How to Increase Customer Loyalty and Sales Through a NAS Social Media Strategy

By Michelle Lapierre Senior Director of Customer Experience and Social Media, Marriott Rewards | February 01, 2015

Content marketing and social media have become the new standard in customer engagement. With consumers spending more time than ever on social sites and giving inbox access in return for special offers and gated content, organizations have the ability to engage customers and prospects with a level of intimacy never before seen. However, with every organization jumping headfirst into social and content, extra care must be taken to build trust and respect to ensure long-term customer engagement.

The rules of marketing are changing and traditional calls to action are being replaced with useful content. The Not Always Selling (NAS) Doctrine is a necessary response to changes in the way that we interact with customers and prospects, particularly in the hospitality industry where brand loyalty and reputation are intrinsically linked to customer experience.

Cultivating long-term mutually beneficial relationships with customers and prospects is what the Not Always Selling doctrine is all about. Consumers are looking for brands that provide them with personalized and relevant content. In fact, studies show that consumers report a more positive experience with brands that know how to personalize content.

Over the last few years, NAS has played a significant role in the Marriott Rewards social media strategy. We’ve strived to assist our community in finding and engaging with fresh content that’s useful and relevant, which has helped us create long-term relationships that do not necessarily lead to an immediate result, but increases brand loyalty and word of mouth promotion over a long period of time. For example, our social content team is barred from using “brochure speak,” and you will rarely see images or content directly pertaining to specific properties. Instead, we focus on the customer experience and strive to be a part of our customer’s adventures in real time.

We aim to be our customer’s partner in answering the question of what will make their lives richer and fuller, and we do that by making the experience about them, not about us. Producing relevant content not only increases engagement with our customer base, but also makes our members feel valued, which is essential for any business in the hospitality industry.

Our “Thirty Beds in Thirty Days” social campaign is the perfect representation of the strong relationship we have with our customers. The campaign allowed us to put our customers in the center of the story, which we try to do in all of our social content. When designing the campaign we kept in mind that our followers are not just our customers, but also a diverse community of travelers and storytellers, and we wanted them to share their stories with us. The idea for the campaign actually came from a customer who had been raving about our beds on the Marriott Rewards Facebook page. Our Facebook fans are a highly engaged group of people. Since 2011 the Marriott Rewards Facebook page has grown to be the largest and most engaged loyalty brand on Facebook, and it was because of this high engagement that we decided to run the sweepstakes on Facebook.

Hotel Newswire Headlines Feed  

Jason Guest
S. Lakshmi Narasimhan
Marky Moore
Roberta Nedry
Max Starkov
Simon Hudson
Frank Meek
Jerry Tarasofsky
Fred Bendaña
Rene Lewis
Coming up in March 2018...

Human Resources: Value Creation

Businesses must evolve to stay competitive and this is also true of employment positions within those organizations. In the hotel industry, for example, the role that HR professionals perform continues to broaden and expand. Today, they are generally responsible for five key areas - government compliance; payroll and benefits; employee acquisition and retention; training and development; and organizational structure and culture. In this enlarged capacity, HR professionals are no longer seen as part of an administrative cost center, but rather as a member of the leadership team that creates strategic value within their organization. HR professionals help to define company policies and plans; enact and enforce systems of accountability; and utilize definable metrics to measure and justify outcomes. Of course, there are always new issues for HR professionals to address. Though seemingly safe for the moment, will the Affordable Care Act ultimately be repealed and replaced and, if so, what will the ramifications be? There are issues pertaining to Millennials in the workforce and women in leadership roles, as well as determining the appropriate use of social media within the organization. There are new onboarding processes and e-learning training platforms to evaluate, in addition to keeping abreast of political issues like the minimum wage hike movement, or the re-evaluation of overtime rules. Finally, there are genuine immigration and deportation issues that affect HR professionals, especially if they are located in Dreamer Cities, or employ a workforce that could be adversely impacted by federal government policies. The March Hotel Business Review will take a look at some of the issues, strategies and techniques that HR professionals are employing to create and sustain value in their organization.