New Year, New Reputation

Seven Resolutions to Rev Up Your Reputation (& Revenue) in 2013

The holidays have drawn to an end; presents have been opened, the New Year has been rung in, too many calories were consumed with our loved ones. Now, it’s back to work, one year older and one pant-size larger, attempting to overcome the post-holiday hangover. The first week of January is always full of New Year’s resolutions and anticipation for what the upcoming months will have in store. Note we said the first week of January; that’s because nearly 80% of people do not follow through on their New Year resolutions. We can’t speak for personal goals, but we can certainly help to make your business’s 2013 online reputation management goals a success. Here are the top resolutions to get your 2013 reputation revved up.

Get organized this year by defining two or three key performance indicators (KPIs) to measure. There is a lot of data out there, and businesses can get bogged down with all of the different statistics to track. This year, try defining a few KPIs to measure that are proven to directly impact the company’s bottom line (some of our favorites include: overall review score (TrustScore), number of reviews, management response rate, etc.). Then, develop a strategy to improve those statistics throughout the year by understanding the more granular data. For example, if your hotel’s goal is to improve overall guest satisfaction in 2013, look to categorical and sentiment scores to understand what must be improved so that guests leave more satisfied with their stay.

Create an action plan to improve your KPIs. Your newly defined KPIs aren’t going to improve themselves. After setting goals, you must take action to reach them. Reputation and social media management are not something that can just be set up and ignored. One of the best ways to ensure that your business meets its goals is by assigning specific action plans to each department and/or team member. This way, each employee is aware of, and held accountable for, achieving his/her tasks to reach the larger business objectives.

Proactively encourage feedback. We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again, more reviews equates to better reputation and more bookings (hello, revenue!). As part of your 2013 online reputation strategy, implement some new ways for your hotel or brand to encourage more feedback this year. Need some inspiration? Check out our suggestions here.

Be strategic. Distribute reviews in 2013. It probably comes as no surprise that the number one personal New Year resolution is to lose weight. As a company, your goal is the opposite; you want to grow and expand – with new demographics, new markets, new types of travelers, etc. Whatever the case, make 2013 the year in which you grow your reputation with your target audience. Find out which review sites matter most to your target and begin directing guests to write reviews on those platforms for higher visibility where it matters most to your business. (And don’t overlook Google+ in the coming year!).

Get vocal and respond to feedback. Responding allows hotels to continue dialogue with its guests, and it yields big results. Hotels that respond to guests boast a better online reputation and more reviews, so ramp up your responses in 2013. Not sure what to say? Check out our best practices guide for tips on responding.

Beef up your social platforms. Are you connecting with guests on social platforms? Fish where the fish are; Facebook, Twitter and other sites are like air to some people.  They look to these platforms for their friends’ advice and to see what some of their favorites brands and companies are saying. Not only do social platforms allow hotels to offer superior, 24/7 customer service and increased loyalty/satisfaction with fans, but social media can also increase conversions. Half of all of travel brands have generated a direct booking from social media.

Get smart about marketing. Traditional advertising and marketing is not nearly as effective as word of mouth. Your reputation is what matters to guests. Compliment your marketing and PR efforts by displaying your own reputation and reviews on your website. Plus, adding reviews to your own website improves SEO by up to 200%.

Let this year be the year that your online reputation soars. Here’s to a revved up online reputation in 2013!

Tony Ciccarone

Tony Ciccarone is a web developer who is experienced in making high-quality professional websites, writing clean & reusable code, and creating data-driven web applications.

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