Here’s a story…
A family is heading to Orlando, Florida for a holiday. Even though they know there’s lots of choices, either the mom or dad hop online and search Google for “things to do in Orlando, Florida.) Here’s is what they see:
These folks are saavy, so they know those top three results in the peach color are paid placements. Mom or dad scans to the next one, which is a TripAdvisor result. They are likely to click through to this, because not only did it rank first after paid placements, TripAdvisor will give them user reviews.
The most important fact of social media
The key to understanding social media is that it is SOCIALLY DRIVEN. That means regular people posting, sharing and commenting. Finding out what complete strangers think about a product or service is the most valuable thing to your company. People will believe the comments of strangers more often than they will companies for one simple fact—strangers have nothing to gain from their opinion, while companies have everything to gain. Therefore, the perception is that strangers are honest, and sometimes brutally so.
How iFly in Orlando beat a Disney property (and 148 others) on TripAdvisor
#1 result on TripAdvisor was Discovery Cove, with 920 reviews and an average score of 4.5/5.
#2 result was Typhoon Lagoon (Disney property), with 223 reviews with an average score of 4.5/5.
iFly had only 61 reviews on TripAdvisor. They had a good satisfaction rating, which contributes to the overall scoring, so yes you need to deliver a great guest experience. But think about it. Could you get 61 guests to rate your fun center over the course of a year? Of course you can—all you have to do is ask.
At every touchpoint, ask your guests to rank you on TripAdvisor. They same way you promote your Facebook Page or Twitter feed, add a line about visiting TripAdvisor to “tell us about your visit!” You can’t game the system, so don’t promise anything. If TripAdvisor finds out, they will penalize you. However, whenever you receive a positive review thank them warmly. Engage with them and add them to your VIP list. If you didn’t have one before, you do know! That way you can reward them “offline.”
How to get going
- Set up your fun center on TripAdvisor. If guests go to review you and you don’t show up, they may not complete their review.
- Add your TripAdvisor review request to all touchpoints—small tentcards at all tills and food service tables, bottom of receipts, your website, email signature and your telephone hold message.
- Respond to every email notification you receive from a review.
- Use positive reviews to build a VIP list of email addresses in-house. Reward VIPs with free passes or (once you have over 50 VIPs, a VIP night!)
- Use negative reviews to improve your business and/or service. Make it your personal goal to learn from these guests—and if you rectify a situation, make sure you tell them about it publicly on TripAdvisor.
Have you had success on TripAdvisor?