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January 13th

Social Media Tips

Tips for responding to negative Trip Advisor reviews

Jim Brody of Trip Advisor offers advice on what you can do if you get a bad review on the influential travel review website:

* Ensure you are registered as a business owner on TripAdvisor. This will allow you to manage your listing and respond to reviews. jim says 85% of reviews are positive (less for restaurants, but he says they're used to that).

* Trust your audience. If you have 80 positive reviews and one negative, travellers will see you are a good business.

* If you think the review is a fraud, tell TripAdvisor - they have a fraud squad. Signs to look for include over the top language, reviewer knows too much about your business (i.e. the names of all your staff), supports a competing establishment.

* Respond, especially to bad reviews. him say be gentle, i.e. "Sorry you didn't have a great time..."

* Learn from bad reviews and instruct your staff so they also get the message.

* If there really is a problem - fix it!

A Travel, Tweets and Trends report into social media usage among adventure tour operators across five continents found that:

* blogs remain an important, yet under-utilised tool

* uploading videos to You Tube is a growing trend among those embracing social media

* monitoring, 'listening' and responding to traveller review sites apperar to be lagging behind what would be expected, though tour operators outside North America are more prone to do so.

* Only 32% of respondents are using social media as a customer service tool, which, according to industry experts, is a missed chance to reduce customer service costs while satisfying customers.

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