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Online Reputation Management Guide for Your Hotel

March 26, 2024

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The rapid progress of technology has exerted a profound impact on the ever-growing hospitality industry.

Among these advancements, the Internet is one of the most critical drivers shaping the customer’s decision when booking a hotel. With 5.35 billion internet users worldwide, 66.2% of the global population can access information online.

As a result, customers read online reviews and ratings, making hotel online reputation management the most compelling marketing tool.

A study on Statista revealed that reviews and ratings on an online travel booking website exceeded over 8 million entries, including experiences, accommodation, restaurants, airlines, and cruises.

Therefore, by maintaining a positive reputation, hotels can attract more bookings and drive repeat business, increasing word-of-mouth referrals.

This comprehensive guide will explore the importance of online reviews for hotels and the six essential strategies for effective online reputation management.

Let’s start by understanding what is online reputation management.

What is Online Reputation Management?

components of hotel online reputation management

Online reputation management (ORM) refers to strategies and tools for monitoring reviews, replying to feedback, and enhancing the value of their property, service, and brand as perceived online.

ORM in the hospitality industry helps you build and nurture your relationship with loyal hotel customers and earn the trust of potential guests.

Positive online reviews, social media engagement, and prompt responses to feedback can enhance reputation and attract more guests. The image you build online can significantly impact your future bookings and revenue.

The critical components of online reputation management for hotels include:

1. Monitoring

It involves tracking online mentions, reviews, and comments about the hotel across various platforms, such as Google reviews, third-party online travel agency sites, social media, and travel discussion forums.

2. Responding

It involves engaging with customers who leave reviews or feedback online, positive or negative. Timely and personalized responses help hotels resolve issues and address customer concerns.

3. Influencing

It involves proactive steps, such as encouraging satisfied guests to leave positive reviews. It leads to a solid online presence and builds trust among potential guests, reassuring them about the service and hotel brand.

Importance of Online Reviews for Hotels

importance of online reviews for hotels

According to a research study on the influence of online reviews on consumer decision-making in the hotel industry, more than 60% of customers in the modern digital era use online customer reviews as a significant deciding factor when making purchases.

With the increasing use of mobile marketing, travelers and tourists now use a variety of online platforms to share their experiences, express their opinions, and use it to make reservation decisions.

Moreover, the global hotel and resort industry’s market size reached US$1.21 trillion in  2023 and is expected to grow further.

Therefore, not monitoring your online reviews and brand mentions can make up a considerable percentage of your business. Unaddressed negative reviews can influence millions of potential customers, making online reviews the most essential marketing tool.

Since most people search for hotels online, positive reviews will help attract more visitors to your website and social media pages, leading to increased direct hotel bookings.

Online reviews act as social proof, providing potential guests with insights into the experiences of past visitors. They also help establish trust and credibility for the hotel.

Consider these aspects to understand why hospitality reputation management is essential for hotels:

  • Influence: Online reviews heavily influence consumer perceptions and booking decisions.
  • Trust: Positive reviews build trust and credibility, increasing the likelihood of bookings.
  • Decision-making: Consumers often rely on reviews to make informed decisions about accommodations.
  • Visibility: Hotels with more positive reviews tend to rank higher in search results, enhancing visibility.
  • Competitive Advantage: Maintaining a solid review profile can give hotels an edge over rivals.

When it comes to influencing consumer behavior, building confidence, and influencing their intention to make online hotel reservations, online reviews add a layer of transparency, enabling them to make the right choice.

Hotels with a positive online reputation are more likely to attract and retain guests, emphasizing the influence of social proof and the strength of recommendations.

Therefore, hotels must prioritize managing their online reputation by encouraging positive reviews, addressing negative feedback, and maintaining consistent service quality to ensure long-term success.

For this reason, hotels need to have a strategy for monitoring their online reputation.

6 Strategies for Effective Online Reputation Management

Strategies for Effective Online Reputation Management

While you can’t control what people say about your hotel online, you can take steps to protect and improve your online reputation. This may include responding to negative comments with positive ones, resolving customer issues quickly, and ensuring a solid online presence.

Here are 6 strategies to manage online reputation management.

1. Proactive Monitoring

Your guests are online talking about you. So you need to be there too.

Monitoring online reviews across multiple platforms is critical to effective online hotel reputation management.

It involves continuously tracking online mentions, reviews, and feedback about the hotel across various platforms, such as the hotel website, review sites, hospitality social media channels, and forums.

Proactive monitoring allows hotels to identify positive and negative comments and take appropriate action. A bad online reputation can make guests think twice about booking with you and change their perception of the hotel. Therefore, you need to be present and address the issue immediately.

Likewise, if your guests leave positive feedback or comments about your hotel, you must thank them for taking the time to share their words. After all, it’s nice to hear about the overall experience of hotel guests.

