Monitoring Online Reviews
Having good hostel reviews is a way to get bookings through the hostel booking engines. There are several ways that you can monitor what people are saying about your hostel so that you can take action to improve the reviews.
Google Alerts are an easy way to monitor what people are saying about your hostel online. Google will send you an email whenever new content matching your search terms is discovered
Just visit the Google Alerts page and fill out the information:
It helps to make several alerts with variations of your hostel's name. If you enclose the search term in quotes, it will return only words in that exact combination. For example, if you hostel's name is Paradise Hostel, you might use the search term "paradise hostel" (including quotes). If you were located in Naples, Florida, you might want to also monitor what people are writing about hostels in Naples, Florida with a search term like naples hostels (no quotes because the search terms might appear in different combinations).
You can also subscribe to Google Alerts by RSS feed:
XML newsfeeds (e.g., RSS) are a way to stay updated about when Web sites update their content. Many hostel review sites publish XML feeds for each property.
For example, if you are listed on Yelp.com, you can monitor your reviews like this:
- Find your hostel's page on Yelp (example hostel's page)
- Copy and paste the URL into your feedreader. Your feedreader should be able to automatically extract the RSS or ATOM feed out of the Web page. If it can't find a newsfeed, then search the Web page for any mention of RSS or XML syndication.
Your feedreading software will then update you whenever a new review is posted about your hostel on Yelp.com (or whatever review site you apply this technique to).
The Technorati Watchlist is a tool that allows you to monitor what people are saying on blogs and some social media networks. You can subscribe to keywords or to blog posts that mention a specific website.
Encouraging Guests to Write Reviews
Some hostels have a sign posted (e.g., near the Internet computers) that thanks guests for staying at the hostel and encourages them to write positive online reviews.
Responding to Online Reviews
It can give your property a great image online if you respond to every review, even if just to say "thank you". Click here for an example and scroll down to the comments marked "Management response".