How Remarkable Guest Experiences will Close the Social Media Gap

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Our friends at Cornell University School of Hotel Administration just released the The Impact of Social Media on Lodging Performance report that covers 2,5 years studying mid-scale, upscale, and luxury hotels in 11 cities in the North America and Europe.

This report is conducted by Chris K. Anderson, Ph.D., an associate professor at the Cornell University School of Hotel Administration.

This report uses the unique position of Cornell’s Center for Hospitality Research to combine data from three research partners ReviewPro, STR, and Travelocity, and two other data providers comScore and TripAdvisor in a first attempt at determining Social Media ROI.

The Guest Experience Tipping Point

Over the years there has been a steadily increase in consumers consulting TripAdvisor reviews before making a booking decision. And the data verify that reviews has high impact on the consumers booking decision.

The interesting factor here is that in 2010 the guest experience mentioned in customer reviews became the dominant factor in hotel selection.

And the report focus on Reputation Management Metrics from ReviewPro Global Review Index ™. This data shows that Hotels reputation in Social Media Channels has a direct impact on the Hotels performance.

  • 1-percent increase in a Hotels online reputation score leads up to a 0.89-percent increase in price as measured by the Hotels Average Daily Rate (ADR)
  • 1-percent increase in reputation leads to demand creation with up to a 0.54-percent increase in occupancy
  • 1-percent reputation improvement leads up to a 1.42-percent increase in revenue per available room (RevPAR)

The report reveal the importance of Social Media and user generated content. And consumers are getting more engaged across several Social Networks in their booking decision process.

Now it is not a big surprise that a large base of Hotel guests has made their booking decision based on TripAdvisor reviews. And the amount of consumers visiting TripAdvisor is increasing.

One interesting finding here is that consumers are visiting TripAdvisor more often, and view more pages overall. This is believed to come as result of TripAdvisor has created a more efficient consumer experience, and better search abilities.

Another important finding is that as much as 26.5% of TripAdvisor visits occur in the last five days prior to reservation. This clearly indicate that reviews is one of the final criteria in the Hotel booking process.

Pricing Points of the Social Factor

Price is understood as the combining the effects of price and review scores.

If there is a increase in the Hotels review score from 3.3 to 4.3 the Hotel could increase their price about 11.2-percent. The positive increase in review score will offset the negative odds of a price increase.

This shows clearly that better reviews leads to higher pricing while lower reviews force the Hotel to lower pricing to achieve similar occupancy under both settings.

Remarkable Guest Experiences

With ReviewPro Global Review Index ™ the data verify that Reputation Management results in increased pricing power and occupancy for the Hotel.

TripAdvisor provide the opportunity for the consumer to connect their account with Facebook. This allows the consumer to collaborate with their Social Network when making booking decision. And it provides a element of trust when the consumer review a Hotel where Network connections has provided valuable insight.

Facebook also have a TripAdvisor app that gives more insight for the consumer.

Since consumers today emphasize the guest experience Hotels should focus on collaborating on various reference points that will add value to the booking decision. Collaboration is the glue that will tighten the Social Media Gap between anticipation and real results.

The Hotel has to focus on building Trust, and it need to be trustworthy. With collaborating with consumers and address concerns this will result in more positive reviews. To achieve this result it is crucial to have a proper Reputation Management system in place.

Understand that Social Media is a channel to Serve, listen, engage, create awareness, build trust and establish a network of advocates for your Hotel. You don’t arrive to the party to sell. Focus on providing a remarkable experience at every reference point.

The Impact of Social Media on Lodging Performance shows what Hotels can achieve when Social Media is put in a system.

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Cornell University – School Of Hotel Administration

Cornell University – School Of Hotel Administration – The premier hospitality management school, where they educate the next generation of leaders for the world’s largest and most dynamic industry. Build your business knowledge and skills under the most accomplished faculty in the field.

Follow @TheHotelSchool on Twitter.

ReviewPro

ReviewPro – Customer Intelligence For Hotels

The rules of the game have changed in the hotel sector. At center stage of this change is the hotel guest and the growing trend for individuals to share their hotel experiences with others on the Internet. Today, online reviews and other user-generated content (UGC) is having a significant impact on individual hotels and multi-property chains.

ReviewPro was started with the idea that if hotels could listen and respond to what customers are saying about them online, they could improve guest experience and drive revenue growth.

Follow @ReviewPro.

  • Olga Kovshanova, MBA, MA

    Remarkable guest experience is THE Goal.

    Seems the questions is: “How to deliver remarkable guest experience?”

    Olga Kovshanova, MBA, MA
    Hotel Professional Extraordinaire
    Destination Sales and Guest Relations Manager for Russia, CIS & Eastern Europe
    Starwood Hotels: The Grand Mauritian & Le Meridien
    Email: olinka@olinka.info
    Professional Website: http://www.olinka.info/
    Skype name: olinkaru
    M: 230-717-5790 evenings
    LinkedIn Profile: http://www.linkedin.com/in/kovshanovaolga
    Leader LinkedIn Group: Hotel Professionals Worldwide
    http://www.linkedin.com/groups/Hotel-Professionals-Worldwide-4333308

  • http://twitter.com/dcraig Daniel Edward Craig

    Thanks for summarizing these important studies, Are. Online travel is getting increasingly complex, for both marketers and travelers, and this type of research helps us prioritize and decide which tools we need to more efficient. But in the end one thing has never changed: it’s about delivering on promises on property.

  • http://aremorch.com/ Are Morch

    Thanks Olga for the feedback.

    No doubt Remarkable Guest Experiences should be one of the main goals.

    I used Cornell’s report for this article, great info for everyone in the
    Hospitality Industry. And this report primarily reflects on the
    Reputation Management aspect. So for me it worked with a Title that
    provided more result oriented answer.

    But your question is very good question.

    Cheers..

    Are Morch

    Hotel Blogger

  • http://aremorch.com/ Are Morch

    Hi Daniel.

    Yeah New Media is making online travel more complex. That is why I enjoy reports like this, and also valuable case studies that take in dept look at some of the real effects of dipping into new complex market segments.

    But you are so right, that in the end of the day it is the service delivered at the property that really will make a difference on how the guests review their experience.

    Cheers..

    Are Morch
    Hotel Blogger

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