Hotel Reputation Management: 5 Tactics for Success
Hotel reputation management means monitoring and tracking your hotel brand’s online reputation across 100s or 1,000s of locations. You want to keep your hotel’s online reputation clean and pristine, just like your lobby and hotel rooms.
In this article, we’ll explain why online reputation management is so crucial for hotels. We’ll also delve into five hotel reputation management strategies with a strong ROI if done correctly.
Why Hotel Online Reputation Management Matters
Today, strong online reputation management is a must for multi-location brands and companies. For hotels, it’s a non-negotiable. Hotels are in the hospitality industry, where guests expect excellent customer service.
So how do hotel brand’s currently fare when it comes to online reputation management? SOCi’s 2022 Localized Marketing Benchmark Report (LMBR) provides insight. The report looked at localized marketing leaders in various industries and analyzed their performance in local search, social, and reputation.
The report revealed that hotels and travel brands studied achieved a reputation score of 58 out of 100. This means that while hotel brands do understand the importance of online reputation management, there’s clearly room for improvement. Moreover, out of nearly 300 brands studied across the U.S., two hotel companies made the top 10 for reputation management: InterContinental Hotels & Resorts (9) and Westin (10).
These two hotel brands are setting the gold standard for online reputation management. Continue reading to learn how to increase your online reputation management and compete with the top hotel brands.
The 5 Most Important Hotel Reputation Management Strategies
Below are five essential hotel reputation management strategies. These tactics might seem overwhelming at first, but they’re straightforward to implement with the right systems and multi-location software in place.
1. Track and Respond to all Reviews
As you would expect, online reviews affect a hotel’s online reputation. Poor guest experiences can lead to negative online reviews, which can in turn hurt your hotel brand’s reputation. According to one study, 79 percent of TripAdvisor users are more likely to book with a hotel that has a higher rating when choosing between two otherwise identical properties.
With excellent customer service, you can simultaneously reduce negative reviews and increase positive ones. As a hotel brand with 100s or 1,000s of hotel locations, it’s not a matter of whether or not your brand will experience negative reviews, but rather whether you respond to them.
Our 2022 LMBR data revealed that the average volume of reviews for hotels is high compared to other industries, but review response rates on Google, Yelp, and Facebook fall below nationwide benchmarks. Here are the percentage of overall review response rates for hotels and travel brands and the corresponding 2022 benchmark:
- Google: Hotel and travel brands (24.6%); 2022 Benchmark (36.2%)
- Yelp: Hotel and travel brands (4.5%); 2022 Benchmark (6.2%)
- Facebook: Hotel and travel brands (20.7%); 2022 Benchmark (28.3%)
Is your hotel brand meeting or exceeding industry standards? More than three-quarters of consumers who leave critical reviews expect a business to respond to them. This expectation holds especially true in this hospitality industry, making it crucial for your hotel brand to respond to as many reviews as possible.
Hotel brands need a well-oiled review response system to manage and respond to thousands of reviews across multiple online platforms and hotel locations. This is where SOCi comes in.
SOCi’s reputation management product enables corporate and local hotel managers to manage and respond to thousands of reviews across all significant reputation and review networks. With SOCi Reviews, you can prioritize responses to reviews and drastically improve your hotel’s online reputation management efforts.
For more tips on responding to reviews and how multi-location businesses can build a winning online reputation management strategy, check out our Multi-Location Marketer’s Guide to Online Reputation Management.
2. Optimize Both Local and General SEO
Another way to elevate your hotel brand’s online presence and reputation is to optimize your corporate website and local landing pages for search engines. Forbes found that 75 percent of online consumers never go past the first search engine results page (SERP). So, it’s important to be on page one of Google and other search engines. Below, we’ll break down how to improve your general SEO and local SEO reputation management efforts:
General SEO Reputation Management
For any multi-location business, the primary goal of search engine optimization (SEO) is to reach the first page of the SERP. For hotel brands, the subsequent goal is SEO reputation management, ensuring that online users see your brand in a positive way. Here are three ways to improve your general SEO reputation:
- As mentioned in the section above, address online reviews in a timely and professional manner — especially negative ones.
- Use an SEO keyword tool like Semrush or Ahrefs to identify keywords or search terms that produce negative results about your hotel brand. Then, target your SEO efforts towards those keywords.
- Gain positive backlinks (links from other reputable sites to your hotel website’s domain) and brand mentions via backlink and PR outreach.
