Here’s a recent comment from a user wondering about whether they should buy Tripadvisor Reviews.
“I run a small B+B in Mexico. I’ve bought Tripadvisor reviews in the past. It’s expensive and they’ve removed a few. What are the best tips to keep me in the 4 – 5 star ranking?”
Let’s take a step back. TripAdvisor, as a travel content aggregator, is best known for their large amount of user reviews. In fact, they were one of the first travel websites who adopted user-generated content. Even though the site encourages users to submit their reviews on the site, there’s a dark side to the practice.
Should You Buy TripAdvisor Reviews?
If you run a business, like a bed and breakfast, hotel or restaurant you probably want to attract more business. You start looking at TripAdvisor and find more 4-star reviewed establishments than you thought.
Four-star reviews imply quality. Anything less is seen as either average or less than average. If you don’t have 4-star reviews, your business might have a problem gaining new customers and growing.
The problem is that your business has several two-star reviews on TripAdvisor and an ad for your competitor with four-stars is showing on your page. This could mean that your business is practically ‘dead in the water’. Most people might think your business, well, isn’t good enough and may be willing to visit your competitor even if their cost is higher.
Sometimes, TripAdvisor may filter out good reviews, only leaving bad reviews ‘out in the open.’ They say that first impressions are everything in the business world—and those low-rated reviews pretty much cost your business its reputation and potential sales.
In a moment of desperation, you thought about to yourself, I should buy TripAdvisor reviews. You did a search on Google, checked out some sites and eventually landed on this page.
There are plenty of services that will let you ‘buy TripAdvisor reviews.’ Business owners like yourself can even buy hundreds at a time to boost the ‘appearance’ of your business’ reputation on TripAdvisor.
You might have glanced over these sites and thought, ‘I probably need these reviews to counteract those negative reviews and get your business booming.’ You’re thinking that moving up a few stars can make your business look reliable to consumers.
Buying TripAdvisor reviews to move business up just a few stars-on-average isn’t actually such a good idea— here’s why.
The Truth Behind Buying TripAdvisor Reviews
Let’s be honest. Buying TripAdvisor reviews seems like an easy way to make your business look great to users.
You only have to spend a few hundred or a few thousands for several dozen reviews, guaranteed to ‘boost your business’ and TripAdvisor reputation. With the promise of using ‘ethical white-hat reviewing techniques,’ you really can’t blame business owners for being enticed by that kind of business-boosting prospect.
The thing is buying reviews is dishonest. In other words, you’re paying a service to lie to potential real customers. This is unethical and you will get caught.
As an example, hotel businesses who buy hotel reviews have those same reviews talk up their facilities. Their facilities may have ‘great rooms, fast service, and good food,’ but in reality, may provide service that’s less than what the reviews allege.
When customers see these reviews, they’re expecting the bed and breakfast establishment to actually be worth the stay. When they actually experience your establishment, they feel confused and even betrayed.
You’re also lying to TripAdvisor if you purchase reviews. Doctored, bribed and dummy reviews are actually some kind of ‘epidemic’ on the site, somewhat tainting their reputation. Businesses have been buying TripAdvisor reviews through review writing services to ‘boost’ their site reputation. In fact, TripAdvisor banned over ’30 hotels for suspicious reviews.’
Many of these reviews were bribes by the establishments themselves, promising customers additional incentives for their stay—if they left a glowing review. The other reviews naturally originated from buying hotel reviews from writing services.
To combat the prospect of ‘fake reviews,’ TripAdvisor now monitors user-submitted content on their website. Reviews now are subject to ‘a verification process that reviews the IP address and email address of the review author, detecting any suspicious patterns or questionable language.’ Users are also allowed to report suspicious content, later reviewed by their team of ‘quality assurance specialists.’
Even though TripAdvisor is taking steps to completely remove these ‘fake’ reviews, not all reviews are completely gone from the site.
Should You Buy TripAdvisor Reviews?