Here are some essential hotel reputation management tools and platforms for tracking and monitoring online conversations:

  • Google Alerts: Google Alerts is a free tool that sends email notifications when the hotel’s name is mentioned online.
  • Reputation.com: Offers comprehensive online reputation management solutions, including monitoring and managing reviews, social media, and business listings.
  • Trackur.com: Tracks mentions of the hotel across various online sources, providing insights and analytics for reputation management.
  • Socialmention.com: This free platform monitors hotel social media mentions, offering real-time analysis and sentiment tracking.
  • Aboutmyhotel.com: Provides a platform for hotels to monitor and manage their online reputation, including reviews, ratings, and guest feedback.

2. Prompt Response

Responding promptly and professionally to guest reviews and feedback demonstrates that their opinions are valued and their concerns are taken seriously.

Prompt responses also show potential guests that the hotel is attentive and cares about guest satisfaction, positively influencing their booking decisions. Moreover, addressing issues allows hotels to minimize potential damage to their reputation by resolving issues before they escalate.

Tips for crafting personalized and empathetic responses to positive and negative reviews

  • Acknowledge and Thank you: Start by acknowledging the guest’s feedback and expressing gratitude for sharing their positive or negative experience. This shows that you value their feedback and are willing to listen.
  • Apologize and Sympathize: Even if the problem was out of your control, apologize sincerely for any inconvenience or dissatisfaction the guest experienced. Validate their feelings and show empathy.
  • Provide Solutions (if applicable): This could include offering a refund or a complimentary stay or simply assuring the guest that their concerns will be addressed.
  • Personalize: Please address the reviewer by name and reference specific details from their review to show that you’ve read and understood their feedback.
  • Brand Integrity: Use a consistent tone of voice and style when responding to reviews. Keep your hotel voice and guidelines in mind.
  • Maintain Professionalism: Not all reviews will have a 5-star rating, so don’t get defensive. Stay professional and courteous, even while dealing with difficult situations.

Prompt responses are a great way to win back unhappy customers and gain their trust through a proactive approach.

3. Encouraging Positive Reviews

Hospitality is about relationships. Hotels with high star ratings and reviews get more business.

Positive reviews are valuable assets for hotels, reinforcing customer satisfaction and presenting opportunities for further attracting hotel customers.

According to a global survey of Tripadvisor users, 86% said online reviews made them feel more confident while booking a hotel. Also, users read an average of nine reviews before making the final decision.

Before directly asking for a guest review, send a brief feedback survey to gauge how happy your guests are with their stay. This approach serves a dual purpose: enabling guests to provide honest feedback and providing you with a chance to resolve any issues before they post an online review.

Here’s an example of V Hotel Lavender, Singapore, encouraging a positive review by a customer posted on Tripadvisor with an instant response/reply.

Replying to reviews establishes a two-way connection with your customers. It makes your brand human to them and to everyone else who might be reading the reviews.

V Hotel Lavender Singapore

Source: V Hotel Lavender, Singapore

Consider these five strategies to encourage satisfied guests to leave positive reviews:

  • Proactive Requesting: Train staff to politely ask satisfied guests to leave a review before they check out, capitalizing on the positive experience when it’s fresh in their minds.
  • No False Promises: Be genuine in your interactions with guests. Avoid making unrealistic promises or offering incentives solely for positive reviews. Authenticity builds trust and credibility.
  • Follow-Up Message: Send a personalized follow-up message expressing appreciation for their stay and kindly requesting a review.
  • Easy Review Process: Simplify the process with a direct link to review platforms, encourage participation, and ensure easily shared feedback.

According to the Privacy-Focused Marketers Survey by Capterra, 85% of the participants responded that they would leave a review in exchange for a discount.

Moreover, it was revealed that  Gen Z are about twice as likely to use gift promotions compared to baby boomers. Similarly, Gen Z and millennials are more than twice as likely to use referral credits as boomers.

Therefore, as a hotelier, you must use creative ways to incentivize guests to share their positive experiences online. Consider the following tactics:

  • Loyalty Points: Offer guests loyalty points or rewards for sharing their positive experiences online.
  • Exclusive Discounts: Provide guests with exclusive discounts or special offers on future stays or amenities in exchange for sharing their positive experiences online.
  • Social Media Contests: Host social media contests where guests can participate by sharing their positive experiences using hotel hashtags. Winners may receive complimentary stays, upgrades, or other perks.
  • Thank You Gifts: Show appreciation to guests who leave positive reviews by sending them a personalized thank-you gift. It can include branded merchandise, gift baskets, or vouchers for hotel services.

With reviews being so valuable and hard-earned, keep the process simple.

4. Pay attention to Google Reviews.

Customers first see Google reviews when they search for your hotel. By being proactive, you can make sure that you make a great first impression on your customers.

The more reviews you have, the more customers walk through your door. Google reviews can increase your visibility in search results, making it easier for potential customers to find your hotel.

Tips to monitor and respond to Google reviews effectively to maintain a positive online reputation.

  • Set Up Google Alerts: Receive notifications whenever your hotel is mentioned online.
  • Regularly Check Google My Business Dashboard: Monitor reviews through the Google My Business dashboard.
  • Respond Promptly: Ideally, within 24-48 hours, address reviews to show attentiveness to guest feedback.
  • Personalize Responses: Craft personalized responses to each review, addressing points mentioned by the guest.
  • Stay Professional: Maintain a professional tone in responses, even to negative reviews, and avoid publicly engaging in arguments or disputes.

