In “How Important is Word of Mouth Advertising”  Nielsen Internet Research was presented showing that consumers around the world place their highest levels of trust in other consumers.

Their #1 trusted source? Friends and relatives as always. The #3 trusted source (a fraction behind Newspapers) was online reviews written by people readers didn’t even know!

TripAdvisor just joined forces with Facebook to bring Online Word of Mouth Advertising to a brand new level. As TripAdvisor is now advertising, Facebook fans can now “plan the best trip of your life with the help of friends.” And 50% of all TripAdvisor members are on Facebook.

Some of the online innovations seen so far this year include:

  • TripAdvisor announced a mobile app so millions of smartphone users can access hotel reviews wherever they may be.
  • Google announced Place Search allowing web searchers to get a profile of various hotels without ever visiting a hotel’s web site. TripAdvisor reviews play a big role in how your hotel’s Google Place Search profile.
  • TripAdvisor announced and recently upgraded its app for the iPAD.
  • And now TripAdvisor and Facebook have joined forces.

TripAdvisor is no longer just a hotel review web site. It is one of the most important and influential travel planning sources on the Internet today.

What’s really fascinating is the power of this marketing behemoth can be put to use by your hotel for practically nothing. A business listing certainly won’t break the bank.

After that, the only two things needed to ensure positive TripAdvsior reviews is a good customer experience and a some coordinated hotel manpower. Here’s what you have to do:

  1. Have a well thought out TripAdvisor review strategy
  2. Put someone in charge of implementing it
  3. Regularly review to monitor performance
  4. Adjust the strategy as necessary to make sure it works. Demand that it works!

With your hotel’s reputation on the line and the power of online and offline Word of Mouth advertising at stake, this sure seems like one of the best marketing investments any hotel can make.

Let me know what you think. Merry Christmas and all the best in 2011!


AUTHOR: Madigan Pratt

Madigan Pratt is President of MP&A Digital & Advertising, an award-winning agency helping luxury hotels attract and retain profitable customers. Principals with over 60 years of collective experience at some of the world's largest advertising and direct marketing companies lead the agency's team of marketing, creative, public relations, Internet and social media professionals.

  • I agree with you on the word of mouth. However these days now that consumers are leaning towards trusting internet sites. The internet sites have to have the best of everything and all the features the users want. but also not get to congested and stay some what simple. Now with adding all these different apps its getting a little more difficult and confusing.

    January 13, 2011
  • A hotel without an online reputation managment strategy is being arrogant. If Tripadvisor is going to be the future or not is yet to be seen. I see google places taking over from Tripadvisor in the next few year.
    However the point remains – TAKE CARE OF YOUR CUSTOMERS and ensure they tell the world about it on the internet on all review sites! That is a must, and it’s healthy too. 😉

    February 2, 2011

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