Over the last three weeks of the blog series Effective Ways to Measure & Generate Demand, we discussed the first steps in creating an efficient, effective and long-term demand generation strategy as well as demand generation within the OTA and Online Discount (Flash/Private sale) segments. I hope you have enjoyed the posts so far.

In part IV of this series, we will discuss demand generation by Building a Strong Online Reputation. With an endless amount of information widely available for consumers via the Internet, it’s important to build your reputation in order to get the best amount of exposure possible. The following statistics are proof that having a strong online reputation is important for hotels:

*According to a study conducted by TripAdvisor, 93% of the people interviewed find reviews important when determining which hotel they will stay at and 53% would not book a hotel without having a guest opinion about it.

*Hotels with 50 reviews or more are 1.4 x more likely to get booked than hotels with less or no reviews. (Expedia)

 *62% of consumers felt more likely to book a hotel when seeing management actively replying to online reviews (TravelMedia)

*88% of people trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations (Brightlocal)

These statistics are just a few examples of how impactful online reviews can be on a consumer’s buying decision. In order to effectively monitor your hotel’s online reputation to generate more demand, it’s highly advisable that you invest in a reliable Online Reputation Management tool. Once you have the tool in place, we recommend taking the following steps to improve your online reputation and generate more demand.

  1. Review and analyse guest feedback. This is very easy to do once you have a reliable Online Reputation Management tool in place. You can easily identify your strengths and weaknesses and work to improve them.
  1. Enhance your online presence. Make sure that you are registered with all review sites to be able to manage the feedback as well as photos, contact details of the hotel, etc.
  1. Set a Goal for your hotel in terms of reputation improvement, specific areas of improvement, and number of reviews. Keep track of your progress and celebrate success!
  1. Reply to all Reviews, both positive and negative and be active on Social Media sites to show consumers that you are engaged.
  1. Create a guest engagement and satisfaction culture in your hotel. Encourage your staff to engage with the guests and create unique experiences. Hold all departments accountable to contribute to the positive growth of your guest satisfaction and online reputation.
  1. Reward your staff for personal mentions or departmental improvements. Empower your staff. Remember, happy staff = happy guests!

Cultivating your hotel’s reputation is an ongoing discipline that needs to be managed on a daily basis. If you do not have the resources to dedicate one person at your hotel to manage this, involve everybody to ensure this critical demand generator is not being ignored.

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