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5 Strategies for Effective Online Reputation Management

Tobias Roelen-Blasberg
Tobias Roelen-Blasberg
Co-Founder & Head of Product
Discover 5 essential strategies for effective online reputation management. Learn how to monitor your brand, engage with customers, and build a positive online presence.
5 Strategies for Effective Online Reputation Management

In the digital age, maintaining a positive online reputation is essential for businesses, especially those in the hospitality industry, such as hotels and restaurants. A business’s online presence significantly impacts customer trust and purchasing decisions. This article aims to provide a comprehensive guide to effective online reputation management (ORM) strategies, emphasizing their importance and offering actionable steps for businesses to enhance their digital presence.

What is a reputation management strategy?

Research suggests that 95% of customers read online reviews before purchasing a product or service. With internet users experiencing advertisement fatigue, consumers increasingly turn to user-generated content, such as online reviews, which provide authentic insights into a business’s offerings. Indeed, online review sites have become the modern-day hub for word-of-mouth advertising.

Online reputation management involves monitoring, influencing, and improving how a business is perceived online. It encompasses a variety of reputation management services designed to create and maintain a positive image of a company across digital platforms.

The perception of a business is significantly shaped by its online presence, including customer reviews, listing interactions, and search engine results. Effective online reputation management (ORM) enables businesses to strategically influence this perception. By actively monitoring and managing online content, businesses can ensure that positive feedback and achievements are prominently showcased, while promptly addressing and mitigating negative feedback or issues. This proactive approach not only fosters customer trust and loyalty but also reinforces the brand’s credibility and competitive edge in a digitally driven marketplace.

Why is reputation management important?

For hotels, effective reputation management is not just about maintaining a positive image; it is a strategic asset that influences customer trust, purchasing decisions, and competitive positioning.


Here are a few reasons why you should deploy reputation management strategies for your business:

1. Impact on customer trust

A positive online reputation is essential for building trust and credibility among guests. In the hospitality industry, where customer experiences are paramount, potential guests often rely on the shared experiences of others to gauge the reliability and quality of a hotel. And online reviews are great ways for customers to have a platform for their own share of voice.

brand image customer service
Enhancing brand image through excellent service.

When a hotel consistently receives positive reviews and engages constructively with feedback, it signals to potential guests that their satisfaction is a priority. This perceived trustworthiness can significantly influence a customer's decision to book a stay, fostering a sense of security and assurance in their choice.

2. Influence on purchasing decisions

Online reviews and ratings have a profound impact on consumer purchasing decisions, especially in the hospitality sector. In fact, 68% of travelers say they consult major review sites such as Google, Tripadvisor, Google, and Yelp to avoid "tourist traps," be it for hotels, restaurants, or activities.

hotel booking revenue generation
Boosting your crisis management plan can effectively lead to revenue generation. Source: World Hotel Marketing

High ratings and positive testimonials serve as powerful endorsements that can sway undecided customers. Conversely, a series of negative reviews can deter potential guests, leading them to choose competitors with better reputations. Hotels that actively deploy reputation management strategies can guide potential customers towards making favorable booking decisions, ultimately driving occupancy rates and revenue.

Learn how to measure the ROI of online reviews in our article Understanding the ROI of Online Review Ratings: Metrics, KPIs, and More.

3. Competitive advantage in the marketplace

In a saturated market, a strong online reputation serves as a crucial differentiator. For hotels, this can mean the difference between being fully booked or struggling to attract guests. A stellar reputation can highlight the unique qualities of a hotel, such as exceptional service, cleanliness, or amenities, setting it apart from similar establishments.

hotel google business listing
Set up a Google Business Listing for your hotel.

When faced with multiple options, customers are more likely to choose a hotel that has consistently positive reviews and a well-managed online presence, especially on major review sites. This competitive edge not only attracts new guests but also encourages repeat business and referrals.

To learn more about the importance of online reputation management, especially for hotels, read our article, Online Reputation Management: A Comprehensive Guide for Hotels.

Why are reviews important for strong reputation management?

Reviews play a pivotal role in strong reputation management due to their direct correlation with business success. Positive reviews not only bolster a business's credibility and trustworthiness in the eyes of potential customers but also significantly influence search engine rankings. They serve as social proof, guiding consumer decisions and attracting more traffic and inquiries.

Actively managing and leveraging reviews can help businesses enhance their online reputation, differentiate themselves from competitors, and ultimately drive growth and customer loyalty.

What are the 3 elements of measuring online reputation management?

