The Importance of Online Reputation Management for Travel and Tourism Operators

February 9, 2023
The Importance of Online Reputation Management for Travel and Tourism Operators – Ontario SEO

In today’s digital age, the success of travel and tourism operators is intrinsically tied to their online reputation. In this blog, we’ll go over what online reputation management is, why it’s important for travel and tourism operators, and provide some tips on how to manage your business’s online reputation.

What is Online Reputation Management?

Online Reputation Management (ORM) is the process of monitoring and managing your business’s online reputation effectively. ORM typically involves monitoring and managing 4 different channels:

  1. Paid Media: PPC ads, sponsored blog posts, sponsored influencer content
  2. Earned Media: news sites, press releases, blog features, influencer content, radio mentions, online and paper magazines, etc.
  3. Shared Media: social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, Pinterest, Google Business Profile, etc.
  4. Owned Media: website, blog, whitepapers, videos, etc.

Why is ORM Important for Travel and Tourism Operators?

It’s no secret that travelers heavily rely on online reviews and ratings to plan their trips and make informed decisions about where they should stay, eat, and visit. In fact, a 2023 local consumer review survey by BrightLocal found that 98% of people read online reviews for local businesses. The survey also explored the top three review factors that influence consumers to use a business, which were:

  1. The business owner responds to all reviews (influenced 83% of respondents)
  2. Reviews have been posted within the last 2-4 weeks (influenced 52% of respondents)
  3. The business has at least a 4-star rating (influenced 38% of respondents)

These statistics demonstrate that ORM can help travel and tourism operators:

  • Drive sales and impact buying decisions
  • Deal with negative reviews
  • Improve Industry Authority
  • Stand out amongst the competition
  • Demonstrate commitment to customer satisfaction
  • Obtain helpful feedback on their products/services

Tips on Managing Your Online Reputation as a Travel and Tourism Operator

If you would like to ensure your business is effectively managing its online reputation, here is what we recommend doing:

Conduct an Online Reputation Audit

Begin by conducting a comprehensive audit of your brand’s current online reputation. This involves searching your business’s name, checking travel review platforms (like TripAdvisor), and analyzing social media mentions. Take note of both the positive and negative feedback to gain insights into your strengths and areas for improvement. This audit will inform your ORM strategy moving forward.

Create an Online Reputation Management Strategy

Developing a well-defined ORM strategy is essential for travel and tourism operators. Start by setting clear goals and objectives that align with your overall business objectives. Determine the key platforms within the paid media, earned media, shared media, and owned media channels where you need to establish a strong presence and engage with customers. Be sure to outline specific tactics for monitoring online mentions, responding to customer feedback, and encouraging positive reviews (more on that later). You’ll also want to ensure you are regularly evaluating the effectiveness of your ORM strategy and make adjustments as needed.

Monitor Brand Mentions

Set up alerts (such as Google alerts) and notifications to receive updates whenever your business’s name, keywords, or hashtags are mentioned. Regularly check review sites, social media platforms, travel forums, and blogs to stay informed about what your customers are saying. By staying on top of your brand mentions, you can quickly identify both positive and negative feedback, address customer concerns, and take advantage of opportunities to engage with your audience.

Encourage Customer Reviews

Travel and tourism operators should encourage customers to leave reviews by setting up review acquisition campaigns. These campaigns can be in the form of personalized email surveys or engaging social media posts that invite past customers to provide their feedback. By reaching out to customers and inviting them to share their opinions, you not only demonstrate your commitment to customer satisfaction but also increase the likelihood of receiving valuable reviews.

Respond to Negative Online Reviews

While negative reviews are inevitable, how you respond to them can make a significant difference in shaping customer perceptions. It’s essential to approach negative reviews with a proactive and constructive mindset. Businesses that proactively and professionally address negative comments show that they care about their customers and that they are willing address issues head-on.

Final Thoughts

ORM is a necessity for travel and tourism operators. It is an ongoing effort that requires vigilance, responsiveness, and a commitment to delivering exceptional customer experiences. By recognizing the importance of ORM, implementing effective strategies, and staying attuned to the evolving digital landscape, operators can safeguard their brand reputations, gain a competitive edge, and ultimately thrive in an ever-growing and competitive industry.

Need assistance managing your business’s online reputation? Get in touch with the digital marketing experts at Ontario SEO today to learn how we can help.