Local SEO Reputation Management
Besides executing your general SEO reputation management strategy, you also need a local SEO strategy. Local SEO practices are similar to traditional SEO conventions. However, local SEO hinges on creating and claiming local listings on platforms like Google, Yelp, and Facebook. Here are three ways to improve your local SEO reputation:
- Ensure that each online platform correctly cites your local hotel’s name, address, and phone number (NAP) information. Correct citations help with search engine rankings and improve your user experience.
- Confirm each Google Business Profile listing (GBP) and listings on other platforms have the correct pin marker. Having a precise location will make it easier for guests to find your hotels.
- Include keywords local users might be searching for. For example, include your “hotel name” and “location” in your local pages’ titles and meta descriptions.
Consider using SOCi’s local listings software to manage all your hotel listings at scale. With SOCi Listings, you can take your local online reputation management to new heights by improving your local search visibility and better analyzing local engagement. For more easy-to-implement local SEO tips that can help boost your overall reputation, read our blog on how to conduct a local SEO audit.
For more details on how to optimize your local SEO, read our guide on the Top 10 Things You Should be Doing in Local SEO Now.
3. Send Surveys and Collect Data
Sending surveys is another way to help elevate your online reputation. Guests often write online reviews if they had a notably positive or negative experience at one of your hotels. Surveys, on the other hand, reveal different data. By sending surveys to guests, you’re benefiting in the following ways:
- You get more detailed feedback from guests who aren’t on the extreme ends of the guest experience spectrum.
- With data collected from surveys, you can better compare the guest experience at different hotel locations, influencing improvement strategies.
- The survey data will help you improve your guest experience across multiple hotels, reduce the number of negative online reviews, and increase the number of returning guests.
Read our blog on customer advocacy KPIs for more information on which types of surveys best influence and improve your online reputation management.
4. Listen to Online Conversations
A significant aspect of hotel reputation management is being aware of what online users say about your brand. Incidences of hotels making mistakes have gone viral on social media platforms or news sites with click-bait titles. It’s important for hotel brands and their PR teams to get ahead of these potential crises.
Beyond handling the crisis moments, hotel brands must know what’s generally being said about their brand and individual locations so they can address smaller issues as they arise and track general sentiments. In addition, it’s important to know what consumers are saying about competitors. With competitive intel, your hotel brand can better adjust its online messaging to stand out from the competition.
Being attentive to customer conversations is a significant aspect of online reputation management. Listening software is the best way to listen to corporate and local conversations at scale. The best-in-class listening software for hotel brands with multiple locations is SOCi Listening.
SOCi Listening enables hotel brands to stay ahead of potential disasters and find business opportunities at both the national and local level by centralizing corporate and local conversations happening on social and the web. Learn more about how SOCi Listening can be leveraged to help your business improve its online reputation here.
5. Use Social Media to Your Advantage
In today’s digital-first world, the lines between search and social are blurred. Social media management has become a component of managing your hotel brand’s online reputation management. Social media platforms are a common source for guests to leave reviews, make comments, or support your hotel brand. Social media platforms also influence consumers, with 82 percent of social media users discovering and directly purchasing a product or service on their mobile device. If your hotel brand isn’t optimizing its local social efforts, you could be hurting your overall online reputation.
Part of a well-organized social media management strategy means posting and interacting with customers. The data speaks for itself:
The top localized marketing leaders from our 2022 LMBR post on Facebook 12.5 times per month, which is nearly twice as often as the benchmark standard of 7.3. These top performers also earn 69.1 engagements per post compared to the benchmark of 12.9. Being active on social media increases your hotel brand’s awareness and generates a more positive customer experience, ultimately impacting your online reputation
For a more in-depth look at what it takes to build a strong local social strategy that will help boost your hotel brand’s online reputation, check out our Localized Social Content Guide.
When managing your national and local marketing strategy, it’s important to have your corporate and local marketing teams working in unison. If you’re having trouble managing your social media schedule and responding to comments or inquiries, consider SOCi’s social media management solution.
SOCi’s social media management solution empowers corporate and local teams to publish localized content, manage content libraries, respond instantly to social engagements, and analyze performance — all within one powerful platform.
If you’re a hotel brand, know that many of your competitors are using these online reputation management strategies to manage their digital presence. It’s important to implement the strategies mentioned above so you don’t get left behind!
As for a solution that provides you with the tools needed to manage all aspects of your online reputation management within a single login, consider SOCi. From reputation management to local listings to local social and social listening, SOCi can help you improve your hotel reputation management system and win against competitors. Request a demo today for more insight!