collection is effectively an upgrade and rebranding of a trio of apps Adobe already operated – its Adobe Post App became Spark Post, Adobe Slate became Spark Page; and Adobe Voice became Spark Video”. Along with the apps, Adobe also released a web version which allows its users to access the apps using their browser. Long story short, Adobe Spark lets your average, everyday user create stunning visuals and content without having to take a 2-year training course.

 

Spark Post

Spark Post allows users to create graphics for social channels in a quick and efficient way. It offers multiple professionally-designed templates, various themes, the ability to place and edit text, as well as an auto resize feature that adjusts your images automatically for different social channels. Once you’ve got everything looking extra pretty, save your image and upload for your fans and followers to enjoy.

Spark Page

Spark Page allows users to layout their favorite photos and information in a creative and unique way and share them with the world. Think of it as your own simplified web page. Users can upload photos from their own devices, cloud storage or use stock photography. You can then add motion or text to make a fun and informational viewing experience. Spark Page works great for showcasing products, events or for sending out your weekly newsletter.

Spark Video

Last but not least is Spark Video – which allows users to create stunning videos in a matter of minutes. Choose from a wide variety of themes and layouts to create engaging content that is sure to capture the attention of your viewers. Users can stitch together photos, videos, and icons and then add text to clearly communicate their message. You can also add music from your personal library or Adobe’s stock library to give your video the full professional touch.

Do you need help with your social media? We’ve got a team of professionals ready to take your business or product to the next level. Drop us a line at http://thinpigmedia.com/contact-us/.

10 Easy Meditation Methods for Working Remotely

If you regularly work remotely, on the road, or from home, you know it comes with some sweet pros and some unexpected cons.

As remote professionals we put our heads into email, internet, social media, and digital marketing virtually every day. We're inundated with messages, requests, demands, and calls to action — almost always with increasing urgency.

When we work from home, we often don't get the mental relief and positive energy that come with in-person coworkers. When we work on the road, we don’t have friends and family to fill our cup after work. We structure our own tasks & schedules, which often requires more brainpower than having our workload structured and dictated by a supervisor.

Perhaps most glaring of all, we simply have a hard time turning OFF.

As a result of all these factors, remote pros are more prone than 9-5ers to feeling disorganized, stressed about their schedule, and mentally buzzy from digital saturation and personal isolation.

A consistent meditation practice helps all of this. It decreases mental chatter, stress, and anxiety. It increases energy, focus, and the ability to self-soothe. Your meditation practice is a way of cultivating inner peace, growing it in small pieces over time like a gardener tending to their plants each day.

Do you think there’s more potential to the efficiency and joy in your work/life balance?

Do you want to maximize your work time so you have more brain space for the rest of your life?

Do you feel out of balance or overwhelmed or stressed?

Hey, good news. Meditation is a perfect solution to these quandaries.

Virtually every major religion & spiritual practice encourages some kind of meditation, whether it's in the form of intentional silence, prayer, yoga, Tai Chi, or even the art of drinking tea. They're all slow, daily mindful practices which cultivate a deeper sense of presence, connection, calm, and vitality.

The main goal over consistent days and weeks is to ease your mind down from its nonstop thinking, which in turn increases your awareness of your own body, settling you into a relaxed state of flow.

You'll still be thinking, but not so loudly or quickly. That’s what’s so helpful for both maximizing your workday and being able to turn off when you’re done.

Many people never follow through on meditation, for a few common reasons: the misconception that it's attached to a philosophy or religion; personal discomfort sitting alone with your thoughts & feelings; having tried it for a few days but stopped before it got easier and the benefits became clear; or maybe you just don’t like hippies. No judgment!

These are totally valid opinions and experiences. And sure, there are other ways to get similar benefits. But the way I think about it, everyone can enjoy meditation. The only essential elements are breath and patience. Other than that, we just have to find the right methods and variations that work well for us. Here are just a few of the many methods and variations that can help you get started:

  1. Guided Meditations

  2. Vipassana Insight Meditation

  3. Kundalini Meditation

  4. Mantra Meditation

  5. Mindfulness Meditation

  6. Metta/Lovingkindness

  7. Visualization

  8. Object Focus

  9. Walking Meditation

  10. Meditating In Public

Do you have another method or style that has worked for you? Have any questions about meditation? Comment below!  

Photo by Isabell Winter