Advertorial – TripAdvisor reveals how to get the most out of receiving an accolade
According to a recent Nielsen Global Trust in Advertising report, 70 percent of the more than 28,000 Internet respondents Nielsen surveyed said that they trust consumer opinions posted online. Next to “recommendations from people I know,” this was the most trusted form of advertising. When online consumer opinions matter this much, are you doing all you can to promote the awards and accolades your business earns from TripAdvisor travellers?
Whether it’s a TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence Award or a TripAdvisor Travellers’ Choice® Award, TripAdvisor accolades are earned through achieving consistently high ratings from the people who matter most to your business: your guests. When you win a TripAdvisor award, it’s a great opportunity to advertise your business and the exceptional service you provide to travellers.
With the right public relations and online marketing strategies, you can share the good news with a greater number of people and win even more recognition for your property.
The following are six easy tips to help you promote your award win:
- Prominently display your award. Whether it’s an award plaque or a sticker, place your award in a very visible place at your property, such as your lobby. Showing that your property has won an award based on reviews from travellers adds credibility to your brand and makes you a more appealing choice for guests. It’ll also serve as a source of pride for your employees.
According to Kenneth Matherne, Director of Sales at Super 8 New Orleans, customers notice and comment on the award plaque: “Everyone that walks in the door looks at the award and mentions something about it, or they mention, ‘that’s how we found you guys on TripAdvisor.’”
- Showcase it on your website. Your website is a great place to promote your awards to potential guests. Proudly display your awards on your own website with an eye-catching free widget available on the TripAdvisor Widget Center. The widget links guests straight to your TripAdvisor page where they can browse your guest reviews and photos.
“Just about every guest checks TripAdvisor before booking our hotels,” said Julia Coppock, Marketing Director at Hotels Unlimited Inc. “Some of our properties have won the TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence and we also proudly display this accolade far and wide, both on our site and on social media sites. There is no award that means more to guests than an award from TripAdvisor.”
- Issue a press release and target your local media. Formally announcing your win can help you spread the news far and wide, and attract guests with increased media attention. TripAdvisor offers press release templates for its top accolades that you can quickly and easily complete with your property name, award details and a quote from one of your spokespeople. Once your press release is ready, you can issue it over a newswire service, post it on your website and even send it around by email to journalists who cover local business.
Adam Sperling, General Manager of Hotel Commonwealth, saw an opportunity to target his local media: “Our public relations firm put the word out to different travel writers out there that this small independent hotel in Boston had been given such a prestigious distinction by the general public.”
- Leverage your social media efforts. This is your chance to reach out to your existing fans and create new ones. Share the news through public, social forums like Twitter or Facebook to create buzz and get positive comments from past and potential guests. Trusted feedback from friends on Facebook is a powerful and persuasive way to attract new customers. Also, encourage your employees to share the news via their personal accounts to spread the news even further.
Andy Thesen, Co-owner of Hermitage Bay, has had success using social media to promote his property’s accolade: “It has already been all over our Facebook page and that has created a lot of interest – a lot of past guests saying, ‘well done; well deserved.’”
- Notify your past guests. Word of mouth marketing is essential. Send a quick note to your past guests letting them know that you are a winner and that you appreciate their role in getting you there.
Jamie Holmes, General Manager of Nisbet Plantation Beach Club, suggests that it is important to notify and thank guests for helping his property achieve its accolade: “We thank them because they are the ones that helped us win the award. They are the ones who wrote the reviews, and they are the ones who took the time after their vacation time to go home and put pen on paper.”
- Celebrate. Don’t forget to celebrate and acknowledge the amazing work you and your staff have done to achieve this accolade. A hotel’s hardworking staff is at the heart of what makes it successful with guests. So, this award belongs to them, too. Applaud and encourage this great service by thanking and congratulating them for a job well done.
“The accolade with TripAdvisor really makes the staff feel like what they are doing is right because they keep getting positive feedback. It’s great as a manager to be able to get that recognition from our guests and TripAdvisor,” added Holmes.
Winning a TripAdvisor award is a great opportunity to let even more people know about the great service your property offers. Don’t miss your chance to get the word out there thanking your customers, attracting new guests and putting your property in the spotlight.
April Robb, Sr. Manager, Content, TripAdvisor
April Robb joined TripAdvisor in 2008 and, for the last two years, has been part of the TripAdvisor for Business division that is focused on helping businesses around the world promote themselves to travellers searching for products and services online. She leads the content team, which is responsible for the TripAdvisor for Business webinar and speaking programme, as well as the group’s blogs and social media efforts. Robb is also responsible for creating a resource library of videos and guides offering tips to help people market their businesses through TripAdvisor. She has spoken at Eye for Travel and other industry events on the topic of online reputation management. She holds a B.A. degree from Bryn Mawr College.