If you decided to buy TripAdvisor reviews, don’t think you won’t get caught. Your industry is a competition between your competitors and yourself—as it is a game of pleasing your customers. Competitors will always monitor their competition. It only takes a few suspicious reviews for people to suspect your business of having a doctored TripAdvisor page. You will get caught.
What can you do instead of buying TripAdvisor reviews for your business?
Start Monitoring Your Reputation:
That’s simple enough. Instead of resorting to the ‘easy way,’ there’s the hard way. Luckily for you, the hard way to promote any hotel, bed and breakfast and even excursion business is good old-fashioned online and offline marketing. The better news is that you can use Socialdraft’s Managed Services to take this off your hand. However, if you want to handle it yourself, here is a breakdown of what you need to do.
Remember that this is about the long run, and you want your hotel or BnB to be around for years to come. Set your place up on Google Alerts. Whenever your hotel or BnB is mentioned, take action:
Good Reviews: First, click over and engage that user. Thank them for their review and send them a small token of thanks. Then share that amazing review across all your social media accounts. This is the best kind of advertising.
Bad Reviews: Click over to the site. Inspect the negative review. Was this a crazy customer, or was this something others have complained about. If this is a legitimate complaint, make a note to discuss with your team. Then, take the time to thank the customer for bringing this to your attention, let them know it is being handled, and ask them for a chance to make things up. It is possible to turn negative things around.
Don’t buy TripAdvisor reviews. If you are getting constant negative reviews under 3 stars, then you need to look at your business and analyze why these are happening. Take the time to fix these items…then…start responding to each bad review. Ask unsatisfied customers about what they didn’t like about your service, especially if it’s something that can be improved. Take bad reviews in stride. Take them as an example of what you need to improve in your hospitality business.
You don’t have to buy TripAdvisor reviews to make your business look that much better. Be honest with your customers to improve their experience at your establishment.
To be honest, this takes a lot of time. If you don’t have the time or expertise on how to deal with TripAdvisor reviews, let our team of experts handle it. The Socialdraft team has been managing TripAdvisor reviews for local clients for over 10 years. How does it work?
- You are assigned a SIM (Social Identity Manager)
- First, your SIM will optimize your TripAdvisor listing.
- Then, your SIM will analyze your TripAdvisor reviews to let you know what the most pressing issues that need to be addressed are and give you actionable items so you can start to get them rectified.
- Your SIM will come up with a set of responses that can be easily customized for recurring issues that are brought up for your TripAdvisor reviews.
- Your SIM will respond to reviews so you don’t have to and send you a weekly progress email.
- If there are sensitive items that come up on TripAdvisor reviews should be addressed internally or need the touch of your lawyer, your SIM will let you know so that you can take the necessary steps to address it.
Want to learn more about how we can help your business manage its TripAdvisor Reviews? Schedule a discovery call with us today.
Reputation management is integral to any small business. Unfortunately, reputation management has become a time suck since you not only have to worry about review sites like Yelp and TripAdvisor; but also reviews and mentions blogs, social media sites, video sites, and regular news outlets. Some businesses have been relying on free services like Google Alerts, but those are unreliable and give you irrelevant results…and most reputation management dashboards are prohibitively expensive…cutting into your already small profits. In this article, we’ll review some small business tips on reputation management so you can get a hold of your online reputation and save time and money.
Why is Reputation Management Important?
Reputation management is one of the most important aspects of Social Media because if people are speaking badly about your business you will lose money. In the past, negative talk about a business would happen after church, or before the PTA meeting. Now, customers have multiple ways and places to tell the world when they are upset about something that happened at a business. As such, reputation management is an integral part of promoting your brand. Start off by keeping close tabs on what people are saying about your business. Armed with this information you need to accomplish two main goals:
1) Swiftly mitigate and neutralize the impact of any unsavory comments regarding your company’s reputation.
2) Lavish those that compliment your business with gratitude and appreciation AND amplify their message.
Small Businesses Reputation Management Tips
The longer any negative comment about your company lingers online and unaddressed by your business, the deeper and more severe the damage will be. When two or even three negatively charged comments are quickly handled and countered with plausible explanations, you have a chance of mitigating or canceling out the damage. On top of that, your social audience will see that you care about them and about your business. This is a very good thing.
