Frost Media Solutions

review forum optimization specialists


Controlling Online Reviews

Online conversations have a direct impact on consumers intent to purchase, and controlling online reviews is a vital step in assuring a company’s ‘best foot’ is put forward, however companies often ignore these research avenues for three main reasons;

  1. They are difficult to identify

  2. User generated content in large quantities

  3. Controlled by third parties, thus difficult to reply to

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With 82% of consumers finding reviews extremely valuable, consulting reviews prior to purchasing is a key part of any consumer research process – and may be the difference between them choosing one product, or a major competitor product.

Review forum optimization (RFO) is used by companies, large and small to ensure positive reviews are increased, negative messages are suppressed and to ensure consumer experience and flow of content is aligned with what consumers are expecting


To get a head start on competitors, download our quick checklist!


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Airbnb Reviews vs Hostel Reviews: What to look for and what to expect!

Airbnb is the new way of discovering new places at an affordable price. But why should you choose to join the Airbnb community instead of going to a Hostel? We wrote down some important things to keep in mind while looking at the reviews of both communities, to experience your stay to the fullest.

First of all, what’s the difference between Airbnb and a hostel? Airbnb is a community where owners of a house, apartment or studio offer travelers a place to sleep. That can vary from an entire apartment to a little room. In most cases, you’ll become someone’s roommate for a short period. The true charm of Airbnb is that locals can guide you around the city and give you some local insight.

Hostels, on the other hand are made for travellers, typically backpackers. They offer you a bed, communal areas where you can socialize with other travellers and in some instances a place to eat too. For most people, Hostels offer the opportunity to socialize with other like minded travellers, especially people who are travelling alone on a very strict budget.

Airbnb NYC provides some insight into how the new style of accommodation is helping local businesses, as well as tourists.

  • in the past year, Airbnb has generated $105 million in economic activity

  • 82% of Airbnb properties are located outside of Manhattan

  • A visitor spends $740 on average in the neighborhood where they stay

Airbnb: Reviews and what to look for

Although Airbnb is a wonderful concept, there are several things you should look at when scrolling through the review section while you’re on the search for that perfect place. The most important one is the way the host accommodates you on your arrival. These aren’t typical hotels so there isn’t a front desk with a fully fledged check-in system. If you read in the comments that the travelers didn’t even see their host, then you won’t be having the real Airbnb experience.  You should also keep an eye out for comments related to the cleanliness of the space. While you shouldn’t expect hotel level perfection, you are paying for it – and you want it to be clean!

Airbnb focusses more on the rational points – Communication, cleanliness and value for your money are key. The ‘unmeasurable’ aspects (such as atmosphere) will be hidden amongst the reviews.

Another important feature of Airbnb is the response rate. You’re not dealing with a brand, you’re dealing with a person – so you want to make sure they’re responsive. If you asked the person a question through the Airbnb app or website, that person has 24 hours to answer. If he or she doesn’t, their response rate will drop.

Reviews stay within Airbnb – as it is someone’s home after all. The various verification steps needed to create an account help provide comfort that all reviews are real people with real opinions.

Hostels: Reviews and what to look for

Most hostels are being reviewed on external websites such as Tripadvisor or

When we look at the rating of Tripadvisor, there is a general rating system just to get an overall opinion about a hostel. On the right there is a rating summary, with almost the same topics as Airbnb. The only difference is that Tripadvisor wants you to know what your thoughts are about the sleep quality and the rooms. The other useful piece of information – is being able to narrow down reviews to suit your travel type e.g. family vs. solo. By viewing reviews only relevant to your travel type you’re getting a more tailored understanding of the hostel to your needs.

We’ve broken down the differences in the table below – so that you can make up your own mind on the hostel vs. Airbnb debate!

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[INFOGRAPHIC] How reviews impact consumer decisions

We know the impact negative (and positive) reviews can have on your business. As the act of reviewing increases, more people turn to reviews for valuable information before purchasing and the impact becomes greater and requires even more attention from hotel managers, executives and the like. Review Forum Optimization (RFO) can help both minimize the impact of negative reviews and maximize the positive ones!

The infographic below from Hubshout demonstrates just how important reviews are to potential customers, and how this importance is growing with each day.

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Vacation rentals need review forum optimization too!

Review Forum Optimization (RFO) isn’t just for run of the mill, everyday hotels. Review forum ratings impact holiday favorites of all sizes. This infographic, from We Need a Vacation, shows how reviews impact vacation rentals.

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