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.

Choose a Social Network!

The social network you are looking for is not available.


Hotel Newswire Headlines Feed  

R.J. Friedlander
Raul Chacon
Jacqueline Clarke
Judy Singer
Suresh Acharya
Steven Ferry
Joyce Gioia
Arthur Weissman
Adam Cobb
Frank Meek
Coming up in June 2018...

Sales & Marketing: Opinions Matter

Hotel Sales and Marketing Directors manage a complex mix of strategies to attract and convert customers into guests. Part of their expertise includes an awareness of customer behavior during the reservation process, so they can make sure their hotel is favorably positioned. One such trend is the growing popularity of travel review sites. According to one recent survey, 61% of prospective customers consult online reviews in order to validate information about the hotel before making a purchasing decision. Another survey found that the average hotel customer reads between 6-12 reviews across 4-10 properties before making a final decision on where to stay. Similarly, other studies have shown that consumer reviews are a more trusted source of information for prospective customers than other kinds of marketing messaging. In fact, reviews are often considered to be as influential as price regarding whether a customer decides to complete a purchase or not. Plus, travel sites with the most reviews - including recent reviews from satisfied customers and thoughtful responses from staff - were also found to be the most appealing. So having positive reviews on a travel website is essential and can help to increase a hotel's conversion rates dramatically. Of course, there are all kinds of additional marketing strategies for sales and marketing directors to consider - the importance of video and the emergence of live streaming; the implementation of voice search; the proliferation of travel bots; and the development of Instagram as an e-commerce platform. The June Hotel Business Review will report on some of these issues and strategies, and examine how some sales and marketing professionals are integrating them into their operations.