TripAdvisor is the world’s largest travel website, with over 315 million hits monthly. There are over 60 million members and over 200 million reviews in 28 languages. Is your museum taking full advantage of this marketing resource? When you create an account as an “attraction,” you can update details about your museum, add photos, respond to guest reviews, and - most importantly - promote your museum. This is a great way to attract potential guests and reach out to the traveling community.
Cornell Hospitality Research Center published a study that links the success of businesses to how frequently and widespread their use of social media is. The research shows that as a property’s social reputation improves, its overall performance also improves. A stronger online reputation increases a destination’s popularity and can result in higher revenue. The reverse is true as well, since properties with weaker social reputations report worse performance. Increasing your presence on social media and encouraging visitors to write reviews and engage with your TripAdvisor profile will help increase your online TripAdvisor rating “score” and online reputation.
Taking control of your brand on TripAdvisor will help promote your museum to an audience you might not have had access to before. Did you know that reviews can be posted about your museum without your knowledge, even if you don’t have a page set up? Be proactive and use this marketing resource to your advantage by creating a page to build your reputation and a TripAdvisor following. When you make a profile for your museum on TripAdvisor, you have the opportunity to be in control of your online reputation. The first thing you want to do is register with the Management Center on TripAdvisor. It is full of free tools to help build your online profile. From the home Management Center page you can manage your page, access free marketing tools, learn about TripAdvisor insights, and respond to your reviews.
Sharing information about your property is the next step. Adding descriptive information helps show off your museum’s unique features. Include what makes your museum special, but keep it brief since you want travelers to read it. Statistics show that supplementing your profile with 30 or more photos and videos will get you over 45% more traveler engagements. The more photos you have, the longer visitors are encouraged to stay on your page. You can upload an unlimited number of photos to be displayed alongside traveler pictures that can be added to reviews.
You want to highlight the best features or exhibits to give viewers an idea of what to expect. You want to keep your content fresh and update regularly when there are any changes, such as to traveling exhibitions. Maintaining your profile will give travelers something current to look at and provide them with another reason to choose you on their next trip. Plus, the TripAdvisor user interface is upto-the-minute in terms of function and design. Leveraging that free platform for the promotion of your museum - especially if your own museum’s website is not as sophisticated - is simply smart marketing.
Excerpted from the summer 2015 edition of the VAM Voice member news magazine. Read more.