Now I admit, I work in Marketing, and what I do to earn a crust relies heavily on word of mouth. Happy customers who love my products are more likely to generate sales by telling their friends than all the advertising I can throw at a non-captive audience.
But here’s the thing. As much as I identify myself as a marketer, I more readily describe myself as a traveller, a diner and a socialiser. And when I’m looking for new experiences, I want to know what other people think. Did they have a good time? Was the food tasty despite the questionable service? What about the ambiance? Is it likely I’ll suffer bed bugs? Would they do it all again?
On top of that, sometimes I’m almost paralysed with indecision. There are so many choices I could make, and I want to make the best one I can. I’m particularly terrible at committing to accommodation. Is this one in a better location than that one? Is that one better value than this one?
Enter my hero: TripAdvisor. From finding a local piano bar in a dodgy neighbourhood in Miami, to experiencing a cheap but divine three course dinner in Reims, TripAdvisor has been there for me again and again – as have a host of other websites.
This year, I’ve made a resolution to be as helpful as others have been to me, by contributing back and ensuring I review things as honestly as I can also. It takes all of five minutes and you could be helping make a random Wednesday night amazing for someone. So the next time you do it, why not review it?