This week a management company we work with contacted us with an interesting dilemma. They recently took over an established resort and were wondering whether they should wipe out the reviews on TripAdvisor that were written when the hotel was under previous management and start fresh.
She did a careful analysis of the reviews and knew that if they removed the older reviews, their average ratings would go up but she was worried that removing so much content would adversely affect their online reputation and their Popularity Index Score since other hotels in the market receive a healthy amount of reviews.
My opinion is that the hotel would ultimately benefit from a fresh start. Having accurate reviews is more important than review quantity, especially if issues that are brought up in the older reviews no longer exist. While removing the old reviews might hurt the resort’s Popularity Index in the short term, if they encourage reviews and get fresh content and great reviews, they can likely come back quickly.
The bottom line is that social media is all about transparency. There is no point in having reviews from what is essentially a defunct business display to prospective guests.
I will be at the TripAdvisor Master Class in San Diego in a couple of weeks and will pose this question to the TripAdvisor folks. In the mean time, please let me know what you think in the comments area.