As of February 2017, there were 2.8M Australians using TripAdvisor, bringing it in at number ten on the most popular social media platforms in Australia. This makes TripAdvisor one of the most used research tools for travellers when deciding their destinations. Making sure you have a listing you control is essential for anyone operating in the accommodation industry.
Being in control of that listing is essential, even if you haven’t set one up chances are one of your clients has. TripAdvisor is a review website, which means anyone who wants to leave a review about your accommodation can set up your business on the site. With somewhere near 390 million users on the site, chances are your business is on the site.
Taking control of your listing is a way for you to interact with clients and respond to both positive and negative criticism. Imagine there are negative reviews and people see that you’re not engaging with them. It’s not a good look. The Local Consumer Review Survey 2016 which asked about 1062 local people from the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom found that:
- 91% had read online reviews of local businesses
- 84% trusted online reviews as much as personal recommendations
- 90% read fewer than ten reviews before making a purchasing decision.
The people asked in the survey said they look at a wide variety of businesses including B&B and guest houses. Even here in Australia it’s the same story. The 2016 Sensis social media report talked to roughly 800 Australians and found:
- Around 60% of respondents reported reading online reviews or blogs before making a purchase decision
- Those aged 40 to 49 were most likely to do so
- On average, people expected to read five reviews before making a decision.
Responding to reviews and showing people that you do care about your business and feedback is a great way to win over new clients. A handful of bad reviews isn’t the worst thing in the world because most people, as the stats show, look at multiple reviews. If they can see you responding respectfully then that’s better than saying nothing – or responding with emotion. No one is perfect and people will check and see if there is a theme with reviews on your business rather than making a decision off of one review.
TripAdvisor is a great and free way to engage with clients and show the world you care about your business. By engaging with it, you can ensure that your guests have a great experience, and that they share that experience with the world.