Driving Personalized Engagement Through Social Media
By Mark Simpson President & Founder, Maxymiser | August 04, 2013
As more and more hospitality marketers have discovered, establishing a visible presence on social media isn't particularly difficult. To get your brand and your properties onto Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and YouTube is relatively easy. And, if you're imaginative and diligent enough, you can amass huge quantities of Facebook friends and 'likes', a steady stream of re-tweets, and thousands of views on YouTube.
What is not so easy, though, is leveraging all that social media activity into a stronger brand, greater customer loyalty, and ultimately into more reservations, longer stays, and higher revenues. How can these various social media platforms help you book rooms? Or create lifelong fans?
The default mode is to suggest that social media is really just another awareness tool, sort of like billboards. Which is the easy way out, in that there's no accountability, no need to calculate ROI for social media efforts, no way to integrate social into the marketing funnel that eventually wins you more guests.
To really get the most out of social media, it can't exist on an island. Effective social media needs to be integrated with marketing collateral, strategy, and across all brand touch points. But like any social interaction, getting the message out is only half of the equation. You're also going to get messages and feedback in return. Tracking that activity and listening to your audience and customers can be even more valuable to your brand than the message you send out.
Mastering this crucial give and take of social media is essential for most brands, and perhaps most especially for hospitality brands-an area where customer experience, online booking and loyalty are industry cornerstones. Thankfully, many e-commerce companies and online marketers have already figured out how to successfully use social media as a tool for converting new customers, creating evangelists for the brand, and retaining long-term customers. Rather than reinvent the wheel, hospitality companies can simply do their research, see what works, and then implement many of these proven tactics.
Here are seven of these proven tactics that can help you turn your social presence into bottom-line revenue.