The Effects of Reviewer Expertise on Future Reputation, Popularity, and Financial Performance of Hotels: Insights from Data-Analytics [Summary]
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This study investigates how reviewer expertise may influence the online reputation and popularity as well as the financial performance of hotels and how managers can use social persuasion to leverage hotel performance by responding to reviewers with expertise. Our results indicate that consumers value length of membership and reviewer badge when using online reviews for decision making. As such, the results suggest that source credibility may play an important role in evaluating the information. Reviewer expertise disclosed online is significantly and positively associated with both reputation and popularity of hotels as endorsed by subsequent consumers. When the expertise of reviewers increases (e.g., longer membership, higher badge status), their opinions not only influence online reputation and popularity of hotels but also hotel performance. Our findings indicate that, when faced with numerous reviews online, consumers more heavily weigh the opinions from reviewers with a higher level of expertise. However, the importance of reviewers’ expertise to hotel businesses and understanding of what strategy managers should employ to use such unique information remain practically less known. This study provides insights into the importance of reviews from reviewers with expertise in influencing hotels’ online reputation, popularity, and performance and how hotel managers can use such information to leverage their business performance. "This article summary is distributed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license (CC BY).