5 Things Every Hotelier Should Do to Integrate Social Media Into Their Operations
By Robert Patterson Vice President of Content & Social Strategy, MMGY Global | February 08, 2015
Change is hard. It is a fact. People are averse to having to do things differently and are slow to adapt to change. But we must evolve to move forward. Change on an organizational level is even more complex. Nowhere is this more evident than in the operational implementation of social media at hotel properties. While hoteliers have done a fair to decent job adding social media to their customer communications and marketing arsenal online, the rollout on an operational property level has been dismal. Why? Several reasons, beginning with providing employees with the knowledge and tools to understand social media and how guests are using platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to share their hotel experiences.
1. Training Front of House and Concierge to Monitor Social Media
The greatest opportunity for hoteliers to integrate social media on property is to provide front of house training to monitor, engage and provide guests with exemplary service online and in person. Successful social media programs begin with listening. There are a number of free and paid tools available to provide your front desk and concierge with access to understand who is posting comments, photos and videos on property.
Even if your front of house team is not administering and managing your property's Facebook Page, there are several areas that they can be monitoring to ensure guest satisfaction. These include post comments, posts to page, reviews and Facebook Search. Twitter allows you to save searches using their Twitter Search feature, which can enable hoteliers to save variations on keyword searches, such as the property's name, to see what tweets, photos or videos are being shared on the platform. Since Instagram does not currently have search functionality included in their website version, you cannot use that platform to conduct searches to monitor what is being shared. However, there are several free tools you can use to monitor hashtags or locations, e.g., the hotel property from which users are sharing content. Iconosquare and Gramfeed are two of the better free Instagram tools I have come across.
If you plan on having your front of house manage or assist in managing your social media channels, I recommend making a small investment in utilizing a tool such as HootSuite Pro or SproutSocial. These tools offer both monitoring and publishing services that allow you to manage multiple social channels. Even more elaborate and expensive tools are available depending on your hotel's needs.
By utilizing social media monitoring you can ensure that your guest service team becomes aware and addresses any potential customer service issues, use guest feedback to improve operations and provide surprise and delight moments for guests by personalizing their experience.