February FOCUS

Social Media: Communicating Safety Practices

Social Media: Communicating Safety Practices

By all accounts, hotels can expect to welcome back more guests in 2021. But it is necessary to have a strategic communications plan in place - including an effective social media strategy - that will rebuild brand awareness, promote guest engagement, and maximize recovery efforts. And for the foreseeable future, hotels will also be compelled to use their social media channels to communicate the actions they are taking to protect the safety of their guests. In that regard,  accuracy and transparency are paramount. Hoteliers must be certain that what they are posting about cleanliness, contactless service, cancelation policies, etc. are accurate and true, and consistently communicated across all social media channels. To that end, some hotels are featuring employees in videos of their behind-the-scenes, day-to-day activities, demonstrating the safety measures they are practicing. The February Hotel Business Review will document what some hotels are doing to integrate safety concerns in their social media strategies.

This month's feature articles...

Robert O'Halloran

Social media is a great way to quickly reach out and touch multiple market segments and It is important to have a plan and consider and select the platforms that best fit our needs. This column highlights what social media is, the parallel plans needed in both industry and academia and the choices of social media platforms that exist. READ MORE

Jamie Sterling

Now more than ever, controversial and political issues risk finding a home on your hotel's social media platforms. Rather than ignoring negative or inflammatory comments, understand how to proactively respond and turn an issue into an opportunity that builds on your hotel's service and enhances your reputation. READ MORE

Alan E. Young

Social distancing may be the norm for quite some time, and as a result, we'll likely see even more hoteliers engage with guests using a myriad of social media platforms and text driven applications. Hoteliers will have to embrace this new and evolving engagement model to ensure that their guests feel welcome when they still want to maintain their distance. READ MORE

David Nuenemann

Client perception needs to play a key part in your online presence & strategy, making sure you are carrying an image that truly identifies your brand. Keeping your online presence up to date, interesting and engaging with your customers might seem a daunting task for many business owners. Let's look at some recommendations to ensure your online presence is perceived in the most positive way possible. READ MORE

Carrie Trimble

Even as welcome news of coronavirus vaccines rolled out in December, the news for the hotel industry remained grim. The considerable discomfort caused by the sharing economy will outlast the pandemic. Can hotel brands overcome the unhospitable environment? An optimized social media performance of user-generated content, point-of-view posts from all hotel staff, and personalized technological support could help. READ MORE

Megan Paquin

As hoteliers look forward to welcoming guests back in 2021, a strategic communications plan including social media strategies will be essential rebuild brand awareness and customer relations, drive intent and maximize recovery efforts. Megan Paquin, vice president at Poston Communications, shares insights on the road ahead for hotel communications amid the ongoing crisis, social media strategies to implement in 2021, and top considerations for creating COVID-related content. READ MORE

Stuart Butler

While social media channels can certainly be used as a broadcast platform for you to pump out self-serving propaganda, savvy marketers are increasingly tapping into the concept of turning your guests into your own secret army of advocates. Given the fear surrounding travel during the coronavirus pandemic, this novel approach may be just what you need to show people that responsible travel is safe and to encourage them to book their next vacation at your property. READ MORE

Amy Draheim

Whether you love them or hate them, influencers are tapped into social media best practices like no one else, and influencers have become major players in hotel marketing in recent years. While hotel budgets have been cut as a result of the pandemic, smart marketers have leveraged the power of influencers to share their stories for a fraction of the cost of traditional advertising. The benefits don't stop at cost savings, either. READ MORE

Rana Kay

Many hotel marketing teams, specifically those representing high-end lifestyle properties, are inundated by hundreds of proposals for "collaborations" each year by self-proclaimed influencers willing to build awareness for a brand in exchange for a hosted vacation. Social media marketing continues to skyrocket as an effective strategy for building buzz but finding the right partnerships and maximizing them is critical for success. READ MORE

Georgi Bohrod

Can you imagine life without social media? Whether personal or business social media communications is a constant presence in our lives. Both anecdotal and statistical research support the importance of social media in the vacation industry. We all acknowledge the importance of social media. The question remains: how do you make it work for your property or your travel related business? READ MORE

Narda Malcolm-Kingston

This article provides tips on actions that can be incorporated into your COVID-19 recovery strategy to boost customer trust, strengthen relationships, and bring their business back to your establishment. Social media is a viable tool that can prove beneficial when utilized in a strategic way. The article provides in-depth suggestions for hotels and other hospitality businesses can employ via Social Media. READ MORE

Linchi Kwok Ph.D.

Facebook faced numerous backlashes and is no longer a cool cyber place among young internet users. Some even called for #DeleteFacebook and left Facebook. Through a review of relevant reports, this paper addresses several critical questions: Is Facebook losing charm? Should hotels abandon Facebook? Which social media platforms are popular now? What actions should hotels take in social media marketing? READ MORE

Lanny Grossman

As we look ahead to 2021, Influencer marketing will solidify its position as a key strategy for brands, especially in travel. The challenge will be, as always, to decipher who is an effective amplifier of your message and who is a freeloader with an Instagram account. Maximize your connection to guests through the use of social media and influencers. READ MORE

Heather Lee

With a travel reboot just around the corner, hoteliers can lay the groundwork now for a successful recovery through smart, strategic use of social media – both proactively and via listening for trends and traveler sentiment. It provides a platform to raise awareness and to build trust. This article addresses five effective ways to use social media in your recovery strategy. READ MORE

Arielle Rubenstein

How can hoteliers tell stories on social media without guest photos? In this article, Screen Pilot Social Media Manager Arielle Rubenstein will teach you a few new tricks to get your beacon shining bright again as soon as possible. Let your guests and followers walk the journey with you and you'll discover a mutually beneficial relationship that lasts - and creates revenue. READ MORE

Rohit Verma

Social media marketing plays an important role in hotel recovery strategy from the Covid-19 pandemic. By reviewing new and creative ways of using social media, this article suggests social media practices that hotels should be doing in 2021 such as –engaging with customers by providing virtually immersive hotel experiences; social listening; "human touch" communication; employee ambassadors, and more. READ MORE

Library Archives


Last month's feature articles...

