Does Your Social Media Plan Include the ADA Community?

By Clara Rose President & Creative Director, Creative Alliance | December 09, 2012

Social media allows anyone with an internet connection (web based or mobile) to interact with others in a personal or anonymous fashion and to engage in a non-threatening way. For consumers with different abilities, the benefits are even more profound since it offers them opportunities for participation.

As the internet has morphed from an informational only resource to a more conversational style of interaction; the growth in social media interaction has become a tidal wave. Consumers can now enjoy the benefits that come from engaging with goods and services providers as well as socializing, enjoying entertainment or even working from a remote location or at home.

How Connected is Our Society?

The impact of social networking is having a lasting and probably permanent effect on our society. A few years ago Facebook was dismissed by many as a place where kids hung out to share pictures and complain about school. Today, with more than 600 million users worldwide, it is a hub of communication and a force for change.

Around 200 million people connect on Twitter; some companies are taking full advantage of real-time advertising with Twitter. Tweeting about a special deal as it happens can cause a tweet to go viral and gain nationwide exposure - as friends tell their friends. Money cannot buy this coveted word of mouth advertising.

LinkedIn boasts more than 175 million users with a new member every second of the day; it has also drastically changed Human Resources and hiring practices. Potential employees can hinder or help them with career advancements based on their social networking profiles and interactions. Perhaps arguably a privacy violation - but the practice is common.

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Coming up in February 2018...

Social Media: Engagement is Key

There are currently 2.3 billion active users of social media networks and savvy hotel operators have incorporated social media into their marketing mix. There are a few Goliath channels on which one must have a presence (Facebook & Twitter) but there are also several newer upstart channels (Instagram, Snapchat &WeChat, for example) that merit consideration. With its 1.86 billion users, Facebook is a dominant platform where operators can drive brand awareness, facilitate bookings, offer incentives and collect sought-after reviews. Twitter's 284 million users generate 500 million tweets per day, and operators can use its platform for lead generation, building loyalty, and guest interaction. Instagram was originally a small photo-sharing site but it has blown up into a massive photo and video channel. The site can be used to post photos of the hotel property, as well as creating Instagram Stories - personal videos that disappear from the channel after 24 hours. In this regard, Instagram and Snapchat are now in direct competition. WeChat is a Chinese company whose aim is to be the App for Everything - instant messaging, social media, shopping and payment services - all in a single platform. In addition to these channels, blogging continues to be a popular method to establish leadership, enhance reputations, and engage with customers in a direct and personal way. The key to effective use of all social media is to find out where your customers are and then, to the fullest extent possible, engage with them on a personal level. This engagement is what creates a personal connection and sustains brand loyalty. The February Hotel Business Review will explore these issues and examine how some hotels are successfully integrating social media into their operations.