Five Easy TripAdvisor Tips That Will Help Improve Online Marketing for Your Tourism Business
My tourism marketing love affair with TripAdvisor has been getting stronger and stronger (well I love TA as a marketing tool for my tourism business but I am pretty sure they don’t spend a lot of time thinking about me!). Recently I discovered a couple of new ways to use TripAdvisor to help with online sales:
I have come up with 5 useful TripAdvisor tips that are helping me with online marketing for my tourism business.
1. Use your customer reviews to help sell your product.
Just a few weeks ago I had an enquiry from a customer for one of our hiking tours, she was very interested in the tour but had some reservations about her fitness and whether she might hold the group up.
I reassured her that we can cater for all different fitness levels and our guides are professionals who can cater to all types of people, but she still seemed a little unsure. Then an idea hit me, I replied to her email and referred her to our TripAdvisor reviews, gave her the link and even the posting dates of a couple of reviews with content addressing the exact concerns she had. The result? Online booking made the next day. The independent reviews of real customers had much more weight than my reassurances.
TripAdvisor Tip No.1
Use your TripAdvisor reviews to help in your sales, refer clients to reviews that address their specific concerns.
2. Use your TripAdvisor reviews/rankings in other promotional material.
Online marketing for your Tourism Business is the focus of this site, but as we all know there are other important channels such as travel agencies/wholesalers/inbound operators. TripAdvisor is becoming so global and is (in my opinion) the default online resource for travelers so I am sure many travel professionals use the site as well.
If you have great reviews on TripAdvisor, tell your trade partners about it. If you have recently been ranked #1 in your area, tell everyone about it. You can do this through your newsletter, your Facebook page, build it in to your sales presentations. Nothing speaks more volumes about the quality of our product than paying customers saying “This was great”
TripAdvisor Tip No.2
Use your best TripAdvisor reviews/ranking in your travel trade promotions as well. Stand up and shout “Our customers say we are the best”
3. Recycle your best reviews as online content for other sites.
My whole TripAdvisor experience has really taught me that the best kind of content is indepently written reviews recommending your product. The words of our satisfied customers are always going to have much more influence than our own self promotional talk.
Another part of my online strategy is posting syndicated content to online travel hubs (I will cover this more in later posts) and your best TripAdvisor reviews are perfect for this. The way you do this will vary depending on where you are posting but here are a couple of ways I do this:
– Post excerpts of reviews on our own blog page. Just take the content word for word and post it on your blog, Say you are posting to your blog once a week and you dedicate one post a month to customer reviews then that is one week of each month taken care of.
– Post reviews to your Facebook Page. Same as above, make sure you include a link in the post back to your site.
– Post reviews to online hubs. In New Zealand we have a new national tourism site which allows user generated content and as tourism business owners we are allowed and encouraged to post content. I take the reviews and post several short ones in an article created by me, I add a disclaimer at the end saying the post is by me and add a link to both our site and the actual review on TripAdvisor as well.
Key Point: Whatever you do, do not post fake reviews to any travel review site. Recycling genuine reviews will be OK on some sites but never create fake reviews. Make sure you follow the rules/policies of each site.
TripAdvisor Tip No.3
Recycle your best TripAdvisor reviews and post them to other sites online: your own blog, Facebook page, online travel hubs.
4. Get your business listed quicker on TripAdvisor by contacting their foreign offices.
The first step to making TripAdvisor work for your tourism business is to get listed and this can be one of the most time consuming parts of the process. In my case, I registered the business on TripAdvisor and nothing happened for months. Looking in the owners forum there were many businesses in the same boat and it just seemed impossible to get a reply from TripAdvisor.
My business has a Japanese language website and we also have Japanese speaking staff, one day out of the blue (while I was still waiting for a reply from TA) we were contacted by the TripAdvisor Japan office asking if we would like to have our tour listed. We asked if we did this could they also help get our tour listed on the English language version of the site and they said yes. Within a week we had our tour listed and were ready for customers to write reviews.
One of the things that sets TripAdvisor apart is the multilingual aspect of the site, a customer can write reviews in their own language and they still count toward the total ranking of the business.
Note: I had initial success with this when I first did this but have since had difficulties getting in touch with the same person a second time round.
TripAdvisor Tip No.4
Contact one of TripAdvisor’s international offices to see if they can get your site listed quicker.
5. Build and implement a system to encourage customers to review your business.
Most people want things to be easy, they may intend to write a review but 2 days later they have forgotten or are too busy to get around to it. We need to be proactive about getting customers to write reviews and it is pretty easy to do following these simple steps:
Write a follow up email including a polite request for a TripAdvisor review.
Embed the link that takes goes directly to your TripAdvisor listing.
Assign the task to a staff member (or do it yourself) to be carried out every week.
Monitor results, it is always a buzz to see new reviews posted and it will encourage you to keep going.
TripAdvisor Tip #5
Build a system into your tourism business to contact customers with an email requesting a review, include a link to your listing on TripAdvisor.
1. Make sure you and your sales staff are familiar with your TripAdvisor reviews, refer potential customers to them to address a specific question or concern.
2. Use your TripAdvisor ranking/reviews in your trade promotions. Include it in your newsletter, build it into your sales presentations.
3. Recycle your reviews to other online sites. Post to your blog, Facebook page or other online travel hubs.
4. If you are not listed on TripAdvisor, register your tourism business now.
5. Contact one of TripAdvisor’s international offices to see if they can get your site listed quicker.
6. Put a system in place to send an email requesting a review to all customers, include a link to your listing, assign the task to a staff member and monitor your results.