Ajay Aluri

The pandemic has now set a new standard of expectations for all guests and for every hotel scale. Additionally, the pandemic has caused digital technology adoption to advance at lightning pace; what formerly took years to adopt is happening in months. This, in turn, will set more and higher expectations for the hotel industry as we settle into the "new normal." READ MORE

Michael Blake

Technology has always driven the hospitality industry with the demand to stay up-to-date on replicating a guest's normal day-to-day life while they are away from home. Given today's world, it's more important than ever for us to shine light on mobile technology that will aid in reducing physical touchpoints and maintaining social distancing measures for guests to stay safe and healthy while traveling. READ MORE

David Abraham

The new remote work era has arrived. Since summer 2020, many companies from Facebook, to Fujitsu and Siemens made remote work policies permanent. In the process, they created a new type of traveler: Anywhere Workers. Those untethered from their offices -- will make up a huge potential segment in the hospitality industry. David Abraham who has developed and run Outpost, a remote worker concept in Asia, will examine this new and growing segment of hospitality industry. READ MORE

Scott Watson

Industry-specific mobile applications are transforming the way hoteliers manage property portfolios and day-to-day operations. Apps, alerts and mobile communications offer hoteliers remote and secure access to key business data, allowing them to work from anywhere while staying connected in real time. Making back office technology available through mobile devices, hoteliers can save valuable time and boost bottom lines through streamlined operations and powerful data management READ MORE

James Lefcakis

Mobile apps were an exciting option in guest communication for hotels until the low probably of guests keeping the apps on their phone began to hinder the efforts of small to mid-sized hotel brands. In this article we go over some successful alternatives for mobile guest services and the infrastructure that needs to be in place to properly support them. READ MORE

Frank Vertolli

Smartphones have forever altered, mostly improved, many aspects of our everyday lives, and the travel experience is no exception. From planning and booking through check-in and on property experience, to social sharing, mobile represents a key touch point with our guests that enable connection and hospitality in new and evolving ways. READ MORE

Darren Winterford

The current post-COVID climate has enabled microlearning to adapt the way we conduct employee training and make it more effective and accessible than ever before. This breaking down of information into topical, bite-sized chunks means education becomes much easier to digest, knowledge retention is significantly increased, and hospitality employees can access training from their mobile phone in their native language. READ MORE

Ted Horner

Does your hotel have the technology in place to capitalize on the trend? Or are you at risk of being left behind? Across industries, around the world, businesses are rapidly adapting to the emergence of new consumer expectations, which are influenced by the mobile evolution. Guests today demand a mobile experience that follows them throughout their entire journey, effectively transforming every touchpoint along the way with enhanced convenience, service, and personalization. READ MORE

Amy Draheim

Just when you wrapped your head around Instagram Stories, IGTV came out. Then came TikTok. Instagram Reels. Now, even LinkedIn is prioritizing mobile-friendly video content on their platform. Short form, video storytelling is the new social media frontier. Simply put, videos create impact that static images cannot. If a picture is worth a thousand words, video is worth a million. This article is a comprehensive and practical guide to getting started. Adapt now, or get left behind. READ MORE

Tim Peter

We expect to see some light at the end of the COVID-19 tunnel in 2021. Mobile will play a key role in leading you into the light. Mobile represents the primary way guests interact with content and experiences online, even when sitting on their couch. Here's how you can take advantage of mobile to fuel your recovery. READ MORE

Norm Rose

For the hotel industry, mobile app development has always presented a paradox, especially for smaller chains and properties. Why would a traveler download my hotel's app if they are only staying for a single visit? Covid-19 has signaled a dramatic change in this approach: Mobile apps are now necessary for touchless check-in, check out and all communication with the hotel during the pandemic. Is this a permanent change? READ MORE

Joe Schwinger

2020 forced the event industry to innovate and acclimate to a new way of doing things, and revealed new growth opportunities. On November 9, 2020, Marriott International kicked off Connect with Confidence, a hybrid event with both attendees on property and virtual attendees around the country. The event was not only a showcase for COVID-era safety and hybrid event technology - it was a model for the future of the industry. READ MORE

Coming up in March 2021...

Hotel Human Resources: Pending Labor Shortage

The immense devastation suffered in the hotel industry last year has compounded a problem that human resource professionals will face once the market starts to recover in 2021 - a pending labor shortage. Though some hotels have done their best to retain employees or to ease the suffering caused by mass furloughs, staff reduction was inevitable and many of those employees may not be available to return when guest traffic picks up. Consequently, hotels will once again be competing to find and retain qualified talent to staff their operations. Naturally, companies will have to review their wage and benefits packages in order to remain competitive. They might also wholeheartedly embrace the work-from-home trend for some corporate positions. In addition, human resource professionals will also have to definitively convince frontline employees that their  hotels are safe to work in. The March Hotel Business Review will explore what some HR professionals are doing to address these and other employment issues in their respective departments.