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Making TripAdvisor Work for You

7/12/2013

TripAdvisor, in case you didn’t know, is the world’s largest travel site with more than 200 million unique monthly visitors and over 100 million reviews and opinions covering more than 2.5 million accommodations, restaurants, and attractions.  All this makes TripAdvisor a must-do in your online marketing strategy, but don’t go rushing into it quite yet.

There are some tips to keep in mind when introducing/developing your presence on TripAdvisor, and we’ve compiled those practices into a nice, neat - and hopefully useful – to do list.

ENCOURAGE REVIEWS

You want to encourage people to review your business on TripAdvisor, and one way to do that is to provide your customers with a “Please review us on Trip Advisor” reminder card as they are checking out or include the card with their receipts. You can also send out thank you emails to customers asking them to review their stay/experience.

In addition to these physical and direct reminders, there are also effective ways to encourage reviews by integrating TripAdvisor into your site.  

  • Add the TripAdvisor icon and a link to your website in your email template
  • Include the Trip Advisor icon along with your social network icons on your site

TripAdvisor also provides several Web widgets in your TripAdvisor “Admin Panel” that can be embedded into your site to further encourage and promote reviews.

RESPOND, ENGAGE, SHARE

Once you’ve been given a review, it’s important to honor those reviewers with a response.  Whether the review is positive or negative, always respond to the posting – it does wonders for your brand image.

If it’s a positive review, thank the reviewer for the kind words and the time it took to write it. If it’s a negative review, apologize for the inconvenience.  However, and this is really important, do NOT try to solve the issue in a public forum. Instead, ask the reviewer to contact you via email or phone and from there you can attempt to resolve the issue.

Another way to engage with customers using TripAdvisor is by sharing standout reviews on relevant pages on your website and on your social networks.  Positive customer reviews accomplish two important  things:

  1. “Real person” reviews tend to be more trusted than straight marketing messages, so the review becomes an excellent marketing tool that promotes your business and encourages real time visits.
  2. The review reminds and empowers other customers to share their experiences.

KEEP YOUR PROFILE UP-TO-DATE

Like most profiles online, it’s important to make sure all your information is up-to-date and relevant. The same goes for your TripAdvisor profile. Each month, make it a priority to check your listing and update it if needed.

Carefully select your photos. Think about the photos you would want to see when choosing a vacation destination, restaurant or lodging. That probably wouldn’t be the hotel lobby or parking lot. While you can include photos of the lobby and parking lot, don’t make them your leading shot. You want to entice!