If You Bore Them, They Will Not Come
By Holly Zoba Senior VP of Sales - Hospitality, Signature Worldwide | July 22, 2012
Your online reputation embarrasses me.
Okay, not really but I wanted to capture your attention. In today's world of so many shocking and mostly true headlines, is it any wonder that so many hotels are having a tough time getting engagement out of social media? What can a hotel possibly say that is shocking – a Facebook post that not only gets someone to stop scrolling and read it, but to actually engage? Yet at the same time is truthful and paints the hotel in a positive light. "117 guests taken to the hospital from our hotel last week", is a post that would probably get a lot of reads, but it probably is not truthful nor is it what you want people identifying with your property. Unless perhaps your hotel is next to a hospital and you wanted to go on to explain that you have a convenient shuttle service that takes people back and forth to visit friends and family at the hospital. Then, perhaps it is a risky but engaging headline.
Social media has become yet another competitive battleground for people's time, and currently Snooki seems to be winning.
An ideal measure of social media would be an index of your fair share of people's time. If it was determined that your fair share of a fan or follower's time was 10 minutes on your page, then you would know how engaging you needed to be. It would be great if STR could start including this measurement next to your ADR and RevPar indexes. You would know right away if your social media plan was working, because you would see the correlation between share of time increased and RevPar index increase.
However, at the property level, that is kind of a pipe dream for the moment. No doubt, Google captures that data about how consumers spend their time, but an individual property does not yet have the ability to drill down to their customer base. There is actual attribution analysis going on that measure the impact of banner ads that people see but don't click on, or reviews scanned but not read, and at what point in the travel decision-making process is this most impactful in terms of booking. It will likely not be long before this share of time index will be a reality, but for now, it is not.
We do know that social media is on the increase – particularly with SMART phones and tablets. People are now spending about 2.7 hours socializing on their mobile devices. This is over twice the time they spend eating.