TripAdvisor is now the most-used review site in the world with 340 million users per month. If you haven’t listed your business on there, it’s likely a customer has done that for you and given you a review.
But what have they said?
It’s essential you become part of the discussion and manage your online reputation as much as possible.
Out of more than 400 respondents to a Nisbets Pulse survey, 132 businesses reported that TripAdvisor had a "positive effect" on their business. If it's managed right, TripAdvisor can be the tool that convinces customers to walk through the door.
Here are 8 ways you can make sure your TripAdvisor listing encourages faceless internet users to become seated, paying guests!
1. Check you aren't already listed
Visit the TripAdvisor Owners page and type the name of your business into the search box to see if you're already on there. If your name appears in the drop-down menu, select Claim Your Business.
If you aren't already listed, you'll have to sign up and select what type of business you are (restaurant, hotel etc) and then manually enter your details.
People need to be able to find you! Include the name of your business, full address with post code, phone number and website link.
2. Make sure your page has all your details
3. Google MapsEmbedding a Google Maps image showing your location will allow people to visualise exactly where you are, encouraging them to visit!
4. Respond to reviewsUnlike printed critic reviews in a magazine, TripAdvisor gives you a public right of reply. Make use of it! Replying to reviews will show customers you care what they think and convey the human side to your business. People buy from people – so make your reply personable and let them know who you are.
5. Be professionalEven though it’s inevitable some people will be unjustifiably negative, maintain a professional approach to your replies. These negative reviews are watched closely by potential guests, so it’s your chance to show you can confidently handle complaints and look for solutions where appropriate.
6. PhotosPhotos can make all the difference in whether someone is impressed enough to visit. Food can look mouth-wateringly delicious, or your décor can wow them into feeling the atmosphere through a photo.
Taking quick photos is not going to sell your business as a place to visit, and relying solely on reviewers to take photos removes the element of control you possess over how you’re portrayed.
7. Don't ask for five-star reviewsYes, five-star reviews are great, but only if people have offered it up themselves naturally. TripAdvisor has stringent defence in place to ensure reviews are authentic, with high-tech algorithms and staff monitoring activity, so asking people to give you a five-star review will result in a red flag.
You can encourage people to leave you a review, but trying to directly influence what people say will ultimately penalise your business’ page.
8. Customer serviceThis is your chance to show customers you care and that you’re willing to go the extra mile to ensure they’re happy. Answer questions people have and address any concerns given in feedback.
A business that doesn’t care about customer satisfaction is doomed to fail in the long term, so displaying your great customer service in the cyber shop window will show people will be looked after when they visit you.
9. Enable bookingTo capitalise on those who are interested in booking online, you should remove obstacles that slow down the process. Allowing users to book a table with you through TripAdvisor will help you seize on their enthusiasm and allow them to impulse book.
Convenience is king, so being as user-friendly as possible will be favourable to those who have found you via TripAdvisor.