According to Loren Baker at the Search Engine Journal, social media interaction, online reviews and user generated content have a direct effect on search engine rankings. Search engines are now using social algorithms and trends to determine quality sites.

Search engines like MSN’s new Bing are using what they call a “scorecard,” where they will rank online businesses and display their online reviews in search queries. Search is changing and it is becoming vital to manage and interact with customer reviews to maintain high search rankings and a good brand reputation online.

According to a survey conducted by e-Marketer, 74% of consumers agree or strongly agree that they choose a product based on information they found online—specifically, customer service anecdotes.

Research also indicates that 62% of people use a search engine to find a local business or destination. Search engines are beginning to use social media in search results—to show online reviews of local businesses in easy-to-read formats, to show customer feedback and quality of service.

Now is the right time for your brand to interact online with people who are complaining about your management as well as those who are raving about your hotel rooms—this is a long-term solution that will bring your business greater sales and ROI by influencing and interacting with people in the social media sphere.

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