Turning Social Feedback into Social Content
By Ashish Gambhir Co-founder , newBrandAnalytics | February 19, 2012
The breadth of online guest feedback shared online is massive and is showing no signs of slowing down. Being able to mine the insight, extricate the rich details, and aggregate the feedback into industry-specific operational categories is a distinct competitive advantage. Only when armed with this information can hotel executives effectively determine how best to deliver an experience their guests will enjoy and, just as important, talk about.
As Ken Blanchard, critically-acclaimed author and management expert is quoted as saying: "Feedback is the breakfast of champions." With the explosion of social media and consumer generated content, Blanchard's words ring louder and clearer than ever anticipated.
After all, who would have imagined that Facebook would amass more than 800 million active users? Who would have thought that TripAdvisor would now house more than 60 million reviews and opinions? Or that these online reviews would now be widely considered a top influencer of purchase decisions? According to the latest Nielsen Global Online Consumer Survey of over 25,000 Internet consumers from 50 countries, recommendations from personal acquaintances or opinions posted by consumers online are now the most trusted forms of advertising.
When you think about online guest feedback, it is important to understand commentary beyond the usual suspects like Facebook and Twitter. While these sites share a plethora of customer insights, additional conversation about your hotel is taking place in a variety of hotel specific domains as well. These include:
• eCommerce Sites: Sites where travelers go to make purchase decisions, such as Expedia, Hotels.com, and Travelocity, feature guest reviews delivered at point-of-purchase.
• Hotel Review Sites: Sites such as TripAdvisor offer a forum through which consumers can read and write reviews. While this feedback influences purchase decisions, no transactions take place on these sites.