Here are the 3 elements you should consider in measuring online reputation management:

1. Review volume

The number of reviews a property receives is a significant indicator of its market presence and customer engagement. A higher volume of reviews typically translates to a broader base of customer feedback, providing a more comprehensive and reliable portrayal of guest experiences. This extensive feedback pool can enhance the hotel's credibility, as potential guests perceive it as a well-frequented and trustworthy establishment.

google business hotels number of reviews
Google Business listings with notable number of reviews.

However, to properly monitor reviews, one should know that reputation management is not just about getting a huge bulk of online reviews at once.

Hotels should meticulously track several key metrics related to review volume. These include the total number of reviews across all platforms, the frequency at which new reviews are posted, and the distribution of reviews over time. Tracking these metrics helps identify trends, such as seasonal variations in guest satisfaction, and provides insights into the effectiveness of recent service improvements or marketing campaigns.

Discover how to effectively collect reviews and boost your presence on major review sites in our article, How to Collect Reviews and Elevate Your Brand's Image.

2. Review rating

The average review rating is a pivotal metric for hotels' reputation management, often serving as the primary indicator of quality for potential guests. A consistently high average rating reflects exceptional service and guest satisfaction, essential for attracting new clientele.

star filter search google reviews
Star filter search on Google Reviews.

Many potential guests use review filters to streamline their search for accommodations, often setting thresholds such as four stars or higher. Ensuring that your hotel's average rating meets or exceeds these thresholds is vital for visibility. Hotels with higher ratings are more likely to appear in these filtered searches, thereby increasing their chances of being selected.

Yes! Achieving a 5-star rating can be tricky. Fortunately, there are reputation management companies that can help you with this. To learn more about them, read our article How to Choose a Reputation Management Company for Your Business.

3. Search visibility

A hotel's visibility in search engine results for relevant keywords (e.g., “boutique hotel in Munich,” “luxury hotel in London”) is a critical component of online reputation management. High search visibility ensures that potential guests can easily find the hotel when searching for accommodations in a specific location. This increased visibility leads to higher website traffic, more inquiries, and ultimately, more bookings.

best hotels hamburg local 3 pack
Google local 3-pack results for "best hotels in hamburg".

Optimizing for relevant keywords and ensuring that positive reviews and high ratings are prominently displayed in search results can significantly enhance a hotel's online presence and attract a broader audience. If you're interested in learning more, read our article How Ratings and Reviews Impact Search: A Comprehensive Guide for SEO.

What are the 5 strategies for effective online reputation management?

Reputation management can be tricky, especially for small businesses. Fortunately, here are the 5 reputation management services you can prioritize:

1. Efficient review management.

Regularly monitoring reviews across various platforms and responding promptly is key to maintaining a positive online presence. Acknowledge positive reviews and professionally address negative ones to show that customer feedback is valued. Consequently, negative reviews should be addressed promptly and professionally for a stronger online reputation. Apologize for any issues, offer solutions, and demonstrate a commitment to improving the customer experience.

review monitoring platform
Monitor your customer reviews on one platform.

Furthermore, encourage satisfied customers to leave genuine reviews. This can be done through follow-up emails, in-person requests, or prompts on your website.

2. Implement Search Engine Optimization (SEO) across your listings.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a vital strategy for enhancing a hotel's online visibility and ensuring that positive content ranks higher in search engine results. By employing effective SEO techniques, hotels can increase the likelihood that potential guests will encounter favorable information about their property when conducting online searches.

seo keywords in review responses
This hotel has successfully utilized industry keywords jn their review response.

To improve online visibility, you should focus on optimizing your business listings and content with relevant keywords that potential guests are likely to use. This involves conducting thorough keyword research to identify terms such as “luxury hotel in Paris” or “beachfront resort in Bali” and incorporating these keywords naturally into the website's content, meta descriptions, and tags.

Additionally, creating high-quality, engaging content that addresses the interests and needs of prospective guests is crucial. This can include posts on your business listings such as Google Business posts, travel guides, and guest testimonials that not only provide value to readers but also signal to search engines that the site is a reliable source of information.

3. Engage with your audience by responding to reviews.

Effective engagement with guests on digital platforms is crucial for hotels seeking to enhance their online reputation. By proactively interacting on listing and review sites throughout guests' journeys—from pre-arrival inquiries to post-stay feedback—hotels can build strong relationships and demonstrate their commitment to customer satisfaction.

review response customer engagement
Customer engagement through review responses.

This approach involves not only responding promptly to reviews and comments but also engaging authentically, acknowledging positive feedback with gratitude, and addressing concerns with empathy and swift resolution. By prioritizing active engagement, hotels can shape a positive brand perception, foster guest loyalty, and maintain a favorable online reputation in a competitive market.

