In a recent blog post about technology in the hospitality industry, I mentioned that word-of-mouth is an increasingly important consideration for hotels when it comes to booking business. Hospitality eBusiness Strategies (HeBS) seems to think so as well, saying that HeBS surveys and research show that consumer-generated content on social media sites and networks is perceived as more credible by online travelers.
According to its "Best Practices on Monitoring Hotel Review Sites" report, HeBS points out that 38 percent of Internet users use a social media site at least once a month. eMarketer reports that 89 percent of U.S. online buyers read customer reviews before they buy.
As such, HeBS says hotels should start monitoring what's said about their properties on sites like TripAdvisor and Expedia. They even recommend making a staff member responsible for monitoring reviews and having someone address positive reviews and negative ones, whether they are true or not.
Do you regularly check hotel reviews online before booking a room? Have you ever been swayed one way or the other based on something you read?
Check out the full report on best practices at the HeBS website.