So, everybody is talking about how Facebook is cool.
But have you ever thought about the power of networks like TripAdvisor?
I just came back from a one-month holiday (thanks, God, I always knew that you existed) and I realized how much it grew, thanks to its users, and how much money it is moving worldwide.
Nowadays, even in the most remote places in the world, hotels, restaurants and other services are giving a huge importance of good reviews on the internet.
Some of them even put some (own made) stickers in their windows saying: “recommended by TripAdvisor” with the TripAdvisor logo.
Curiously, TripAdvisor doesn’t recommend anyone, the consumers do – or not.
After planning my trip following other “advisors” (travelers like you and me) I also booked my hotels with a TripAdvisor’s partner, and their website have a comments area too.
So, as everything was going pretty well, I decided to share my thoughts and encourage other people to book the same hotels, restaurants and tours I went to.
The results? A surprising fantastic treatment in every next place I went to. Room upgrades, inclusive.
Later, I found out that the hotels received my comments too, telling them what kind of traveler I am, where I was before and my opinions about it.
And when I came back, I lived two cases that just confirmed my impressions about how travel networks are more important than many other social nets.
First, I talked about it with my aunt, who just came back from Florida. Unfortunately, she was robbed in her hotel room.
She complained for one month, and nobody did anything. So, she wrote a bad review at TripAdvisor. In the day after her comment, the hotel called offering her to pay for what was robbed and…begging her to remove the comment – which she denied.
So, for hotels, bars, tour agencies, a bad review now means loosing thousands of dollars from new clients. Many good reviews might turn into zillions. How much money can Facebook, for example, do for these businesses?
The second case. I talked about the Advisor this with a great friend of mine, who runs an excellent bar.
I was telling him to double his attention with the tourists, because now, their voice is stronger than ever on the Internet and they can bring new business.
“I know,” he said, “some days ago, a client made a reservation for a private party. We agreed the price for a minimum of guests, but they showed up with 20% less people. I charged them for the minimum agreed. Guess what? They wrote a bad review at TripAdvisor. I was on top of the ranking, now I went all the way down.
Yes, Internet creates some abusive monsters too.
But both cases shows that this new, powerful and profitable version of the word of mouth works.
And it can quickly reach other businesses – our advertising clients, for example.
Imagine more organized, sophisticated and evolved forums like this about cars, mobile services, food, cosmetics.
The consumer got the power, more than ever. Take care.
- Fabio Seidl