The Internet and social media have changed marketing in the hospitality industry. For some marketers, it is a nightmare. But with the right strategies and tactics, social media can drastically improve your brand and marketing.
Here are 3 points we cover with all of our clients in the hospitality industry:
1. Don’t Fear Social
The world is changing. More and more Americans are spending their time online, on various social networks: Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Google Plus, and more. Along with this change, consumers are controlling and driving your brand’s marketing.
Some hospitality marketers are scared by this. It used to be that marketers could control the entire marketing message by broadcasting through TV, radio, and print.
But some hospitality marketers are embracing social media and seeing amazing results. As Felicia Yukich, the Social Media Marketing Manager of Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts, recently stated in an interview with the Pursuitist:
“At Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts, we believe the winners in this new digital age will be the brands that let their fans define it and syndicate it…Digital media is now 50% of our brand’s marketing efforts, with a strong social media presence that facilitates engagement and encourages loyalty.”
2. Social Media as Customer Service
Social Media has a good side and a bad side.
On one hand, you’re happy customers will use social media to tell their peers how great their stay was. This is great because now other consumers can read these positive reviews.
On the other hand, unhappy customers will use social media to complain and leave negative reviews…and the world can also see this.
Now this is definitely not a bad thing. It used to be that if a customer was unhappy, they’d complain to all of their friends. And their friends will tell their friends, and onwards. As the marketer, you would not know about this until it was too late.
But with social media, you can now SEE your unhappy customers THOUGHTS when they leave posts on social media. This allows you to remedy problems before the negative word of mouth spreads. Andy Kauffman, vice president of commerce at Marriott Hotels, said it best:
“It’s enabling us to accelerate that conversation and make those connection points in ways that weren’t before possible. But the principles behind it are all rooted in good service and, if something happens, great service recovery.”
In fact, using social media, Marriott has been able to recover previously dissatisfied customers. To see this first hand, read this article from one such previously dissatisfied customer (found via mashable.com).
3. Interacting with Customers
Now, social media should not only be used when things go wrong. In fact, you SHOULD use it when things go right.
Do a quick search for your brand online. Also do a search on Twitter. You’ll see that people are talking about your brand. They may have said they enjoyed their stay, or maybe they’re asking a question. Whatever it is, you should respond.
Here’s an interaction between Hyatt concierge and their customer we found on Mashable:
When you interact with your customers, you make them feel special. It’s the same feeling you want your guests to have when they leave your hotel: doing so makes it more likely they will tell their friends about your hotel. But when you do it online through social media, thousands of other potential customers will also see the interaction.
Do you see how social media can greatly improve your business? We are here to help you improve your online social media marketing.
If you’re interested in seeing how we can help you, just as we do with all our clients, be sure to contact us.
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