How to cultivate the results you need – Exactly where you need them!
Part of ensuring that you have an online presence is making sure you’re asking the right questions. In fact, one of the simplest but most effective tools for cultivating reviews is the question. This can be done using various methods, or coming up with some new innovation that encourages participation in a forum or blog.
Add a media room or blog to your current website
- This can be built to allow guests to post a blog-type review or comment right on your website – offering YOU complete control of information.
- If a guest posts that their service wasn’t up to par, don’t erase the post, respond to it. Other guests may post comments which might refute some negative information given.
- The beauty of having these reviews added directly to your site are three-fold
- Guests have to leave an e-mail address to leave a post. You can then have management contact them directly to resolve an issue.
- Other visitors to your website can see reviews there, without needing to visit a third-party review site where they can potentially get sidetracked and may end up booking with your competition.
- Every blog post builds a page on your site. The potential is that your on-site reviews can show up in Search Engine results for your property name – this may materialize the goal of helping you OWN your brand in the Search Engines.
Place a business card in each room
This technique encourages the guest to review their stay at one of the major travel sites. Start with Tripadvisor.com and Yahoo! Travel. Have 2 sets of cards and place the cards for the site where you need the most help. If you recently received a negative or bad review in Yahoo! Travel, use a card requesting a guest review at Yahoo! Travel in an attempt to move that poor review from the first page.
Gather e-mail addresses when reservations are made
Following their stay, send each guest a short e-mail thanking them for their business and offering a “perk” for future business or referrals from family or friends. Ask them for a review by placing links directly to the page your listing appears on – make it as easy as possible for them to share their experience with others.
Overall being aware of where you are online and WHO you are online will help you focus your attentions and profit from your efforts. Internet brand management is the single best way to ensure the success of your website.
For a limited time only – until November 30, 2006 – Blizzard is giving away their whitepaper “Online Reputation for the Hospitality Industry” free of charge. Send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org and request your copy!