By Ardalan Zandian on June 15, 2015 at 8:30 AM
Finally, Apple has released a new review feature to the "Maps" app. Now independent hotels can highlight their hard earned reviews to over 800 million Apple mobile, desktop, and tablet devices. Continue reading to learn more about the implications of this new feature for independent hotels.
There's an Apple Maps for That?
You must have heard or used Google Maps for sure. But is that the only app your customers use?
Apple Maps is the default app for devices operating the iOS. It offers similar options as Google Maps (compare both options): quickly finding surrounding businesses & specific locations, getting directions and traffic updates. Whether users are driving, walking or taking public transportation, Apple Maps can give them turn-by-turn directions.
Where it gets interesting for independent hoteliers: Apple launched the new Review feature so users can see online reviews of your hotel whenever they make searches. The information presented in the reviews are pulled from popular websites like Yelp, TripAdvisor, and Booking.com.
How Does Apple Maps Hotel Review Feature Work?
With Apple Maps, your property's geographic coordinates and details are listed. As guests search for "hotels" in your area, your independent hotel will pop up with other providers. Each search result will be displayed as a pin point on the map.
When users tap the pin point for your independent hotel, a small card opens up and provides the user with:
- Reviews or ratings
- Phone number
Apple Maps pools this information in one convenient place guests can quickly read. However, if your independent hotel isn't visible on Apple Maps, they will be unable to make reservations.
Guide to List an Independent Hotel on Apple Maps
It's important to keep in mind this new feature is being rolled out slowly, so it may not currently be available in your area. Even after you enter the listing or make edits, it could take up to a week to go live. However, you can use the following simple steps to set it up:
Go to the Apple Maps Connect website
If you don't have an Apple ID, you must create an account; if you do have an Apple ID, simply login
Click "Add My Business" to change or add your independent hotel's information.
Enter the address of the hotel to check to see if the property is already listed
If you find your hotel is already listed, the information may be incorrect. Choose "Claim" the listing and enter the correct information.
If the listing isn't found, you will have to enter the information for the property. The phone number you enter will be used to verify the hotel.
How Can You Bolster an Apple Maps Listing?
When Apple loads information into the Maps app, it pulls reviews and photos from around the web associated with your independent hotel. This is why it is vital to update Yelp listings, so the photos and information are correct. It's important to make sure you have a consistent stream of photos and information across all of the major review sites, such as Booking.com, Yelp, and TripAdvisor. As Apple Maps gains steam, you can expect more Online Travel Agencies (OTAs) to jump on the bandwagon. As a result, it will be imperative for all inventory, rates, photos, and availability to be seamlessly synced across all channels.
How to Capture Reservations from Apple Maps?
Second only to Facebook, Apple's 500 million user accounts is continuing to grow at a tremendous rate. It's highly likely tech-savvy guests will stumble across your independent hotel through Apple Maps. However, if your PMS isn't integrated to capture bookings from Apple Maps, you will miss a huge opportunity.
For more information about how your independent hotel can capture reservations from Apple Maps, contact Frontdesk Anywhere.