Criticisms should be met with a public apology and an offer to correct any issues that contributed to the person’s derogatory comment. Equally powerful in building your company’s reputation is swiftly and graciously responding to any and all praise directed to your brand.
Reward Loyal Customers
Reward loyal customers with coupons, discounts or free gifts and encourage them to “like” your Facebook Page and “retweet” your Twitter conversations. Use your Facebook and Twitter accounts to establish relationships with your customers by engaging in conversation. When you see someone post a picture to Instagram of your business, there are different things you can do to thank them across multiple social networks:
1. Thank them by offering a discount on their next purchase
2. DM them a certificate for a free product
3. Add them to a special list of people to get invites to special events
4. Amplify their message. Share it all over social media. If they tweeted, share the tweet on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and LinkedIn. This is the best type of advertising.
Maintain High Standards
We know you maintain high standards, but sometimes it is easy to develop a relationship with your staff that makes it easy to ignore issues. This is where reputation monitoring comes in. If you keep seeing negative alerts coming in about a particular team member or product, it means you need to take the time to look into that issue.
Following this rule will allow you to truly maintain a high standard for your business and will eliminate the need to address and respond to negative comments at all. Focus on providing such an excellent service that your customer base will be your strongest defenders if someone has something bad to say.
Curious About Socialdraft?
Socialdraft is an all-in-one social media dashboard to help you and your team manage social media. These are some of its main features.
- Schedule to Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and Pinterest
- Schedule Instagram reposts to your connected social networks
- Work on our nifty Drag & Drop Content Calendar
- Schedule in bulk via Excel
- Export your Social Media Calendar
- Use your own Custom bit.ly
- Pull reports
- Create campaigns – groups of Social Media accounts to publish the same information and tons more.
This means that you can manage your business’ online reputation AND social media from one place. Check us out today, we’ve got a RISK FREE TRIAL so you can check out what we do and make up your own mind.
No matter what kind of business you run, you’re going to have to deal with negative reviews. Even the best brands and businesses will have to deal with an occasional piece of negative feedback on social networks like Facebook, review sites like Yelp, or even on their website. Negative review management is incredibly important. In fact, it is more important than it ever was. Today, we’ll discuss why you need to be ready when negatives come in, how to track them so you miss nothing, and how to deal with those pesky negatives when they do.
Why You Need to Deal with Negative Reviews
People trust online reviews. It’s as simple as that. Because people know that bloggers and social media influencers can be bought…and that they don’t often disclose this type of relationship they are more likely to trust those unsolicited reviews that are shared on review sites. Let’s look at the numbers:
- 84% of people trust online reviews as much as they would a recommendation from a friend (source)
- 91% of people read online reviews on a regular basis (source)
- One negative review can drive away 22% of your customers
This attests to the power of reviews and review sites such as Yelp and their competitors. As of 2017, Yelp alone had 28 million monthly app users and 83 million desktop users. That’s a whole lot of people. According to one study, in Seattle, a one-star increase among Yelp restaurant reviews led to 5-9% growth in revenue.
Negative reviews and online comments, which can have an indefinite online shelf life, can possibly cost a business far more in lost receipts than what positive reviews can do for increasing revenue.
The fact is, whether they know it or not, and some do, customers have a decided online advantage over small, local businesses when it comes to disputes and conflicts. Because a reviewer is inevitably perceived as the powerless victim who has fallen prey to a business owner whose first interest is making a quick dollar.
The takeaway? Don’t ignore reviews and online feedback.
How to Track Negative Reviews & Feedback Online
Tracking reviews and online mentions is a ridiculously time-consuming task. There’s Yelp, TripAdvisor, FriendsEAT. Then there are all the things people say on Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube. Did we mention blogs? Sure, you could log on to each of these sites daily, or you could simply use a dashboard like Socialdraft that puts all of those mentions all in one place for you to manage. A dashboard like this will save you time and money. You can sign up for Socialdraft’s risk-free trial here.