4. Extract data through sentiment analysis.

Data analytics has also become an integral part of an effective review management process.

Extracting data and insights from online reviews is essential for hotels to effectively manage their online reputation. By analyzing customer feedback across platforms like review sites and social media, hotels can identify trends in guest sentiment and pinpoint areas needing improvement. This data allows them to better understand guest preferences, enhance service delivery, and prioritize operational changes that directly address customer concerns, such as improving check-in processes or room cleanliness.

google business sentiment analysis
This review response is a good example in showing gratitude towards guests.

Moreover, leveraging insights from online reviews enables hotels to tailor marketing strategies more effectively. They can highlight strengths based on positive feedback and mitigate potential concerns, thereby improving brand perception and attracting more guests.

5. Learn from feedback.

Online reviews are not just for improving your online reputation, they can also be used for improving your online reputation. They are a great way to acknowledge the share of voice of your guests.

Learning from feedback is crucial for hotels aiming to refine their operations and elevate guest satisfaction. This process enables them to prioritize areas for improvement, whether it's enhancing service delivery, upgrading amenities, or refining operational procedures. Implementing these changes based on actionable feedback not only boosts operational efficiency but also fosters a more positive guest experience, leading to increased satisfaction and loyalty.

improving operations through online reviews
Improving your operations and brand image based on online reviews.

Hotels that proactively do social listening and act upon guest feedback demonstrate a commitment to continuous improvement. This iterative approach helps them stay responsive to evolving guest expectations, ultimately enhancing their reputation and competitiveness in the hospitality industry.

What are some examples of reputation management?

Kings Inn San Diego's success story in reputation management highlights the pivotal role of proactive strategies in enhancing its online presence and market competitiveness. Facing stiff competition in San Diego's crowded hotel market, Kings Inn embarked on a comprehensive reputation management initiative with Travel Media Group. By actively engaging guests for feedback and encouraging positive reviews, the hotel significantly increased its TripAdvisor review count by 2,436, resulting in an impressive 86-spot rise in city rank and a notable boost in its overall TripAdvisor score.

Through targeted efforts such as the Reputation Influence program, Kings Inn successfully amplified positive online sentiment while managing negative feedback internally. This approach not only bolstered customer trust and satisfaction but also positioned the hotel favorably against its competitors. Kings Inn's journey underscores the strategic importance of reputation management in driving revenue growth and solidifying a strong market presence through effective online reputation building.


Reputation management strategy to watch in 2024

Reputation management for the hospitality industry is continuously evolving. To keep your competitive edge within your market, here are some innovative reputation management services you should watch out for:

1. AI and automation for reputation management

As of this writing, the global AI hospitality market size is poised to reach $70.32 billion by 2021. The integration of artificial intelligence (AI) and automation into online reputation management processes is poised to revolutionize how businesses handle their digital presence. AI-powered tools are increasingly adept at analyzing vast amounts of data from online reviews, social media interactions, and other digital sources. These tools can automatically detect sentiment, identify trends, and prioritize responses to customer feedback.

Through leveraging AI, businesses can streamline review monitoring and reputation management, ensuring timely and personalized responses that enhance customer satisfaction and loyalty. Moreover, AI-driven insights enable proactive reputation management strategies by identifying potential issues before they escalate, thereby mitigating risks and preserving brand reputation.

To learn more about AI-powered reputation management strategies, read our article AI Review Replies: All You Need to Know.

2. Leveraging ORM software

The use of dedicated ORM software and review management tools is becoming indispensable for businesses seeking effective management of their online reputation. ORM software platforms offer comprehensive tools for monitoring mentions, running sentiment analysis, and managing reviews across multiple channels. These platforms not only aggregate data from various sources but also provide actionable insights that guide strategic decision-making.

Utilizing ORM softwares can help businesses centralize their reputation management efforts, track performance metrics, and implement targeted interventions to enhance their online visibility and credibility. This technology-driven approach not only saves time and resources but also enables businesses to maintain a proactive stance in managing their digital reputation.

3. Proactive online reputation building

Businesses are now increasingly adopting proactive strategies to build and safeguard their online reputation. Rather than reacting to negative feedback, proactive reputation management involves consistently creating and promoting positive content across digital platforms. This approach aims to cultivate a favorable public perception by highlighting achievements, customer testimonials, and brand values.

Furthermore, engaging actively with customers through review responses can help businesses foster meaningful relationships and preemptively address potential issues. This proactive approach not only enhances brand visibility but also strengthens customer trust and loyalty over time.

What is reputation and review management software?