A 4.8-star hotel offers high-quality service and an exceptional experience. In contrast, a 2.5-star hotel may deter potential guests due to concerns about service quality or cleanliness, resulting in fewer bookings and a negative reputation.

Moreover, a 5-star customer review can be a convincing testimonial displayed on social media, live review feeds, and websites as social proof.

5. Utilize ORM Technology

Online reputation management (ORM) technologies and software for hotels to offer solutions to manage and enhance online reputation effectively. These platforms provide various features like centralized monitoring, real-time alerts, sentiment analysis, review management, and performance analytics.

ORM software enables hotels to monitor, analyze, and respond to guest feedback across multiple online channels, helping them maintain a positive online reputation and improve guest satisfaction.

Here are some of the most popular ORM software options for hotel online reputation management:

  • Birdeye

Birdeye provides everything you need to build your reputation, grow revenue, and deliver exceptional customer experiences. Moreover, it features personalized review replies with AI and generates error-free responses with a single click.

  • Synup

Synp is software that consolidates website reviews into one place, making it easier for hoteliers to engage with customers immediately and build a better reputation.

  • SOCi

SOCi consolidates all reviews and ratings with local search and social media management so that you can review everything from one centralized platform.

  • Yext

Yext provides the tools to monitor and analyze reviews, respond to reviews using intelligent response methods, and generate first-party reviews.

Benefits of using hotel reputation management software:

  • Centralized Monitoring: Allows online reputation to be monitored across multiple platforms from a single dashboard.
  • Real-Time Alerts: Receive instant notifications of new reviews or mentions, enabling timely response.
  • Data Analytics: Provides insights into trends, sentiments, and areas for improvement based on guest feedback.
  • Efficiency: Automates repetitive tasks, saving time and resources in managing online reputation.
  • Proactive Management: Helps identify and address potential issues before they escalate, maintaining a positive online reputation.

Utilizing such technology enables hotels to promptly respond to guest feedback, enhance their online presence, and maintain a positive reputation, leading to increased bookings and guest satisfaction.

6. Leveraging Social Media

Social media network users worldwide will increase to almost six billion in 2027. Since everyone connects via social media nowadays, having an impressive image online is essential.

Proactively monitoring and maintaining your social media reputation involves responding to feedback, creating positive content, and addressing negative comments or posts that might harm your hotel’s image.

Here are a few reasons why social media reputation is essential to hotel brands:

  • Visibility and Reach: Social media platforms allow hotels to reach a broader audience base, increasing brand exposure and attracting potential guests.
  • Direct Engagement: Social media enables direct communication with guests and promptly addresses concerns, enhancing guest satisfaction.
  • Influence and Trust: A positive social media reputation builds consumer trust and credibility, influencing booking decisions and generating word-of-mouth referrals.
  • Brand Image: Social media presence shapes the hotel’s brand image, conveying its personality, values, and unique offerings to a global audience.
  • Competitive Advantage: Maintaining a positive social media reputation gives hotels a competitive edge, distinguishing them from competitors and attracting more guests.

Positive reviews and testimonials on social media channels are potent endorsements that reach a broad audience and influence potential guests’ perceptions.

Ways to leverage social media proof to build trust and credibility with potential guests.

  • Share user-generated content: Repost photos and videos shared by guests, showcasing real experiences and creating authenticity.
  • Showcase positive reviews and testimonials: Feature testimonials from satisfied guests to build credibility and trust among potential guests.
  • Engage with followers and respond to comments: Interact with followers, answer questions, and respond to comments.
  • Highlight awards and partnerships: Showcase any awards, recognitions, or partnerships to reinforce the hotel’s credibility and position.

For example, a customer shared a positive lunch experience at Capella Hotel Singapore and tagged the hotel’s Instagram profile link. This review can be seen in the tagged section of the hotel’s Instagram profile.

These user-generated reviews and social media posts engage with the hotel’s brand and can influence potential guests’ perceptions. Moreover, they directly relate to the look-to-book concept, sparking interest and influencing their decision to book based on the showcased experience.

Capella Hotel Singapore

Source: Instagram


Hotels can proactively manage their online reputation using technologies, tools, and actionable strategies to develop trust, enhance guest experience, and drive bookings.

Hotel online reputation management is an ongoing process that requires dedication and attention to detail. The image you build online can significantly impact your future bookings and your revenue.

A solid online reputation helps you rank higher in search results and improves your visibility across many booking channels. Therefore, responding to positive and negative customer reviews and comments will leave a positive impression and build credibility.

Monitoring and maintaining satisfaction and reputation becomes essential as new generations seek change, creativity, and first-hand experiences.

Moreover, hoteliers can quickly review, analyze, and actively respond to guest feedback based on their reviews with online reputation management software and tools.

Once you know maintaining your online reputation is essential, leverage these strategies to ensure a consistent and authentic experience across digital touchpoints.

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