How to use TripAdvisor to your advantage
Two sides to this post are 1) using TripAdvisor as a consumer and 2) using TripAdvisor as a travel brand. According to AllFacebook.com there are over 9.5 mil monthly users of TripAdvisor. I love the site as it gives me real reviews about a place I’d like to visit. Just be a little cautious when you read the reviews as sometimes only the most passionate and the really unhappy people will go through the trouble of posting a review. In an effort to get good reviews, TripAdvisor actually makes the review process fairly lengthy.
- If you are a consumer make sure to read the reviews on TripAdvisor prior to booking your trip. You may find insightful information about a place you would like to visit. I usually glance at the reviews before pulling out my credit card and committing to a reservation. You may not always see positive reviews about a place, but sometimes people just like to complain. Personally, if most reviews are good and there are a few bad reviews I would take them into account but put more emphasis on the positive. I like to think the glass is half full. Big points go to the property that has responded to a negative review. Seeing a response usually makes me smile as this means the property is actually monitoring their reviews and responding to complaints. When I see negative reviews and no response, this usually is enough for me to look elsewhere.
- If you represent a travel brand (think hotels, restaurants, cruises, vacation properties and even airlines) you can use TripAdvisor to gather feedback and correspond with your customers who are reviewing your place while you are reading this. Here are a few tips for travel companies on how to use TripAdvisor to their advantage:
- Get your business listed on TripAdvisor and make sure you give as much information as possible about your property. Photos are KEY!
- Sign up to receive reviews by email and every time someone posts a new review you will be notified.
- Read the reviews and respond if necessary with a thank you or a comment. If the review is negative, proceed with caution. Sometimes an acknowledgment and stating the facts may be sufficient but be careful not to make an already angry person even angrier. It’s a very fine line what you say and how you say it.
- Encourage your guests to spread the word for you with signs at your property, links on your website and in your email newsletters.
- Track your performance and see how you rank against your competitors (this service is offered to accommodations only)
TripAdvisor offers excellent and free business owners resources online to help with getting more reviews, best practices including how to respond to reviews, links and badges for your website/email newsletter, and content ideas.
They recently added user generated lists and tours to their mobile application which will continue to increase TripAdvisor’s popularity with travelers.
Don’t ignore online reviews as part of your social media strategy. With a huge audience, TripAdvisor is a popular place for people to turn to when researching their trip. I know I do.
Do you use TripAdvisor as a consumer? Have you implemented it in your social media efforts for your company?
Also check out 5 Tips to Improve Tourism, Travel Industry Social Media.