Encourage Word of Mouth Through Social Travel Sites

Posted on October 16, 2009

An innkeeper at a popular Gainesville Bed and Breakfast recently confided how frequently he monitors the guest reviews on travel websites like TripAdvisor and Travelocity, despite the heart-pounding worry of finding a less than stellar evaluation of his business. Sites like these, which fall into a growing demographic of social networks catering to the travel and tourism, provide visitors with an almost real-time sense of potential accommodations and attractions, and more people rely upon them when making their own plans.

A mediocre review of a hotel, restaurant, or venue may be eclipsed by a more recent, glowing one – such feedback tells site visitors that improvements were likely made, quite possibly after business owners like the B&B innkeeper looked at themselves from a different view, and worked to make amends.

Word of mouth marketing is as old as time itself, and through social media you won’t find a better example of how it works to increase loyalty among regular patrons. When you have established a presence on travel social media sites — as well as general networks like Twitter and Facebook — you have the opportunity to guide positive feedback to your profiles, and consequently bring more traffic to your business.

Encourage Reviews

Do you maintain a customer/guest list of e-mail addresses? After each stay or service, follow up with a polite word of thanks and ask for an honest review of your establishment. Include links to the sites where you wish to be reviews – Yelp, TripAdvisor, Travelocity, etc. – and help bring more visibility by linking the sites from your main website. Comment cards have always been a good practice for businesses to gain insight on customer suggestions and compliments – this just takes the concept further.

Share Your Praise

For every time you receive a note of thanks or similar testimonial, don’t keep it to yourself. Twitter every compliment, create a page on your site of reviews, and update friends on your personal or professional social pages about how others have enjoyed your hospitality or services.

Kathryn Lively is a social media specialist assisting clients with professional travel SEO services.

Google Buzz
Share and Enjoy:
  • email
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • del.icio.us
  • Digg
  • FriendFeed
  • Sphinn
  • Reddit
  • StumbleUpon
  • Kirtsy
  • Mixx
  • LinkedIn
  • Google Bookmarks

Tags: , , ,

blog comments powered by Disqus