Guests comment about their travelling experiences on different platforms, they interact with other users and these reviews take on a decisive importance when it comes to their final choice on where to stay. Here at Innwise we have interviewed our expert on Online Reputation Management (ORM), Gastón Richter, asking him to analyse how the hotel sector is adapting to this scenario.
-How is travellers’ hyper-connectivity changing Online Reputation Management?
The holiday and tourism sector is probably the most affected sector in this sense. The tendency to post and share holiday experiences on social networks and specific forums like TripAdvisor or Holiday check is undeniable. Equally, the interest shown by users in content posted by other travellers is increasing. Both tendencies continually feed each other, generating more information and more avid readers of said content.
While we have to be rigorous when it comes to differentiating relevant and trustworthy content from content that isn’t, hyper-connectivity implies, for now, more advantages than disadvantages for hoteliers. Correct management of Online Reputation requires above all a powerful tool that allows one to collect, filter and present the massive amount of data that is available in a compact, logical and intuitive format. The next step is to always apply rigour and common sense while analysing the collected information so as to reach the proper conclusions.
As a specialist on the subject, what are the most strategic errors when it comes to managing the Online Reputation of an establishment?
Even today some professionals of the sector are apprehensive when it comes to the truthfulness or trustworthiness of comments published on the Internet. If to start with we aren’t willing to believe what others write about our hotel, we won’t get very far, if anywhere, when it comes to solving any possible problems or weaknesses mentioned in said comments. Fortunately this attitude is changing.
Most hoteliers have understood that is serves no purpose to get irritated by comments they read on the internet, it is preferable to be more pragmatic and act in a less emotional way.
On a strategic level, the most common error is to think that one can manage the amount of information that is on the internet manually, without using a tool or software to correctly capture all the information available. Using a guaranteed system or technology is crucial, it saves time and expense and also produces reports with the most relevant data and indicators for the hotel.
– According to the last Spanish TripBarometer (April 2014), 98% of hoteliers feel that user opinions influence reservations. Has this number been translated into a larger interest among those in the sector for training in this area?
Without a doubt. The interest and demand for services related to Online Reputation Management has rocketed in the last two years. Hotels are demanding both a data collection system and training in Online Reputation. In many cases, hotels choose to outsource all the processes related to Online Reputation Management. It is the best choice when they are looking for immediate results without having to employ qualified personnel.
- When it comes to social network presence, is it best for the hotel to have an account in all of them or can they rule out some so as to develop a better profile in others?
It will all depend on the type of clients the hotel deals with. Depending on the section the hotel is oriented to, the impact that its presence on one or other social network could have is insignificant. Each hotel has to decide which social networks to join, taking into account the profile of its clients and the message or image that they desire to transmit to these segments.
For hotels that work with clients of different nationalities and languages, it is advisable to have a specific account for each language. This is specially so in the case of Twitter; nobody wants to receive Tweets in a language they don’t understand, so there’s no real sense in alternating Tweets in different languages, users will get tired and probably stop following that account. In the case of Facebook, if necessary, posts can be included in one or more languages.