Negative Review Management and Response Tactics
That’s why it’s vital to prevent negative online reviews from appearing in the first place. You can neutralize negative reviews using the following steps:
- Prevent negative reviews from happening
- Privately deal with disputes
- Publicly respond to negative reviews
- Promote positive reviews
As with our health, prevention is the key, and prevention is where business owners should invest the most energy. Providing the best possible service, and adhering to the most impeccable standards greatly minimizes any chance of receiving negative reviews.
No expense should be spared in making sure customers have access to open and fluid lines of communication via all forms of social media. Business owners should even assign key personnel the job of managing and monitoring social media because no matter how well your business is run, someone will complain and you need to be alert so negative reviews don’t get out of hand.
When someone does complain while at your place of business before a negative review is posted, it’s imperative to immediately deal with customer concerns and criticisms, and accommodate feedback no matter how trite a complaint may appear. An online review lives forever…whereas a complaint in your place of business does not.
Business owners should seize every opportunity to communicate by speaking with customers in person; communicating with them by phone or exchanging e-mails.
Whatever the mode of contact, find out what the customer wants and acquiesce — even if your business loses money in resolving the conflict. Because in the long run, quick conflict resolution is far superior to the drawn-out protracted impact caused by an angry, dissatisfied customer’s negative word-of-mouth or online review. It is near impossible to get a negative review removed.
The longer an unresolved dispute goes without being addressed, the more it may spiral out of control and even itself become the sole source of more negative reviews. For example, I’ve read negative reviews for a business on Yelp written by people who had never used the business and had only read other online negative reviews.
2. Privately Handle Disputes
In the event that a negative review appears online, the first priority for a business owner should be to move the issue offline as fast as possible. Encourage the customer to communicate with you by phone or email so you can negotiate in private.
Offer a solution in exchange for the customer promising to delete the bad review, or at the very least, have them revise the review to note that their complaint was solved to their satisfaction.
At all costs, business owners should avoid any and all back-and-forth or tit-for-tat online exchange that could draw even more unwanted attention to the review (as seen in the above example). This will only put the business in a bad light with other potential customers. In other words, make your customers an offer they can’t refuse. You are in the hospitality industry after all.
3. Publicly & Neutrally Respond to Negative Reviews
If a customer refuses to change or delete a review, forcing you to reply online, you should document the actions you took to resolve the dispute to your customer’s satisfaction. Mention any discounts, substitutions, replacements, or complimentary service you offered in an attempt to make the customer whole.
If the majority of the reviews your company receives online are positive, any negative review that’s accompanied by a reply on behalf of your company outlining steps taken to compensate for a grievance by an unsatisfied customer will successfully mitigate the damage.
In most cases, when potential customers can see a small business is attentive to complaints and goes overboard to resolve disputes, people are more than willing to dismiss a few errant negative reviews.
Hotel Max has some great examples of public responses to both negative and positive business reviews.
4. Promote Positive Reviews
Provide a “feedback form” or “satisfaction survey” on your website or place of business to serve as a proactive step in fixing a problem, or making an improvement. By presenting a venue for feedback during a visit, customers are far less inclined to take negative publicity away with them and onto public forums like Yelp or TripAdvisor.
When you or your employees come in contact with your customers, ask them if they’re happy with your company’s services or product. If they are, encourage them to show their appreciation by submitting positive reviews online. Go the extra step and make it easy on them, have cards with QR codes that lead to your preferred review site. Hand these out to only those customers who loved your service and products.
Remember, some customers may be unfamiliar with the online review process or social media in general, but customers who are deeply satisfied with your business will take the time to post a positive review and become brand advocates.
Don’t forget to feature links on your website to online review pages and social media pages so customers can easily post positive feedback.
Ask clients for an e-mail address. Message your customers after an order or a service and request feedback (and maybe offer a small perk). You can then ask them to subscribe to a newsletter for future promotions.
When you do get those positive reviews, share them on social media. This is social proof of your amazing business (and free advertising).