What is a review and what is it worth?
Hotel reviews are an interesting game — and few play it well.
Today’s topic — what’s that review worth ( and what is a review anyway )?
If hotels knew what reviews were worth — they’d likely all play better.
TLDR: reviews drive 80–90% of booking decisions and the majority of reviews are NOT where you’ve been looking.
Reviews are great for guests — they provide information to compare hotels across known and niche brands.
Like you — hotel guests want to enjoy a great experience and reviews help travelers compare across various hotel properties.
Multiple research projects point to review data as the #1 reason a guest books a given hotel.
They also expose the exploding definition of what guests see as a review.
Guests today see hotel reviews as: Instagram photos, Facebook comments, and posts from their hundreds ( or thousands ) of social media friends and followers.
Guests today don’t care as much about traditional travel review sites like Expedia, TripAdvisor, Travelocity, Yelp, etc.
In our audits — we typically find social media posts account for 10–100 times the volume of posts on traditional review sites.
Direct bookings happen because you visibly reply, comment, and engage with social posts.
That’s everyone’s first level decisions process.
If you aren’t in there — you aren’t visible.
When they can’t find anything in social media, they go to a “traditional” review site ( but seriously — every hotel has geotagged and guest created Instagram photos so why use a review site? ).
If someone is reading reviews on a review site — they will likely book from there ( with the associated costs to your hotel ).
You want as many social media decisions as possible — because it’s the direct booking driver.
( and we’re pretty sure direct bookings are what you want — right? )
Back to that TLDR — reviews are worth at least 50% of your revenue and the definition of a review has expanded.
How are you staying in the game?