Reputation and review management software refers to specialized tools designed to monitor, analyze, and respond to online reviews and feedback about a business or individual. These software solutions typically aggregate reviews from various platforms, analyze sentiment, and provide insights into customer perceptions. They enable users to efficiently manage their online reputation by tracking trends, identifying areas for improvement, and responding promptly to customer feedback.

Additionally, reputation management software often includes features for review generation, sentiment analysis, and competitive benchmarking, empowering businesses to proactively enhance their online presence and maintain a positive public image.

Before, reputation management software was often deployed by reputation management companies. Fortunately, nowadays, there are numerous intuitive and simplified reputation management tools you can easily deploy for your business.

Boost your reputation management strategy with the MARA Review Reply Generator

Managing your online reputation can be challenging, especially if you're also running numerous operations for your business. While you can easily rely on reputation management companies, doing so can be expensive and might not give you full autonomy over your online reputation.

Fortunately, there are ORM tools like MARA AI Review Assistant that can help you streamline the task. This intuitive tool is designed to ease your Online Reputation Management process, making it more efficient, personalized, and time-saving. It offers the best and most personalized AI for responding to and analyzing your guest reviews.

Simplified Review Inbox

One of the key features of this tool is the Review Inbox. Your review inbox makes responding to reviews as simple as hitting "Generate reply" and clicking "Send". The Review Inbox connects to multiple review sources, including Google,, and Tripadvisor, giving you a panoramic view of all your reviews. It's like getting your own Google Alerts alongside other major review platforms. And you can even configure review response automation: Why not allow MARA to automatically respond to simple reviews, like 5-star Google reviews with no text, ensuring you never miss a review? Daily notifications about new reviews keep you updated and in control.

mara review monitoring
Review monitoring for multiple listings.

Advanced Sentiment Analysis for Online Reviews

To help you understand and analyze the multitude of reviews, the Review Assistant also incorporates Review Analytics. This provides actionable, easy-to-understand insights that are tailored exclusively to your business. With MARA, you can quickly get the gist of all your reviews without needing to read each one. The analysis is so detailed that you can find out about specific issues like "water in the pool is too cold" or "lack of vegan breakfast option”. These insights help optimize the guest experience without requiring you to be a data expert.

mara review analysis
Running sentiment analysis across numerous platform.

The most personal response AI

MARA's AI isn't just about efficiency; it's about personalization too. The Brand Voice feature allows the AI to adapt to your tone, making sure your responses sound authentically you. Plus, with Smart Snippets, you can "teach" the AI how to respond to recurring praises or complaints. Your AI then incorporates this information into its responses, but always with different words, providing more personalized, relevant replies.

This review response assistant has quickly become a game-changer for over 2000 customers. Its promising capacity to elevate your overall rating, amplify response rates, glean insights from customer feedback and economize both time and money, is the reason behind its growing popularity.

Final Thought

Effective online reputation management (ORM) is indispensable for businesses, particularly in competitive sectors like hospitality. Maintaining a positive digital presence through proactive strategies such as efficient review management, SEO implementation, and active engagement on platforms like Yelp and Google Alerts is crucial. These efforts not only enhance customer trust and influence purchasing decisions but also strengthen a business's share of voice in its market.

With the appropriate software, not only can you streamline the process, but you can also personalize your reputation management strategies, and derive valuable insights from the reviews. So, why hesitate to give our AI Review Assistant, MARA, a try? Whether you're boosting your reputation on Google, Yelp, or Tripadvisor, this ORM tool will surely come in handy. It's completely free for testing, doesn't require a credit card, and can be fully operational in less than five minutes.

This post is part of our hero content series on “Online Reputation Management for Hotels".

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Frequently Asked Questions:

What does a reputation manager do?

A reputation manager monitors, analyzes, and influences how a business or individual is perceived online. They focus on enhancing positive visibility and mitigating negative feedback to maintain a favorable public image.

What are the three phases of reputation management?

The three phases of reputation management are monitoring, responding, and improving. Monitoring involves tracking mentions and feedback across digital platforms. Responding entails addressing reviews and comments promptly and professionally. Improving focuses on implementing strategies to enhance overall online reputation.

What is the reputation marketing strategy?

Reputation marketing involves leveraging positive reviews and feedback to enhance brand credibility and attract more customers. It emphasizes showcasing social proof and customer testimonials to influence purchasing decisions positively.

What does ORM mean in digital marketing?

ORM, or Online Reputation Management, refers to strategies and techniques used to monitor, influence, and manage how a business is perceived online. It involves proactive management of online reviews, social media interactions, and search engine results to maintain a positive brand image.

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