Finding and Engaging Target Guests on Social Media

By Tim Sullivan Chief Sales and Marketing Officer, Cendyn | February 18, 2018

With so many options, and so much growth potential, targeting guests on social media should be a top priority for every company in the hospitality field. The challenge becomes how to efficiently and effectively get your message across to current and prospective guests, inspiring customer loyalty while driving revenue growth.

Know Your Platforms

Seven in ten Americans use social media, and nearly 90% of internet users in the US have a Facebook profile, with three-quarters of Facebook users checking their profiles at least once a day. Because of its universality, Facebook has become a valuable reference tool for finding recommendations from friends and family, with a strong word-of-mouth component and powerful advertising reach.

With its compelling visual nature, Instagram has also become an important channel for hotels, and it dominates when it comes to interactions with followers, boasting the highest engagement rate of any social platform. The number of companies using Instagram for marketing has doubled in the past year, topping more than 70%, and 80% of users follow their favorite brands on the platform. It has evolved into a very strong platform where we can directly attribute measurable revenue growth to targeted campaigns.

Snapchat is a newer platform, and though we haven’t seen much revenue that we can directly attribute to it, the user engagement level is very high. The channel reaches 41% of 18-34 year olds, with over 400 million snaps sent every day, and 55% of users report following brands on Snapchat. The targeted advertising we’re doing on that platform is following a similar trend to what we saw in the beginning with Instagram, where we weren’t getting much direct response, but a lot of engagement on the content. We’re doing additional testing, and the platform itself is making heavy investments to better support brands and businesses.

It’s All About The Data


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Coming up in April 2018...

Guest Service: Empowering People

Excellent customer service is vitally important in all businesses but it is especially important for hotels where customer service is the lifeblood of the business. Outstanding customer service is essential in creating new customers, retaining existing customers, and cultivating referrals for future customers. Employees who meet and exceed guest expectations are critical to a hotel's success, and it begins with the hiring process. It is imperative for HR personnel to screen for and hire people who inherently possess customer-friendly traits - empathy, warmth and conscientiousness - which allow them to serve guests naturally and authentically. Trait-based hiring means considering more than just a candidate's technical skills and background; it means looking for and selecting employees who naturally desire to take care of people, who derive satisfaction and pleasure from fulfilling guests' needs, and who don't consider customer service to be a chore. Without the presence of these specific traits and attributes, it is difficult for an employee to provide genuine hospitality. Once that kind of employee has been hired, it is necessary to empower them. Some forward-thinking hotels empower their employees to proactively fix customer problems without having to wait for management approval. This employee empowerment—the permission to be creative, and even having the authority to spend money on a customer's behalf - is a resourceful way to resolve guest problems quickly and efficiently. When management places their faith in an employee's good judgment, it inspires a sense of trust and provides a sense of higher purpose beyond a simple paycheck. The April issue of the Hotel Business Review will document what some leading hotels are doing to cultivate and manage guest satisfaction in their operations.