Guests as Influencers: How to Reach Out About Positive Feedback
As hotel owners, we’re trained to pay special attention to any negative feedback we receive. We’re on high alert to see where guest expectations were not met, and what we can do to smooth over the situation or improve it for next time.
However, we hardly pay special attention to positive feedback or reviews online. For some, it may be a relief – the guest liked their stay, so your job is done, right? That couldn’t be farther from the truth. There is a great opportunity that arises from guests who leave positive reviews. Hoteliers may be able to turn them into a micro-influencer for their hotel.
How Are Guests Influencers?
Influencers are ambassadors for brands, typically using company products and advertising them on social media to an audience of hundreds of thousands of followers. Influencers generate a lot of interest in a company’s products, and due to their wide reach, they can open up the door to introduce new business to the company.
It’s simple to understand from the point of view of a consumer investing in a product, but what about investing in a hotel stay? Are there influencers for experiences? When guests leave positive reviews for your property, they can become influencers, no matter their following size.
Word of mouth is one of the strongest means of advertising – potential guests are more likely to trust friends and family than online review sites or ad campaigns. Those who want to recommend your hotel to their friends and family will in turn become influencers for your property – and you should communicate with them!
Reaching Out to Use Guest Posts
We have spoken in the past about responding to social media mentions and DMs, but when you’re reaching out to treat a guest as an influencer, some of the dynamic may change. You should still thank them for their stay, and for the glowing review of your property. However, when you want to use their post on your own social media, you’ll need to ask permission to use their post as a testimonial.
When asking about post usage, it’s ideal to ask privately – it’s the most professional avenue, after all. If the user has direct messages turned off, simply leave them a comment. The way you phrase your request is up to how your hotel’s voice sounds. For example, you can comment something like, “Hey! Mind if we use your post on our feed? We love guest stories like yours!” if your hotel is approachable and friendly.
When reposting someone else’s experience, you have a lot of freedom in how you go about arranging post elements. If you choose to preserve their caption, be sure to use quotation marks around whatever it is you didn’t write. Otherwise, you may simply choose to share their photo and add your own caption.
Additionally, it is a courtesy for you to @Mention the user in your caption, or to tag them to let them know that you’ve made the post. That way, they’ll be notified, and can re-share your version of it back to their own social media feeds.
Creating this circle of content will help boost your hotel’s reputation. Guest testimonials are valuable in terms of how future travelers perceive your property. Plus, the experience you have with reaching out to guests, commenting on their posts, and sharing their positive feedback with your followers will further build a sense of community that your future guests will trust.
However, none of this will be possible if you don’t know when you receive feedback. At Travel Media Group, we have a robust social media solution that integrates your property’s social media profiles with our TMG OneView® dashboard. Our dashboard allows you to view each feed, create and schedule posts, and even set up push notifications for mentions and comments about your property. Our team is there to help you get set up and understand your hotel’s analytics: learn more and reach out to us to get started.