The perception of your company and industry as a whole is the primary driver of purchase behavior for consumers. Learn how to shape those perceptions and grow your business.
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!
Your business created a Facebook page months -- or even years ago -- and no one is actively managing it. Does that mean you’re "on social media?" Not really. The key to a social media presence is just that - being social. The Sandwich Board Approach to social media (where you create an account for everyone to see but do not use it) is worse than no presence at all. It gives the impression that your business does not understand marketing in 2018. A true social media presence is one that is consistently active and relevant. It is a continuous process of refinement to find, keep and engage your target audience.
Here are five pieces of advice for making the most of your social media presence:
Consider your target audience. What do the demographics look like? Who is your customer? Each social media platform has its own demographic. With over 2.2 billion monthly users, it’s hard to go wrong with a Facebook page for your business, but there may be other platforms to consider. There is no need to create a presence on every social media platform. Instead, focus on the best fit for your brand message. Quality, not quantity, is key.
Set goals and use social media analytics to measure and refine them. Once established, focus your efforts on using social media to converse with your customers. If your goal is to make sales, making every post a 'sales-pitch' post is a sure way to drive people away. It’s okay to sell your product once in awhile, but your social media presence should be much deeper and much more thoughtful than that. Brainstorm content your audience finds valuable. What are the best ways to share this content?
A successful social media presence is a time-consuming activity. You cannot just create a presence and leave. In many cases, that actually turns people off when they visit your page and see outdated information. Once you begin posting, stick with it. Each platform has an average number of posts that work best. For example, posting at least 3 times per week, but no more than 10 times per week on Facebook is recommended. On Twitter, surveys show many successful businesses tweet a minimum of 5 times per day, with many tweeting at least 10-20 per day. Whatever posting schedule you decide works best for your business, remember a well-planned digital advertising strategy must go along with your social strategy.
Listen and engage
Once you begin posting, you’ll want to make sure you are listening to what your fans/customers are saying, and responding. It’s called social media for a reason. Create content that is engaging to earn genuine rapport with your fans/followers. Respond to questions and comments as soon as you can, and have a genuine response. Businesses that take good care of their fans online are often recognized with shout-outs from the happy guests…and we all know word-of-mouth advertising is a huge win, even on social.
Analyze & Adjust
Once you try a few different types of posts, you should analyze which ones worked better than others. What days/times drew more engagement? Which posts were shared more than others? With the help of various social media reporting software, you will be able to clearly see what elements it takes to create a successful post -- and then repeat your formula.
Social Media Presence
This is just the tip of the social media iceberg, but the key takeaway is that social media is a commitment that takes on-going management, and more importantly, timely engagement from your business. At Thin Pig Media, we collaborate with each of our clients and then manage the entire process in order to ensure a rich, cohesive social media strategy.
Let us know if you have any questions. Tweet us @ThinPigMedia.
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:
Ulta Beauty frequently uses Boomerang to show off new product releases and makeup tutorials:
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.
Many of us use reactions to express how we feel about a certain post or ad in our Facebook feed, when texting our friends, posting on Instagram, or even when we send a Snap to our friends. Since Facebook Reactions were first introduced eight years ago with the thumbs up ‘Like’ button that later expanded with the ‘Haha’, ‘Love’, ‘Sad’, ‘Wow’ and ‘Angry’ buttons, these little icons have fast become a permanent fixture in the way we communicate on social media. In fact, it seems we have so many bottled up emotions to share that since Facebook first launched Reactions, we have used them over 300 billion times, totaling a whopping 800 million uses each day!
The Facebook algorithm determines what content users see in their feeds at any given time. However, understanding Facebook’s algorithm is a bit of a science. Fortunately, in the last few years, Facebook has begun sharing more about how their news feed algorithm works, what it favors over what it doesn’t, and what it means for brands. Speculation by users finally got Facebook to admit that using Reactions impacts the way a user’s news feed looks. Furthermore, Facebook’s algorithm seems to focus more on the ‘Love’, ‘Sad’, ‘Angry’ and ‘Haha’ Reactions over the ‘Like’ button, allowing these little icons to decide what will appear in a user’s feed.
Although Facebook says all Reactions are currently looked upon equally, the ‘Love’ Reaction makes up more than half the Reactions shared. So how can brands use Reactions to their advantage? Through Facebook’s Reactions algorithm we have learned that women use Reactions more often than men, Wednesday is the most popular day for sending reactions, and that people are more likely to use 'Wow' for GIFs, shares, images and videos.
While Facebook continues to work on its algorithm, one way for a brand to ensure social success is to listen and respond to users’ reactions. After all, Reactions on Facebook are probably the best way to analyze your users’ sentiment. Good luck harvesting success using Facebook Reactions, and don’t forget we are only a call away should you require help managing your social community.