Today's Savvy Social Media Consumers Don't Want Your List of Amenities
By Gabe Aldridge Founding Member, The SUPERGROUP | February 12, 2012
The overarching web and social media presence of many hotel brands often don't educate potential guests on the amenities that differentiate one property from another. Many hotel websites and their social media initiatives seem content to simply post photos in the appropriate site subsections and list a selection of their hotel's perks on a standard Amenities & Services page. Then, they blindly hope that online consumers will find what they're looking for. That won't happen very often – not with today's social media savvy consumer.
This common approach is inherently flawed and requires the consumer to dig for important decision driving hotel information of their own volition. This cardinal mistake causes many online users to miss out on discovering unique and compelling property characteristics and offerings that could have led to a purchase and/or a long standing consumer relationship.
Far superior methods can be put to use in presenting key information sets to the online consumer that will actively influence their decision and transform them from a passive (and most likely frustrated) information seeker to an energized brand evangelist. Here are two examples that illustrate my point.
I. Anaheim: List Driven Amenities
My wife and I recently decided that it was time to take our four year old son across the country to a world-renowned theme park and resort. He could not have been more thrilled when we told him about the trip, and we were each looking forward to the planning phase of our first family adventure together. As always, my wife and I (being proud members of Generations X and Y in good standing) wanted to complete our research and booking tasks online.
As we began to dig into our options, we found the park's website to be "up to par," but, much to our surprise, researching the entire property online proved to be -- uh -- less than magical. The site was full of (well done) photos from around the campus and each property had a neatly laid out feature list on its Amenities page. Because there are relatively few properties on the Anaheim campus, there was even a single page on the site that laid out a feature comparison of select hotels. Despite all of these "resources," the user experience around selecting a property proved to be awkward and I had to literally force myself to complete the booking process.