Leverage User-Generated Content to Grow Your Business

by | September 25, 2018

In today’s hotel ecosystem, content is sprouting up everywhere online. The majority of the information posted online about your property comes from travelers. According to TripAdvisor, over 270 reviews are submitted per minute as of 2017. Those reviews, along with social media posts, represent seeds of opportunity for hoteliers.

We’ll explain how to find those seeds, where to plant them, and how to nurture them. You’ll learn how to leverage user-generated content to grow your hotel business.

What is User-Generated Content?

User-generated content, or UGC, is anything posted online by a consumer about a brand. For hoteliers, this could mean when a guest “checks in” on Facebook, posts an Instagram, or leaves a review. 70% of travelers update their social media status or share photos while they’re on vacation. That means there is a lot of content online.

Hotels need to put a plan in place to manage, engage with, and respond to UGC online. That’s because over 90% of consumers trust UGC over brand content. Good or bad, UGC from guest experiences are more influential than hotel content.

Your Online Curb Appeal

In many ways, UGC is very similar to your hotel’s curb appeal. You can’t determine a direct ROI from investing in landscaping or a new sign. But, you know that it helps travelers make a decision about your property at a glance. In the same way, guests who check review and social media websites are forming an opinion about you. If they see consistently negative reviews or unanswered questions on social media, they’ll keep driving by.

Steps to Manage Hotel User-Generated Content

You can’t ignore content that’s being posted about your hotel online. 84% of customers expect a reply to a social media comment within 24 hours. 45.6% of customers expect their negative online reviews on Yelp, TripAdvisor, or Google to receive a response in 3 days or less. You need to be actively managing UGC both to provide great service to your guests. Plus, it will help future guests make a booking decision.

1. Find & Track User-Generated Content

There is so much UGC being posted every day that it can be hard to keep up. You should be the first to know when something is posted about your hotel. Set alerts and notifications for review websites, OTAs, and social media websites. You can use a tool like OneView to manage all of the content in one place.

2. Respond & Interact

Reviews provide a huge opportunity for business growth. 76% of travelers would pay more for a hotel with a higher review score, and 65% of travelers are more likely to book a hotel that responds to reviews. Proactively engage with your reviewers and publish thoughtful responses to reviews. This will help solve any issues that guests had at your hotel and show future travelers that you listen to guest concerns.

Aside from responding to reviews, you also need to interact with social media. Comment and “like” guest social media posts on your business page. Answer direct messages and Tweets with customer service questions. You can also share great UGC like posts, photos, and positive reviews to influence future travelers.

3. Gain Insights & Improve

User-generated content is a rich source of insider information about your hotel. It’s like being able to access consumer insights – for free. Reviewers are telling you exactly what they wish had been different or what would make their stay even better. By using a sentiment analysis tool, you can find out which improvements will have the biggest impact on guest satisfaction. By making smart updates, you’ll be able to earn even better reviews.

Between the influence that UGC has on future travelers and the insights you can gain from it, it’s clear that UGC is good for business. Fully integrate UGC into your hotel marketing strategy by:

  • Requesting reviews in post-stay emails
  • Prompting guests at the hotel to follow your social media accounts
  • Encouraging guests to share photos from their stay
  • Tracking and responding to guest reviews and questions

Remember that managing UGC is as vital as the upkeep of your hotel’s curb appeal. Help guests to choose your hotel by proactively managing user-generated content.

Want to make tracking, analyzing, and responding to content easier than ever? Sign up for TMG OneView®, the ultimate guest feedback management system for hotels.

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Today’s post starts with a bit of backstory – although I am currently the Content Manager at Travel Media Group, though that is not where my journey began. A couple of years ago, I started on our Respond & Resolve™ team as a Response Analyst, working directly with...

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