Are Bloggers Writing about Your Hotel, and Does it Matter?
By Gini Dietrich Founder & CEO, Arment Dietrich Inc. | December 08, 2008
We are well into the 21st century, and as technology continues to advance all around us, the business climate is changing. PKF recently forecast that lodging is going to be down again in 2009, but that capacity is on the rise. With the combination of both, profits are expected to also decrease. However, the lodging industry is adept at taking cost out when demand drops, and using bloggers and other social media to continue your communication efforts is critical.
Now, more than ever, technology is a critical part of our daily way of life. Gone are the days of travel agents and switchboard operators, replaced by Web sites and online reservation programs. Today's tech-savvy travelers can do everything necessary online, from research, to comparisons, to booking, and even arranging payment.
For centuries, travelers asked others about the best places to stay, relying on the advice of friends, colleagues, and experts. Today, referrals continue to be trusted resources for lodging advice but they are much more high-tech, widespread, and commonly known as "blogs."
Blogs play an important role in the hospitality industry as a source of information for many guests. Families, business travelers, and even those just passing through town on a wandering adventure all look for the perfect place to stay.
Blogs serve as a great source of information to travelers for several reasons. They offer personal opinions that give readers much more customized insight than an advertisement. After all, what hotel ever tells its guests it is anything short of excellent? Blogs provide multiple opinions potential visitors can find regarding your hotel. This variety provides customers a more complete view of your offerings, helping in the decision making process. Blogs also are great places to get information because they are convenient and easy to use. The information is readily accessible. Guests just need an Internet connection. So the question remains, who is blogging about your hotel?
When tackling any communication challenge, it is critical to know the perceptions of your business among your guests. What people are saying, thinking, and doing are all important pieces of information helping you shape everything from your corporate messaging to your customer experience. Tapping into the conversation in the blogosphere is important, and is the first step toward participation. Adding your voice to the online conversation delivers important information about your hotel to potential visitors and establishes you as an accessible industry leader, in-tune with their needs.