How to Increase Customer Loyalty and Sales Through a NAS Social Media Strategy

By Michelle Lapierre Senior Director of Customer Experience and Social Media, Marriott Rewards | February 01, 2015

Content marketing and social media have become the new standard in customer engagement. With consumers spending more time than ever on social sites and giving inbox access in return for special offers and gated content, organizations have the ability to engage customers and prospects with a level of intimacy never before seen. However, with every organization jumping headfirst into social and content, extra care must be taken to build trust and respect to ensure long-term customer engagement.

The rules of marketing are changing and traditional calls to action are being replaced with useful content. The Not Always Selling (NAS) Doctrine is a necessary response to changes in the way that we interact with customers and prospects, particularly in the hospitality industry where brand loyalty and reputation are intrinsically linked to customer experience.

Cultivating long-term mutually beneficial relationships with customers and prospects is what the Not Always Selling doctrine is all about. Consumers are looking for brands that provide them with personalized and relevant content. In fact, studies show that consumers report a more positive experience with brands that know how to personalize content.

Over the last few years, NAS has played a significant role in the Marriott Rewards social media strategy. We’ve strived to assist our community in finding and engaging with fresh content that’s useful and relevant, which has helped us create long-term relationships that do not necessarily lead to an immediate result, but increases brand loyalty and word of mouth promotion over a long period of time. For example, our social content team is barred from using “brochure speak,” and you will rarely see images or content directly pertaining to specific properties. Instead, we focus on the customer experience and strive to be a part of our customer’s adventures in real time.

We aim to be our customer’s partner in answering the question of what will make their lives richer and fuller, and we do that by making the experience about them, not about us. Producing relevant content not only increases engagement with our customer base, but also makes our members feel valued, which is essential for any business in the hospitality industry.

Our “Thirty Beds in Thirty Days” social campaign is the perfect representation of the strong relationship we have with our customers. The campaign allowed us to put our customers in the center of the story, which we try to do in all of our social content. When designing the campaign we kept in mind that our followers are not just our customers, but also a diverse community of travelers and storytellers, and we wanted them to share their stories with us. The idea for the campaign actually came from a customer who had been raving about our beds on the Marriott Rewards Facebook page. Our Facebook fans are a highly engaged group of people. Since 2011 the Marriott Rewards Facebook page has grown to be the largest and most engaged loyalty brand on Facebook, and it was because of this high engagement that we decided to run the sweepstakes on Facebook.

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