Online Reputation Management for Hotels, Vacation Rentals & Hostels

Patricia PetrinjakTourism Marketing
6 min read

Online reputation management (ORM) refers to conducting strategies to shape the perception of the public and guests about the organization, individual or – in this case, the apartment, hostel, hotel or camp.

Shortly, what others think of you, your apartment, hostel, hotel or campsite based on data available on the internet. The way you are perceived based on reviews, ratings, or mentions can generally affect your business.

Managing a Reputation

Social media comments, mentions, ratings and reviews are always influential.

Given the record-high levels of online presence resulting from safety measures and staying at home due to the pandemic, managing an online reputation is more important than ever.

Pay Attention

Pay attention, save guests’ preferences for future use, and make sure you exceed expectations every time. By paying attention to doubts and feedback from guests, you can prepare better for the arrival of new ones.

However, it is not enough to focus on the guests’ feedback and the content you use in the promotion, websites or blogs.

What impression do the content and additional services promotion leave?

Are you too aggressive, or are you trying to achieve an equal ratio of valuable and exciting information with direct accommodation promotion?

In addition to providing detailed information about accommodation units and services, make sure your photos are high quality and that the content reflects the quality of service. But you already knew that.

Potential guests will prepare.

When evaluating your online reputation, guests will use various rating portals, your website, social media profiles, articles published on portals or similar platforms, all worth paying attention to because the complete content reveals your reputation impression.

Negative In A Positive Light

Not every guest will be happy.

Reviews are a form of social evidence, which greatly influences people’s behavior and decision-making. Criticism is highly acceptable, but be sure to turn such situations to your advantage.

Other guests will notice your answers. Your reactions in the online world reveal the professionalism and attitude on which you base trust and connect with guests before direct contact.

Photo by Markus Winkler on Unsplash

Guest-centered empathy is the golden rule for building a positive online reputation.

Social Media Activity

Reputation is excellent when people talk about you, but why not get involved in the conversation? 💬

Communicating on social media requires a response from hoteliers and vacation rentals equally – and it’s more personal.

Create your profiles, and feedback will come from your guests to you directly, without intermediaries. Acknowledge your mistakes, apologize for any embarrassing situations, correct errors, and don’t be ashamed of them.

In short, show that you care.

A troll is not a fairy tale character.

It is essential to distinguish the so-called—trolls from a sincerely dissatisfied guest.

Trolls use negativity intentionally to damage your reputation. The dissatisfied guest provides you with information that is the reason for the action and a response.

If you encounter an overly negative and persistent user, answer only twice and then ignore further communication. On the other hand, if you engage in discussions and pay too much attention to such comments, Google will mark them as relevant.

Refrain, and as a rule, communicate minimally without engaging in meaningless communication.

Analysis

By diligent data collection, storage and regular analysis, you will have a complete insight into the expectations of your guests, the impression you leave and which parts of your reputation you need to work on to be as competitive as possible.

Tracking feedback and using it to understand experiences can provide valuable insights that can inform you of your operational decisions. In doing so, you will better understand your offer from the guest’s perspective.

Although online reputation management is by nature implemented in a virtual space, remember that the only sure way to get more positive reviews and online reputation is to improve your offer and delight guests on the spot. 👈

Photo by Alexander Kaunas on Unsplash

Useful Competition

Your competitors monitor your online reputation using these insights to improve.

Tracking the online reputation of your own business and the business of the competition will allow you to find out where you can gain a competitive advantage and what you should promote in your marketing strategies.

We suggest a similar principle of learning from other people’s mistakes and planning marketing moves. Read more about it here.

Online Reputation – Revenue Connection

Why is it important what is said online?

It is common for everyone who believes in a product or service to share the same on social media channels or specialized sites like Tripadvisor. It is also common to search to find reviews before confirming a reservation or buying a product.

Therefore, the height of the rating and the general impression dictates the income of your accommodation.

A good reputation of your apartment, hostel, hotel or campground will affect the occupancy level in the long run. Effectively managing online reputation helps you secure a competitive advantage. On other hand, a negative online reputation can potentially lead to severe losses. Ignoring negative comments and reviews will cost you much more than investing resources in managing your online reputation.

In many cases, hoteliers and vacation rentals have been building a positive image of their accommodation units for years.

Keep Up

Online reputation management (ORM) used to be a rather vague term, mainly just something that massive hotel chains would have to worry about. But with the rise of websites, social media and OTA’s popularity, online reputation is a segment to worry about for hoteliers and vacation rentals equally.

Suppose you last put new pictures on various profiles, communicated on social media or responded to a review six months ago or can’t remember when it was. In that case, potential guests have no idea if you’re still in the business. 😉

Communication is immediate, global and public.

You have to be constantly present, aware and active. If you need two weeks to answer an inquiry that arrived in your inbox, it shows that you don’t care or that you don’t appreciate your guests.

The key to success is proactivity.

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Although she would love to read all day, Patricia enjoys writing for Rentlio. Constantly trying to adapt to the Dalmatian way of life, you can find her walking her two dogs and/or reading on most evenings 📚