When I went on vacation to Disney about 6 years ago, I remember using Trip Advisor for the first time. The website was cluttered and the reviews were not very helpful. I did not pay much attention to the website until about 2 years ago when I started working for a hotel company out of Destin, FL. I started to noticed more and more travelers tell us how they are using Trip Advisor to find restaurants, attrations and lodging. They read the reviews and took the advice from other travelers as if it was given to them by a best friend or family member. I did not waste any time and started to analyze how Trip Advisor works so I could bring more business to our hotel. After weeks of talking to other hotels and reading articles from other web marketing professionals, I came to a simple conclusion … Trip Advisor can only benefit your company if you offer excellent value and service!
Take the reviews seriously and make adjustments based on what the customers are saying. I must agree that Trip Advisor has a great way of ranking the businesses which give the Travelers a great way to find the hot spots in a given area. A high rating on TripAdvisor could mean hundreds of new customers and an increase in revenue! Most hotels are listed automatically, but if you notice your restaurant, hotel or attraction is not listed, it is VERY IMPORTANT that you take the next hour or so and sign up and create your listing (it's free too!).
Once you get listed, make sure you do a few things to increase your popularity index (this will increase your ranking).
1) Post a TripAdvisor widget of your business listing on your website and any other web pages (including Facebook and myspace). This will bring traffic to your Trip Advisor web page and increase your popularity index.
2) Ask your customers to make reviews of your business. DO NOT write your own reviews. I've seen listings go from # 1 to # 20 within a week because of fake reviews. Trip Advisor knows when listings are fake and they will penalize your business for this.
3) Add pictures, videos and content to make your Trip Advisor web page stand out. You want people to stay on your listing as long as possible.
4) Do not get discouraged with a bad review. You will not have all perfect reviews no matter how great your business is! If you get a negative review, make sure you respond to it as soon as possible. As a manager, you are allowed to write a response to any negative review about your business.