TripAdvisor has quickly become the most popular travel review community worldwide. Understandably, the site has become hoteliers’ number one online reputation management priority. While there are many resources available for hoteliers to navigate the site – from how to respond to online reviews to how to generate more positive reviews – there are still several common questions that we get asked by clients. We will be addressing best practices for maximizing exposure on the site during an upcoming webinar, presented with TripAdvisor’s Head of Industry Relations, Brian Payea, on October 15 and November 12. In the interim, let’s answer a few of the questions that we routinely hear:
Can we make a computer or iPad available for guests to post their comments on TripAdvisor while they are checking-out?
While every hotel wants more reviews, having guests write reviews from your hotel isn’t smart. One way that TripAdvisor is able to catch fake reviews is by logging your IP address as well as placing HTTP cookies on the computer or other device you’re using to access the Internet. So reviews written on property might be construed as being written by staff and, therefore, flagged. However, the practice of proactively asking guests to write reviews while they are still on-property doesn’t violate any TripAdvisor rules or regulations. On the contrary, it is highly encouraged – just make sure the guest writes the review when he/she returns home. We highlighted some ways that you can generate more positive reviews in a recent webinar that I encourage you to watch.
We used to give cash incentives to employees who were positively mentioned on TripAdvisor. Is this against the rules or do you know if other hotels are doing this?
I always recommend encouraging your staff to ask for reviews from guests because by doing so they become more aware of what kind of feedback that’s being published on TripAdvisor and, inherently, become more excited to get mentioned in reviews. Accordingly, I highly recommend that you continue to incentivize your staff by offering tangible rewards for their efforts. However, offering a guest this kind of incentive to write a review absolutely goes against TripAdvisor’s policies. If you’d like to read more about TripAdvisor’s position on this, I would check out this article.