tripadvisor marketing for tourism

Friend or Foe?

The tripadvisor headline read, “Don’t go on a tour with Peggy Sue.”    The reviewer wrote a lengthy review and gave this seasoned tour operator a “one-star” rating. In tripadvisor, this means you are being rated as terrible…

When Peggy Sue and her staff read this headline, they were devastated.  Some staff took it personally. Peggy Sue wasn’t sure how to respond to the negative review…I was concerned knowing it will hurt future sales.

I have changed the names in this story to protect this client. But the negative impacts are all very real.

Can you relate? Have your read some bad reviews of other tourism companies? Concerned it could happen to you? If you’re not careful… it can.  That’s why I want to share 5 quick and easy tripadvisor marketing and review tips below,

Tripadvisor Marketing – Word of Mouth Advertising on Steroids

Recent research from Nielsen ratings, once again proves that positive “word-of-mouth” and “reviews” create more trust and influence travel shoppers decisions, more than anything else.   Before social media, if someone wasn’t happy, they might tell 10 people. Now unhappy guest can influence 1000’s. So as a tourism marketer, how do you make trip advisor marketing your friend and not a foe?  

I recently asked the question on my Facebook Tourism business and marketing fan page, “Do you think tripadvisor is a friend or foe?”

Here is one response from Radwan Farajat of Redrock Tours in Jordon, my response followed by my tripadvisor marketing tips.

Radwan Farajat: Rerock Tours in Jordon

 Foe:they are not fair; depend on people experience. People do not think the same way; do not have the same taste.”

Tourism Tim Warren; travel business marketing consultantl

Tourism Tim Warren

 Tourism Tim reply: “Radwan we are in a customer service business. We are not selling a “physical product” but “an invisible experience”.

If you are getting many poor reviews, (often on the same issues) your customers are telling you what can be better.

If you listen and take action on complaints, you will find the majority of the different people you serve, will be happier, AND give you favorable tripadvisor reviews…”

 5 Magical Tripadvisor Marketing Tips

1: Always strive to provide great customer service.  It is often the collection of little things, which make the biggest difference in guest satisfaction. Never try to cut corners on customer service.

2: LISTEN to your guests.  Your guests can be your biggest source of great ideas and suggestions to improve your product and services. Talk to and survey your guests. Find out what they want and need, and give it to them. They will love you for this, tell their friends and give you great reviews.

3: Stay connected to your clients before, during and after they go on your tour, stay at your hotel, visit your location, or use your travel consulting services.  When you stay connected to your guests, and create a sense of community, they are 10 times more likely to return, refer to you and be active in your social media channels.

4: ASK for a top reviews. Assuming you know in advance what your guests think about you and your service/lodge/destination (more about how to do this another time), actively ask for an “ Excellent” tripadvisor review.

5: Respond to reviews – both good and bad.  We all screw up occasionally. And when you let your guests know, and all the people who are reading their review, that you heard their complaint and are working to resolve it. This turns a negative into a positive.   People want to know that their opinion matters and you listened.

Tour Operator Increases Direct Sales 200% in 7 MonthsLJ Biz; Bangkok Tour Operator: Client of Tourism Tim Warren

LJ Biz, a tour operator client in Thailand, used the five tips above (and a few more secret strategies I gave them) to go from ranking #49 of 69 sightseeing tours in Bangkok, to ranking #5 in only seven months.  Direct sales are up over 200%.  Business owners and sisters Eng and Buay are super excited.  They can hardly believe their great business growth in such a short time.   

If you want more tripadvisor marketing tips and how LJ biz has used them to grow their tour business, let me know below.

Bottom line: lots of excellent tripadvisor reviews (and other important social media channels) = higher tripadvisor ranking, more consumer trust, more quality traffic to your website, and ultimately more bookings and profits. This is tripadvisor marketing at its best.

 What is Your Opinion?  Do You “Like” or Dislike Tripadvisor?

Please let me and global tourism peers know. Like it? Love it? Hate it? What has been your experience? Post your comment in the Facebook comment box below.