Congratulations! You’ve got your own online community, that’s the first step. Now all you need is content!

As an agency that has created hundreds of review and online community platforms, we know what makes a successful platform, so here are our top ten tips to help get your community sharing, uploading and discussing!

Top 10 Tips

report_med_11. Contact previous guests

Invite previous guests via email to share their experience at your hotel, attraction or holiday.

Make sure you include a link to where they can post it. You may want to offer an incentive to add content – for example, you could offer a discount for their next booking, loyalty points or a gift to encourage repeat business.

study by online retailer evogear.com discovered they received more reviews when a prize or contest was on offer. They identified 15,000 recent customers and sent 3 separate emails.

Message a) A simple basic request for a review.  2.4% of those who received this email submitted a review.

Message b) Suggested that a review would help support the community of evo customers by providing shopping advice. 2.1% of those who received this email submitted a review.

Message c) Said that by submitting a review, customers would enter a contest to win a prize valued at $1,000. 5.6% of those who received this email submitted a review.

Warning: This is not allowed on sites such as Tripadvisor and Yelp so please check the rules beforehand to find out how to legitimately solicit reviews and promote your listing on such sites.

handshake resize2. Encourage your super users

Recognise those who add content and send them a personalised reply saying thanks, and ask them politely to add another post!

3. Run competitions 
Our clients have run excellent competitions and as a consequence have gathered great content.  Why not run a best photo or best video competition?

Take this opportunity to specify what content you want for example e.g. best wildlife photograph.

Check out Enjoy England’s “Enjoy Every Minute” competition… 

4. Internal communications
Make sure your staff communicate with your customers that they can upload their favourite experiences online. This is especially important for staff who deal with your customers on a daily basis.

5. Exposure on your website
This may seem obvious but make sure you advertise the fact that you have an online community and make it easy for them to find it.

puzzle_small6. Make the register and upload process simple

Avoid a mass of forms and complicated registration. Quick and easy contribution is essential. The more boundaries you put up, the more likely it is that you turn them off.

7. Let them add what they want 
Let your customers add as much or as little as they like.

8. Promote on offline communications 
Don’t forget the offline world. You can use your printed mail outs, brochures, leaflets, stickers and point of sale signage to let people know about your community.

9. Promote via E-marketing
Communicate in your e-newsletters and email signature.  You may want to show-off some of your best content too!

10. Get your staff to add content
Encourage brand ambassadors within your organisation – after all, no one knows your brands products and services better than you!

And here is an extra tip for good luck…

11. Offer Fame
Social media often revolves around ego. A status update is essentially you telling the work about yourself and what you are doing. So ask your most active contributor to write a guest article or feature for everyone to read.

This could work well for a student who wants some writing experience or for those who are retired with more time to invest on your site.

Here at Digital Visitor, we believe that the sharing of a holiday is more than just a “review”, it’s the sharing of an experience. That’s why we include the ability for online visitors to upload videos and photos to every upload.

User generated rich media content such as videos and photos really help potential customers to imagine their holiday, giving them the inspiration and confidence to book with you.

Our applications easily integrate onto any website on any page, transforming your website with inspiring, engaging, rich media experiences!

To find out more about our social media applications, contact us today…