If you throw completely out the window the fact that the core of what makes up social media is about interacting and engaging with customers and potential future customers, lodging needs to do it just for SEO. I have mentioned this several times before and I saw this trend starting last year, long before the search engines ever officially announced it.
Hoteliers, How Are FaceBook & Twitter Working For Ya? http://www.hospitalitynet.org/news/4047347.html made me just roll over and want to throw my hands up in the air in frustration. I actually have a lot of respect for Neil, but don’t agree that Tripadvisor and Tripadvisor only, are God’s gift to lodging.
Now that Google, Bing and Yahoo are picking up and indexing social media links on a daily basis. I see the results of using social media for SEO, as I have my clients all listed in my daily Google alerts I get, and their social media links are getting indexed DAILY.
With the news that Tripadvisor doesn’t like linklove, TripAdvisor defends link policy on Business Listings, not search engine-friendly and Part Two of Four: TripAdvisor CEO explains link policy. Tripadvisor is not doing anything for your SEO. While it may be great for review love, it’s not helping your website get traffic.
If you revert back to the fact (aside from the benefits of using social media for SEO) that Twitter, Facebook Fan Pages and Blogs give you the ability to control the content and the responses to queries, questions or questionables while Tripadvisor only lets you in a limited and highly moderated capacity, you have to weigh which works the best for you.
It is important that lodging needs to pay attention to both Tripadvisor and Social Media.
While I disagree with Tripadvisor listing policy for small B&Bs, as I think its much too expensive among other things, Tripadvisor does have a lot of value to lodging. But I think both venues should be used in tandem and not to the exclusion of each other, which is what some lodging marketers are promoting. Both have value and both should be used and leveraged as much as possible.