July 12, 2010
‘Rumor travels faster, but it don't stay put as long as truth” ~ Will Rogers
The internet is a mixed blessing. While it provides you with the opportunity to reach out to and convert individuals living across the global into paying guests, it also makes it possible for an irate guest to destroy your hard build reputation at a click of a button. There are thousands of social media sites and travel advisory sites where guests can post travel logs. Some of these logs may contain rave reviews of your hotel property, others scathing comments. Negative comments from previous guests can be extremely damaging as they can deter an interested party from becoming a guest. Therefore, it is essential to know what people are saying about you (your hotel) online.
Given that, there are numerous social media sites, monitoring what previous guests say about you may seem difficult, expensive and time consuming. It need not be. If there are 100s of social media sites, then there are 100s of monitoring tools to help you monitor what people are saying about your hotel easily. By monitoring and collecting this information, you learn what the problematic areas are on your website, fix them and inform guests (past and future) of what actions you have take to rectify the problem. This will help reassure potential guests that are uncertain about making reservations at your hotel because of the negative reviews and comments.
To get you started, here is a list of social media monitoring tools:
Monitor Website Traffic
Quality traffic = conversions = guests. By monitoring traffic levels and patterns on your hotel website, you will know when your traffic levels dip and you can take steps to increase traffic to your website accordingly. Similarly, if you monitor competitor websites, you can learn how they are keeping their traffic levels up. Get free competitive intelligence reports about traffic levels, compare multiple websites etc. using the sites listed below:
- Compete: Competitive intelligence such as traffic and engagement metrics
- Alexa: Traffic metrics, search analytics, demographics, and more
Trends are ever changing. One month everyone is searching using ‘hotel + swimming pool’ as their keywords, next month, people are searching using ‘hotel + discounts’ as their keywords. By tracking trends, you can learn what keywords your potential guests are using to look for hotel accommodation and you can use this knowledge to adjust your marketing campaigns to attract and convert visitors into guests more effectively. The sites listed below will help you track trends with ease:
- Google Trends: Insights into broad search patterns
- Google Keyword Tool: Generate keyword ideas for related keywords and search volumes
- Omgili Charts: Measure and compare the Buzz of any term
- eKstreme: Find out who's talking about your hotel using certain keywords
Brand Visibility Monitoring Tools
Brand presence online is vital for every hotel’s success. Use the sites mentioned below to learn what type of presence your website has online and based on the report, you can strengthen weak areas and yield better results:
- Addict-o-matic: Search for your presence across social media sites, including youtube, digg, google and Flickr. Plus, find out what your competitors are doing
- HowSociable?: Measure your hotel’s visibility on the social web
- socialmention: Real-time social media search and analysis and receive free daily email alerts of your hotel brand and even your competitors
Blog Search Tools
Many travelers maintain online travel blogs that mention great places to eat, awesome places to see and whether the hotel they stayed at was worth the money. Learn what people are writing about your hotel property using the below listed blog search tools:
- TECHNORATI Search: Find top blogs about your hotel based upon inbound links only
- TECHNORATI Advanced: Search for blogs about your hotel based on tags
Forum Tracking Tools
Use the tools listed below to search for discussions about your hotel property and sign up to receive instant alerts when people mention your hotel property in forums:
- BoardTracker: Tracks words such as your hotel name in forums
- BoardReader: Search multiple message boards and forums for reference about your hotel.
- Omgili: Find communities, message boards, discussion threads about your hotel brand.
- Google Groups: Find groups discussing your hotel and other travel related topics.
These are just some of the tools available to track trends, monitor brand sentiments and keep an eye on what the competition is doing to increase their occupancy levels. By tracking, monitoring and analyzing this information, you can modify your marketing plan/strategy top yield better results.