Here are some solutions
For DMOs and the travel industry alike, the world of digital marketing is exciting, but all too often it is overwhelming. During the Reputation Management Master Classes I conduct, DMOs frequently mention that the delights of engagement can be steam-rolled by the sheer scope what can realistically be done with limited resources. It’s a convergence of several factors:
- Every business must engage in online conversation, whether they like it or not
- A fear of negative comments and its potential impact on the business
- Content is spread out across too many platforms to effectively monitor
- Giving the impression that a conversation about you, but without you, means that you don’t control your own marketing
- Risks associated with engaging in conversation
That’s a lot to digest. Here’s a start to helping you navigate the world of third-party content and put you squarely on the path of effectively managing your reputation:
1. You can’t do everything and be everywhere, but that’s OK. Different types of content and content websites work well for different types of businesses. The chart below can help you prioritize and focus. This lists the most used platforms for each type of content (i.e. YouTube for video).
SOCIAL MEDIA PRIORITY CHEAT SHEET
2. Actively recruit online advocates. You’ll need a strategy to make this work for thenature of your business. For example, lodgings can email following a stay, while DMOs can launch an online promotion to encourage and collect content.
3. Register for Google Alerts for your business to get regular updates of user-generated content as it surfaces across the Internet.
4. Engage with content creators. Respond politely to bad reviews, comment and thank people for beautiful videos, feature photos on your website, or reach out to bloggers. People respect businesses that get involved in the conversation, honestly and fairly.
5. Make sure you take immediate action to respond to and refute any content you feel is fraudulent. Most platforms have policies regarding this. Avoid an online debate with the content creator.
6. Be authentic, open and honest about your business or organization. Someone (or a group of someones) will almost surely make your mistake into an online conversation…and that could go viral (and it would be all your fault). So don’t lie. Period.
Jim Brody has 15 years of digital marketing experience including his role helping DMOs manage their reputations on TripAdvisor. He is now collaborating with eTourism Summit to deliver a series of Reputation Management Master Classes for DMOs to educate their stakeholders and partners.