Contributor/ The Vulture
TripAdvisor could learn a lot from my hairdresser, a man with a business plan so neat those throw-enough-shit-against-the-wall TV business gurus would rip an arm off for it.
I pay him enough to keep him in suede hipster boots in myriad colours and then once I leave his premises, I spend six weeks providing him with free advertising. He doesn’t shave his logo onto my scalp, but he knows that a job well done gets comments and comments mean recommendations. Then nature ensures I’m back in the chair before his toes start getting cold.
And I’m happy to do it, because he makes me look good. This is our mutually beneficial relationship. And this is what TripAdvisor fails to understand. Its users are the product. They provide the reviews which lure the customer in and without them it would be a just another meta-search site.
So why does the content look like its been to Super Cuts? Crappy mobile phone photos, too many exclamation marks, delivered on a page clogged with sponsored links, random additional search offerings…it’s fussy and chewed and looks like the saturday girl’s been at it.
Your hotel has to be on TripAdvisor, you know that. But that doesn’t mean that when a guest leaves happy you can’t direct them somewhere which will keep them glowing a little longer. There are review sites now, such as TripTease, which help the reviewer create content with decent layout, photos and fonts, which they want to share with others. Which makes them look good. And people want to stay where the good-looking people are.
As my hairdresser would say, it’s a lot about product.