How to respond to social media backlash

thumbs downNo matter how amazing your hotel may be, it will not be immune to receiving backlash online at some point. The most common place that hotels see negative comments are review sites such as Tripadvisor and Yelp, since these websites are specifically for travelers to share their opinions regarding the hotels they have visited. There is no doubt that online reviews play an important role in guest’s booking decision, which is why hoteliers should consistently monitor them. However, with the ease and convenience of sharing your opinion on social media in just a few clicks, more and more travelers are starting to turn to these channels to express their opinions. 

When you receive a negative comment on social media, your immediate reaction might be to get defensive. While this is natural, especially if you take pride in your hotel and customer service, you should not rush to the defense of your hotel. Follow these steps for a great response every time.

Stay calm – it happens to everyone

It can be a struggle to stay calm after reading some negative feedback regarding your hotel, but it’s best not to take it personally. Remember that every hotel deals with negative comments, and its best to use any information gathered to improve the guest experience in the future.

Don’t delete it

You might be tempted to delete the post, especially if you feel the guest is making false claims. You may also want to delete the post because you are afraid that it will deter potential travelers from wanting to book a stay with your hotel if they see the message. Not only do you risk angering the guest who created the post, but you can also push them to retaliate even further by posting to other websites, which you will not be able to delete. In addition, by providing a response, you not only show the guest that the hotel is listening and concerned about their experience, but other potential guests will also see this as well.

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Respond in a timely manner

A response to a negative comment can make a world of a difference, especially if the guest is still at your property. A timely response gives the impression that the hotel cares and that customer service is a top priority. Regularly monitor social media channels for comments and messages and get a response back to the guest as quickly as possible.

Personalize a response

Don’t used a canned response for all of your negative comments. Not only will the person who wrote the comment be able to instantly tell that the response is not sincere, but potential guests scoping out your page will have the impression that the hotel does not take feedback seriously. Look into the particular incident if necessary in order to provide a well-informed response.

Include an apology

Be sure to include some type of apology in your response and make sure that it is sincere. You don’t necessarily need to apologize for the claim the guest is making, but you should apologize for the fact that they had a negative experience. More often than not, guests want to feel as though they are being heard and that they are being taken seriously. A simple apology is an easy way to convey this.

The most common social media sites for guests to leave negative comments are Facebook and Twitter. On Facebook, guests can message the hotel, leave a comment on the hotel’s Facebook page, or comment on a post. On Twitter, guests can direct message the hotel, tweet to the hotel, and reply to a tweet that the hotel has posted. Be sure to monitor all channels to stay on top of responses.

About the author

Arielle Sanchez is the Digital Media Manager at E-Marketing Associates, where she writes personalized copy for hotel websites, assists independent hotels with social media, and blogs regularly for the E-Marketing Associates Blog. E-Marketing Associates works exclusively with independent hotels and builds innovative online marketing products that increase direct bookings and drive top-line revenue.


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