Multilingual Dialogues: Can Your Social Media Strategy Handle It?
By Emil Atanassov General Manager, Asia Pacific, Sajan, Inc. | November 23, 2014
Social media stands to be one of the hallmark features of the hospitality industry's marketing approach in coming years. Consider that around 46 percent of travelers post hotel reviews on social media after their trip (Nielsen) and the number of social media users worldwide now hovers around 1.73 billion. By 2017, this number is predicted to crest 2.5 billion, according to SocialMedia Today. Out of these users, the fastest growing and most engaged markets are in Asia, Africa and Latin America. Connecting with current and prospective guests on social networks helps build loyalty in key markets. But social engagement on a global scale demands careful planning to do it correctly.
For the best possible outcome with global dialogues on social media, you will need to choose resources appropriately, consider when it makes sense to outsource, identify key social networks in your target markets, and think about your overall staff capacity. Everything begins with an honest look at what you want to achieve-your hotel's overall business goals. Once that is identified, you can begin to build up your social media presence in multiple countries.
Destination: Business Goal Achievement Fostered by Social Media
All of your social media efforts need to map back to a larger business goal. Otherwise you run the risk of putting forth scattered, and potentially ineffective, efforts. For example, you could launch a presence on the latest social media platform only to find out later that your prospective guests in the Ukraine don't even use that platform. If your hotel is planning to open a new site in Mexico, it makes sense to align social media efforts to Mexican social media users' habits and preferences. Spend time thinking about and identifying what your region-specific goals are. That will naturally lead into how social media can support those goals.
Research where your target audiences spend their time online, what they do there and the type of content they seek out. For example, South Korea inhabitants' use of social media is heavily influenced by video and blogging. If you were trying to engage with South Koreans, you could use this knowledge to effectively reach them. Remember that social networks differ in popularity across cultures, too. While Twitter could be a good way to connect with your South Korean audiences, V Kontakte makes more sense with Russian fans due to the network's wide use there. Researching each region's favored social channels gives you needed insight to ensure that global social media will fit within-and help you achieve-your business goals.
To Get People Socially Engaged, Get Personal