Leaving a Review
We have long come to enjoy reading/writing travel reviews on Tripadvisor.com and Oyster.com or rating hotels and experiences through Expedia.com, Lastminute.com.au and Wotif.com. However, more and more of us are starting to share our experiences and reviews with the companies directly via social media. Is this due to the company’s quick response rate to social media comments? Or the transparency social media demands of them?
This could also be a reflection of the times. Social media is now a main source of communication for most people. Social media is most likely the first place people go to share their good or bad experiences with those they care about. The feedback is delivered quickly and directly, and then opened for others to join the conversation.
The Pros and Cons
“The trouble is that there is no way of proving how many of its reviews are genuine and how many are the work of fraudsters with axes to grind or hoteliers blowing their own trumpets” Mark Palmer.
Traveller first hand experiences
Helps in the decision making process when booking your holiday
Feature traveller photos
They highlight the pros and cons of an attraction, hotel or experience
The owner/operator can leave comments to explain any discrepancies in a travellers experience
Businesses are now made accountable for every misdemeanour
Quick and easy to write or read a review
Anonymity (using a user name)
We cannot be sure the review are genuine or left by those in the industry
The owner/operator may leave poorly thought out comments to explain any discrepancies (see review below)
New business owners have reputations online before they even take over an existing business
The reviewer cannot respond to the business reply
When researching a hotel/restaurant overseas, they may not actually exist when you get there
Reviews on Social Media
Direct contact with the business
The message is seen by your friends immediately
Word of mouth travels fast on social media
The businesses will be transparent with their communication as it will be seen by all that follow them
Other people that may have had a similar experience can participate in the discussion
It gives the business the opportunity to get people interacting with their brand online
Posting messages on social media can be misinterpreted
The business may never respond
You may receive backlash from other users
The business account could be a fake
You could risk ruining a business’s reputation if the review is negative
You could be disappointed with the response
You may come off looking like the bad guy, if you are too harsh and don’t think out your review thoughtfully
“…user-generated travel information, shared travel experiences on social media are often considered more reliable than information provided by tourism organizations and private sector businesses” Myunghwa Kang & Michael A. Schuett
Personally, I like to leave reviews on Tripadvisor. I like to think it will help people decide to visit or stay somewhere. I also use reviews as a way of previewing a destination or service.
Let’s keep reviews online honest and reliable for all of us travellers out there. Please let me know of any reviews you have found to be dishonest or helpful in the comment section below.