Reputation Management and Online Evolution: Don’t Let Your Hotel Succumb to Digital Death

Failure to evolve ends in extinction. This is an old idea, but it’s one that merits consideration in light of our conversation earlier this week about vacation rentals and the growing impact on hotels. Today, however, let’s put this in context of digital media.

Take Expedia, for instance. Expedia takes punches for not having as many hotel reviews as TripAdvisor (that is, millions fewer). The company touts only having verified hotel reviews, meaning the guests definitely stayed at the hotel. It comes off as a targeted strategy, but it’s a strategy that many believe continues to hold them back.

On the other hand, Expedia has invested in other aspects of their business in a big way, namely tracking users from desktop to mobile. HUGE! They’ve been able to retarget ads to users after they’ve moved from one device to another. According to TNOOZ, “The cost per booking—Expedia’s favorite metric—was much lower for retargeted ads than for the control group.” Not only do I think this is interesting news, especially for major brands with advertising dollars to spend, but it’s a prime example of digital evolution. Expedia is invested in staying ahead of the curve.

How is your hotel invested in digital evolution? In my humble opinion, having the most basic kind of Facebook presence is effectively the same as relying on an ad in the Sunday paper—actually the ad might be more effective, but you get my drift. Reputation management and online evolution come hand in hand. Those print ads are starting to feel pretty archaic. How are you engaging the community, what’s your strategy, do you have a clear voice and style?  If you can’t answer these questions for all of your social media outlets, you’re on the path to extinction.

Is reputation management a key part of your online (and offline!) communications strategy? Are you invested in and promoting your brands mobile apps? Do you know why you’re choosing, or not choosing, to use Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter, etc? These are basic questions, and if your answer is “no” to any of them, then you might as well be a 1950’s drive-up motel. I miss those hotels of my childhood, but where are they now?


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