Online reviews can make or break any business! These online reviews have become crucial for both the potential customers as well as business owners. An online review helps a potential customer to know and dig deeper the post-buying experiences before making a purchase or they can know more about your hotel via positive/negative reviews submitted online. It is also giving the business owners a good plausibility to establish and erect an excellent online reputation with lesser fuss. Just like everything else in the world, online reviews have its own advantages and it should be accumulated diligently so that a hotel business can thrive hassle freely.
Each review posted online by a customer is a form of advertising for your business. Your name and product are exposed to readers, increasing their awareness of who you are and what you do. Online reviews cover many more businesses than other media sources ever would - including many small businesses. They can provide the kind of mass exposure that you might never be able to afford through traditional marketing channels.
56 percent of consumers select a business if it has positive reviews/ratings in the local pack, says Sherry Bonelli. Ever since Google started showing those little stars in search engine results pages (SERPs), people started to take notice – consumers and business owners. Businesses began to ask themselves: Does my business have any online reviews? How many reviews are online about my company, products, services – or even my staff/team? What are my customers saying about us – is it good or bad? What is my company’s overall star rating on Google My Business, Yelp and other popular online review sites? All these makes a great sense in reputation management activities.
If you’ve ever bought anything online, you’ve encountered a typical online review. You might have found an aggregated “star” rating for a product you wanted to buy, or a poorly-spelled review about one user’s traumatic experience with it. Though customer reviews range in thoroughness and comprehensibility, they do hold a powerful effect on the behavior of your audience—and therefore, the performance of your brand.
The number of online consumers who read and trust online reviews is increasing. According to a survey by BrightLocal, 88 percent of consumers trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation—which is astounding, considering most online reviews are posted by total strangers. The same survey found that only 12 percent of the population did not regularly read reviews for consumer products. Saying all these, now let us see how to garner positive reviews on digital platforms (including Yelp, Facebook, and Google) for your hotel in myriads of different and unique ways.
General Ways for attaining better and positive reviews
1. Start an email campaign: An email campaign is a fantastic way to get customers to review your products, and it’s a tactic used by companies such as Nike and Apple. Asking people to review your product or business via email is relatively inexpensive and easy to automate. For example, hotels like The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas asks their guests to review about their stay and experience immediately after their stay on various digital media.
2. Ask happy customers to fill out an NPS survey: If you have data on how happy your customers are, use it to your advantage. Asking happy customers to review your company usually leads to positive reviews. An net promoter score survey asks customers how likely they are to recommend your company to a friend on a scale of one to ten. You can push promoters (users who gives you a nine or a ten) to review your company.
3. Initiate a remarketing campaign: Consider running an ad on Google/Facebook specifically asking for reviews. But instead of targeting everyone, you want to only target people who are on your email list. This consists of uploading customer email addresses to Google or Facebook so these companies can serve ads to your customers only. People are used to seeing ads from companies they don’t know, so a message from a business they trust will be a breath of fresh air. While using paid methods to collect reviews is more expensive than other channels, retargeting is generally much cheaper than other methods of online advertising.
4. Good things come to those who REVIEW: Giving people a reward for their valuable review will help you get more reviews. You can test out how well your customers respond to different rewards, from vouchers to cupcakes and more. This tactic doesn’t have to cost the earth, you see! A simple reward such as offering the first ten people who review you a $10 Amazon gift card will boost the number of positive reviews you gain (and costs just $100). Also, you could also partner with a nonprofit organization and donate money each time someone leaves a review of your product.
Ways to get more reviews on social media
5. Make sure your REVIEWS tab is activated: If you get on Facebook and visit the Pages of a few of your favorite business, you may notice that you can’t leave a review for some of them because they don’t have it activated. Many businesses don’t even realize that they have this feature turned off. To active reviews, click on your Page’s settings. Once in the settings, scroll down in the General section to where it says “Reviews” and turn them on.
6. Revert back to all reviews: Responding to all reviews, believe it or not, will actually get you more of them. Users will see this interaction as you valuing the time they took to leave the review for you—and you should, because it can significantly help your business. Respond to as many reviews as possible, even if you’re just liking star-only reviews without comments. And always, always thank the customer in person when possible.
7. Don’t forget to verify your business: Verifying your business on Google will let your reviews pop up in map searches, and it will allow you to respond to reviews. Responding to all reviews is just as important on Google as it is for Facebook. You can get your business verified on Google Business Page. This will in turn boost your brand relevance and will attract more millennial travelers than before as these guests rely on online reviews before booking a hotel room.
8. Google page as a part of your email signature: Several tools, like Wisestamp, let you automatically share social media platform links in your email signature which if you ask us is extremely useful . By placing a link to your Google Page, you can drive more traffic there, and thus, more reviews. This strategy will make your brand conspicuous and will boost your trustability factor 10 times and you can attain better hotel bookings, revenue, and sales.
9. Mark positive reviews as HELPFUL: On Google, you can give comments a boost by labeling them “helpful.” Anyone can do this, but you can get a head start by labeling the most positive reviews as helpful. Not only will this help you prioritize the most positive comments, which will help your business, it will show other users that people are actually reading the reviews—and can encourage them to jump in, too.
10. Keep a Yelp review badge on your hotel website: Are you detecting a platform-specific pattern here? Yelp may not be the first place your loyal customers interact with you, but for some businesses, it could be the first touchpoint for new users. Placing a yelp badge on your site can send loyal traffic there to write reviews for you. The reviews will act as a guest-testimonial and will attract more guests thus increasing your guest-base to a greater extent.
11. Place a Yelp signage in your hotel: If you have a brick-and-mortar location (for a hotel it’s a win-win situation), you should display Yelp signage in store. Yelp has these few signs ready to go, including a “Find Us on Yelp” option and a “People Love Us!” sign for businesses with high ratings on the site. If customers notice or ask about it, it’s an easy way to ask them to leave a review if they get the chance.
So, now you know the importance of having (positive) reviews on your website and via this blog-post you came to know how to achieve more number of positive reviews for your hotel. Pick a slot to know the latest hotel digital marketing strategies which will aid you to get more reviews like a cakewalk. Schedule a demo with us and we will tell you more on getting better reviews without burning a hole in your pocket!