Reputation Management: A Quick Guide for Students in Hospitality Courses

hospitality management careers

If you were to book a hotel stay right now, what would be your first steps? Would you browse through your favourite travel blog to find a cozy hidden gem? Pick up a copy of the latest Lonely Planet or Fodor’s for an in-depth review of a trusted establishment? Or maybe you would simply do an online search for hotels in the city you plan to visit, read what previous customers had to say, and then make your decision from there.

While these approaches all sound wildly different, they share something in common: they’re about reputation management. A stunning Instagram picture, glowing online review, or even brief but positive mention in a big publication can do a lot to make a business shine.

In fact, in hospitality few things are as important as reputation management. Here’s a small taste of the tricks hospitality pros use to stand out.

Start With a Strong Social Media Profile

In today’s digital world, reputation management often starts with a strong social media profile. Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest all bring in millions if not billions of users. Snap a picture of hot scones fresh out of the oven? Why not share it on your B&B’s Instagram? Got a glowing review from a recent guest? Consider showcasing it on Twitter or Facebook to help drive even more people to your resort.

Use social media to grow your establishment’s reputation

Use social media to grow your establishment’s reputation

Social media can help you in a multitude of different ways. Your social media accounts can allow you to share images and information about your establishment. They can help you connect with guests on a deeper level. They can even help you monitor what guests loved best—or where they may see room for improvement. By paying close attention to social media, you can help craft an excellent reputation for your business after earning your diploma in hospitality and tourism management.

Encourage Influencers to Write About Your Establishment

Tweeting and posting gorgeous pictures on Instagram is one thing, but how do you take your hotel’s reputation management strategy to the next level? Among many hospitality circles, one of the best ways to gain a reputation boost is to reach out to influencers. These Instagram celebrities, travel bloggers, and much-followed mini starlets can have huge sway over the thousands of people who follow them. A nod from one could give a hotel’s reputation quite the boost.

Influencers can help a hotel strengthen its reputation

Influencers can help a hotel strengthen its reputation

However, many professionals with hospitality management careers will offer a word of warning (or two!) when dealing with influencers. According to many top hotels and brands, it’s not uncommon for some would-be influencers to buy bots to swell up their follower numbers. Other influencers might simply be looking for a free stay, with little thought to providing real exposure in return. For this reason, many hotels now have application forms for influencers to fill out, which help to illuminate the quality and engagement of followers. Hospitality pros can also recommend drawing up a written agreement or contract that outlines exactly how many posts or other marketing contributions an influencer is expected to create in return for a free stay.

Don’t Underestimate the Effect Reviews Can Have on Hospitality Management Careers

Reviews from everyday guests might seem a little more down-to-earn compared to the glitzy pictures of an Instagram celebrity, but they actually have a much more concrete impact on an establishment’s reputation. User reviews help to give potential customers a real sense of a hotel. It’s a chance for excellent service and delectable food to speak for itself, as guests share what they loved most.

Positive reviews can have a profound impact on a hotel’s reputation

Positive reviews can have a profound impact on a hotel’s reputation

To help secure these much-coveted reputation boosters, encourage staff to gently suggest customers leave a review. This can be a particularly excellent idea when a customer has been especially impressed by services, or has seen your staff go the extra mile to make their vacation memorable. Together, each of these reviews can help cement your establishment’s reputation – driving business for years to come.

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