With more than 500 million reviews and opinions covering over 7 million accommodations,  airlines, attractions and restaurants, TripAdvisor provides travellers with the wisdom of the crowds to help them decide where to stay, how to fly, what to do and where to eat.

Reviews and photos benefit consumers because they provide them with transparency, insight and a voice. And businesses that chose to engage with this voice by analysing feedback, making the necessary improvements, focusing on the positives and learning from the negatives, are usually rewarded with greater customer satisfaction, better reviews, more visibility and, ultimately, more bookings. This is what TripAdvisor calls the Network Effect.

In simple terms, a network effect occurs when a product or a service becomes more beneficial to its users as more people use it. In other words, it is a virtuous circle of growth: supply drives demand, which creates more supply and so on, and all the while the product or service becomes increasingly beneficial and integral to the lives of its users.

Classic examples of businesses that have achieved remarkable network effects are Facebook, Uber, WhatsApp and TripAdvisor. Each business started fairly small: as more consumers used them, they contributed content or demand for services which attracted more supply or more content which fuelled growth. The key characteristic of a network effect is, however, usage and not growth. A product could have a spike in growth but a decrease in usage over time and therefore fizzle out rapidly. For example, viral campaigns create an initial strong interest which is often very short-lived due to lack of long-term engagement.

While all of these companies benefited from virality during their histories as a business, this trait is not necessarily a sign that a business is benefitting from a relationship where network effect attributes are present. Long-term usage, driven by a strong value proposition and user engagement, are the true hallmarks of a network effect and the real keys to the sustainable growth.

So how can a property harness the ‘Network Effect’ of working with TripAdvisor to drive their businesses further?

The answer is total engagement. Businesses need to take care of every aspect of their listing on the site in order to unleash the benefits of TripAdvisor. From Contact Details to Announcements, from Special Offers to list of photos, from reviews management to analytics. A property listing is the first page a potential customer sees when landing on a business. Having clear contact details surrounded by the best possible photos embedded into well-managed reviews can go a long way into delivering more booking.

For the complete white paper on TripAdvisor Network Effect and the Benefits of Total Engagement which outlines how businesses can leverage the TripAdvisor Network Effect to improve and grow, please visit this link.