The Top 3 Social Media Concerns that Keep Hotel Execs Up at Night

By Benjamin Jost Co-Founder & CEO, TrustYou | August 13, 2017

If you ask most hospitality C-levels, social media might not be their top of mind priority. And why would it? Between worrying about operations, finances (average daily rates and average length of stay), staff turnover and more, social media is just one item at the end of the list.

But the truth is, the number one thing that we should all worry about is guest satisfaction – I know I don’t need to hammer that home; however, what I do need to mention is that guest satisfaction comes from many places, and is heavily influenced by what people are saying online, not just what happens at your hotel.

From a C-level perspective, managing your company’s Twitter page or reading every review just isn’t the reality (that’s why we hire those great social media managers or amazing multi-tasking front desk agents). Rather than let social media fall to the bottom of an ever-growing to do list, instead, break it down to the three most important things you can focus on that will impact your hotel’s guest satisfaction the most.

1, What’s the Cost of Lacking a Social Ambassador?

There’s a cost to not caring about social media. Recent studies show a strong correlation between online review score 1.s and revenue per room – a Cornell study found that if a hotel increases its average review by one
point on a five point scale, the hotel could raise its price by about 11 percent and still keep occupancy and market share consistent. Plus, a TrustYou study found that people are willing to pay more for a hotel that
had higher review scores. Having social ambassadors for your hotel tie directly to revenue management.

The traits of a successful social ambassador are: relatable (consider your target guest – who stays at your hotel? Look for guests that fit the mold – age, gender, occupation, etc.), frequent visitor (more likely to have a multitude of experiences to draw from), and active on a minimum of three social channels. Consider enticing guests with a social ambassador program – guest of the month that goes behind the scenes in exchange for sharing their reviews. Key Takeaway: When you link revenue to social, that puts its importance into perspective. Ask your social media manager today if you’re tracking the demographics of your online reviewers (age, gender, etc.), what they’re saying (ideally, aggregated by category – rooms, entertainment, staff etc.) and where they’re saying it (your website, social, etc.). Then, use this
data to figure out the characteristics of who your social ambassadors are most likely to be, so you can target them specifically for more online reviews.

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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.