Top Review Platforms for Tour & Activity Operators
A business’s online reputation is more important than ever. Reviews can make or break a potential customer’s decision to book with a tour operator, and responding to both positive and negative reviews across review platforms is essential to maintaining happy customers — and attracting new ones!
But with so many different review platforms to choose from, it can feel a bit overwhelming to dive into maintaining your business’ online reputation. This guide details our favorite review platforms so you can decide which ones are best for your business!
1. Google My Business
Google My Business (GMB) is a business listing that displays your company’s information, such as location, contact information, and user reviews, across various Google features and platforms.
Google is the number one site for rankings and reviews in terms of volume, so reviews on GMB can go a long way. When a potential customer searches for your company by name, they’ll see the Knowledge Panel on the right side of the SERP with your contact information, a description of your company, and several reviews as well as your overall rating. From here, they can click to view more reviews and are able to learn a lot about what other customers liked about your activities before even visiting your website.
GMB reviews play a large role in local results as well, making it more important than ever to cultivate a high star rating. According to Podium, Google automatically filters out local businesses with less than a 4-star rating from the Local Pack (the map feature on the SERP that returns results based on local queries). Furthermore, reviews accounted for more than 15% of how Google ranked a local business in 2018 (Whitespark), so the search engine giant is the perfect place to point your guests when it comes time to ask them to leave you a review.
The best way to keep the GMB reviews flowing is to respond to all reviews — even the positive ones! It’s also important to optimize your GMB profile so that it includes accurate and up-to-date information about your business.
You may not think of Facebook as a review platform, but as the largest social network in the world, Facebook is a popular place for customers to leave reviews. The best part about using Facebook for reviews is that it not only allows people to socialize with their friends, but it also lets them make business recommendations as well. 57% of people say that social media influences their shopping (AdEspresso), making your Facebook reviews essential for gaining new customers.
Pro tip: Include a book button on your Facebook page so that users who read reviews and are ready to book with your business can head straight to your website without any distractions.
Another benefit of asking for reviews on Facebook is that the majority of your guests likely already have a Facebook account. When you ask guests to review your business on Tripadvisor, if they don’t already have an account, they’ll have to make one before leaving their review (more on this in a moment).
You want to make the review process as easy as possible, and with 360 million people using Facebook today (Facebook), chances are your guests can whip out their phones and leave that 5-star review in a matter of minutes. With that ease of use comes exposure — your reviewer’s Facebook friends will see the review, giving you a built-in audience that is likely already within your target demographic and more eyes on your business.
In order to get lots of Facebook reviews, you’ve got to have a great profile that users will want to engage with. Check out our guide to getting started with Facebook to learn more!
It’s vital to list your business on Tripadvisor, one of the most popular review platforms out there. The website is home to 730 million reviews and is the third-most visited review site by customers before they visit a business (reviewtrackers).
While people searching for businesses like yours on Google or Facebook are likely doing research or looking for trip planning ideas, people who come to Tripadvisor are often searching specifically for your rating and reviews before making the final decision to book.
Reviews are the backbone for any listing, especially since Tripadvisor ranks businesses within categories in your town, city, or region. Maintaining a high rating can get you listed on top “things to do” Tripadvisor pages, generating more brand awareness and bookings.
As an unbiased third-party review site, Tripadvisor has the potential to generate more trust in a brand than a business’s own website can. That’s because less than half of travelers trust reviews on operators’ own sites and 95% of people turn to third-party sites for the most trusted reviews (Tripadvisor).
Tripadvisor also grants you access to free promotional tools like the Tripadvisor Widget, which lets you share reviews on your website, and Review Express, a free review collection tool.
Visit tripadvisor.com to list your business today!
Podium is a high-quality, all-in-one reputation management system that lets tour operators see reviews left on all platforms in one centralized dashboard. You can also respond to reviews directly in Podium, so there’s no need to log into several review platforms to chase down each and every new review.
Podium is also essential when it comes to asking your customers to leave reviews for your business. You can set up automatic text messaging so customers receive a text asking them to leave a review or rate their experience after they complete a tour or activity. Their reviews are then automatically posted to Google, Tripadvisor, or any other platform of your choosing, allowing customers to rate their experience in one easy step.
FareHarbor’s integration with Podium makes it easy for tour operators to manage their online reputation and boost their rating. After a booking is completed in FareHarbor, the booking data is sent directly to Podium, where they use the data to program and schedule SMS review invitations to go out to customers after they finish their tour.
No matter where you choose to list your business for reviews, Podium brings all of them together for a seamless review management experience.
Now that you have a breakdown of our favorite review platforms for tours, activities, and attractions, you can choose which ones are best for your business and start growing your online presence through reviews. For more information about how reviews can impact your bottom line and the best ways to respond to positive and negative reviews, take a look at our additional customer review guides.