3 Ways You Can Use Online Testimonials

3 Ways You Can Use Online Testimonials
Use Online Testimonials for Your Hotel’s Other Marketing Materials
You’ve worked so hard to deliver an exceptional hotel experience to your guests. You spent a great deal of time training your hotel staff on how to effectively ask for social reviews from your guests. You invested a lot of effort following up with your guests for their reviews.

Given all these investments on your end, you can’t just keep your online reviews on TripAdvisor or Yelp. You have to amplify their impact by using them on other marketing materials that you use for your hotel. Experts call this content leverage – using a single source of content and using it in many forms to maximize its reach and effect.

Really, this is a missed opportunity for a lot of hotel managers. Third-party credibility is one of the most compelling sales propositions and it can surely get your hotel more bookings. So, if you have them, maximize them!

Here are a few ways you can use online testimonials.

Display Them Prominently On Your Homepage

Treat your website’s homepage as if it were your hotel lobby – you have to put your best foot forward and you need to make a good impression. One of the easiest and most effective way to do this is to display online reviews prominently on your homepage.

You can do this in two ways:

1. Provide a highly visible link to your TripAdvisor and Yelp listings

2. Copy or take a screen capture of select online reviews and post them on your homepage

Either way, displaying guest testimonials on your hotel’s homepage is an easy way to get more direct bookings on your website.

Use Online Reviews as Social Media Posts

When travelers are considering to book in your hotel, they will most likely checkout your social media accounts such as your Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram pages. That said, this is a great opportunity to build your hotel’s credibility by using online reviews as social media posts.

When you do this, make sure that you add a bit of content to complete the storytelling. For example, if you’re posting a review that talks about how comfortable your beds are, you can start with an intro copy that says, “Did you know that majority of travelers don’t sleep in hotels? Well, not in our hotel. Check out a review from one of our guest who slept like a baby during his stay.”

Also, include an image if you can because social media posts with images get more engagement. Using the same example above, you can use a photo of your comfortable bed or ask one of your hotel staff to lie on your bed as if he or she is sleeping. You can even have a dedicated board on Pinterest for testimonials with accompanying images.

Use Them for Your “In-Hotel” Marketing Materials

Are you thinking of printing new banners that you will display on your lobby? Are you developing a new design for your breakfast menu and other dining offerings? If it’s appropriate, incorporate guest testimonials and you are making your in-hotel marketing materials more hardworking.

For example, if you’re creating a new banner advertising your breakfast menu, you can look for a review on TripAdvisor or Yelp that talks about your food. If you’re printing a new batch of your Internet Access Cards, you can also look for a review that talks about your fast internet connection. Aside from using these marketing merchandises inside your hotel, you can also use them in external events such as trade fairs and other industry events.

HINT: You can also do this with your online ad materials. For instance, an online banner ad can have a testimonial plus a call to action. 

Online reviews are a powerful marketing tool for hotels and you should try to get the most out of them. Having them on top review sites such as TripAdvisor or Yelp is great, but they can even serve your hotel better if you use them across various channels.

Rupesh Patel

Rupesh Patel, hotelier and founder at SmartGuests.com, a U.S.-based Hospitality and Review Tools company that helps hotels increase revenues and occupancy, by boosting their online reviews and reputation. His proven system has not only improved his own hotels, but have helped hundreds of other hotels (large and small) get an advantage over their competition. He regularly shares his passion for entrepreneurship, customer service and marketing on numerous industry sites, social media and blogs.

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