Let your guests do the talking: User generated content for hotels

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Posted by Louise McCormack on: 2016-10-19 16:00:43Avvio  |  Digital Marketing

A buzz word that a lot of people are talking about in the social media world right now, is User Generated Content. Today I am going to talk through what this means for hotels, as well as giving some examples of hotels who are using it well. User Generated Content for a hotel can include guests leaving reviews on sites like Trip Advisor, posting a snapchat image on their stories, tweeting, Instagramming, blogging and much more. The internet is made up of content, much of which is produced by an average person, and your hotels ability to influence that content could be the different between being a good hotel and being a great hotel.

According to SEMRush, 86% of businesses are now using User Generated Content (UGC) as part of their marketing strategies.  UGC is the modern day word of mouth, it’s how we communicate our experiences and consumption habits online. 92% of consumers say that they trust word of mouth more than any other type of advertising, and this is one type of word of mouth that we have the ability to influence. When UGC is used in advertising, online stores see a 4x higher click through rate and 50% drop in cost per click. These statistics compelled us here at Avvio to start to develop our own experiences of UGC.

Avvio specialise in direct bookings, and as part of this, we offer free social media best practice guides and create the latest strategy templates for all of our hotels, we also offer professional social media services. As a result of this, we are at the fore front for the latest in social media trends. Let’s take a look at when some UK & Irish hotels got it right.

User Generated Content Done Right!

1.       Cheval Residences – Cheval Three Quays, London

The image below was posted by Matt G, who according to his Instagram, is a “European guy who shares his life on the internet”. Matt posted this image to his 135k followers, getting 1,450 likes on the post. This image is an example of User Generated Content. It was taken in the reception of the luxurious Cheval Three Quays in London, the branding can be seen quite clearly in the image. Cheval Residences management, who are very active on Instagram were able to find this image using the ‘places search’ tool on Instagram. This search enables you look up all images which have been tagged to your hotel, and from here you can engage with the customer should you wish. You can see that Cheval has responded to the post, engaging with Matt, which also provides a link to the Cheval Instagram account, should a user wish to click on and check the apartments out. The brand associated with Matt, and his followers who like his luxury lifestyle, will now associate their impressions of Matt, to this luxury, aspirational property.

The Cheval Apartments Instagram account is a masterclass in generating content from its users

Read more about Cheval on their website.

2.       Trump Hotel Doonbeg, Ireland

TripAdvisor is a platform that can be hard to get right. Almost every hotel will get a range of reviews across a mix of 1-5 stars. Customers are often more likely to leave a review for a bad stay than a positive one. When we think of a hotel who is getting the most from this platform, Trump International Hotel in Doonbeg, Co Clare jumps to the fore. Overall, the hotel has a vast majority of 5 star reviews, coming in at an average of 4.5 stars out of 5, based on customer feedback from 371 guests. But like all hotels, there are times when customers will leave negative comments. The manner in which a hotel reacts in these instances can make a huge difference to the people who see these bad comments. Trump’s Hotel in Doonbeg is an example of a hotel who takes the time to read every single review and take on board the feedback in order to provide an excellent level of service.

Recently a reviewer left a negative review, as they did not enjoy their Irish coffees. As a hotelier we all dread getting these reviews, and often times ignore them. Rather than ignoring this comment, the manager of the hotel, Joe Russell left the following public reply.

Trump Hotels TripAdvisor Review

This shows anyone reading the review, that the hotel manager himself has heard their complaint, he is going to look into retraining a member of staff in Irish coffees, and he has invited the customer back to enjoy a free round of Irish coffees on him. Sometimes an unhappy customer, can end up being your hotels best advocate if you deal with the complaint in a really positive way. So when you find negative content published online about your hotel, you, like Mr Russell, can use this opportunity to show people that you care, and you are committed to a high standard of excellent service.

As well as making sure to address any issues guests may have had, Mr Russell also makes sure to comment back to the large numbers of happy travellers who leave feedback. Below is an example of a typical response to a review. The customer who left the review, has given the names of staff members he was especially impressed with, and Mr Russell has shown that he also cares about his staff members, by promising to pass on this positive feedback to them. This level of personalisation on TripAdvisor is what makes one hotel stand out over another online.

 Trump Hotels TripAdvisor Response 2


Find out more about Trump Doonbeg on their website.

3.       Dylan Hotel, Dublin

The Dylan Hotel is a 5 star boutique hotel in Dublin, and as with all hotels, guests are producing content for them on a daily basis. People want to be associated with their brand, and when every part of the hotel is photogenic, from the food to the bedrooms, there is going to be a lot of content produced. You can see in the image below, that the Dylan recently reposted an image taken by a guest. This type of content is super authentic, the image is not even filtered, it is a realistic and positive image of a breakfast at the Dylan.

There are two things you should notice, one that this image has a repost button on the bottom left, from a user called sweat.and.shine, meaning that it was likely taken from Instagram. The second thing you should notice, is that they have actually taken this image from one social platform, Instagram and posted on another, Twitter. This is a great example of a hotel using User Generated Content in a positive way, across multiple platforms.

 Use highly evocative images to get a greater response from social media


Take a look at the image below which shares professional images of the food. While both types of images are relevant and have a purpose, the mixture of User Generated Content, and professional photography, shows a nice balance and sets the high standard for the food expectations at the Dylan.


Find out more about The Dylan Hotel on their website

The three examples discussed show how some of Ireland’s top hotels are leading the way in managing User Generated Content. For more information or any enquiries about social media or book direct services offered by Avvio, get in touch with us by emailing us at info@avvio.com

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