The Battle for Social Dominance

By Janet Gerhard Founder, Hospitality Gal, LLC | January 17, 2016

Over the last several years, we’ve all been witness to or participated in the awkward transition of building a social business. Most brands participate in all the major social sites: It’s comparative to how the average traveler has memberships in multiple hotel loyalty programs. Some brands seem to favor one channel over others and their approaches differ slightly, e.g., more visual images versus more promotional. It’s difficult for any brand to claim excellence in a landscape that is constantly shifting.

Who is More Effective on the Social Battlefield?

According to Seventh Art Media, five years ago the most valuable hotel Twitter account was @Cosmopolitan_lv with 9.3k followers. Today, this single operation sits at 423k followers with a mere 1.7k likes. I’ve updated the top 20 list with January 2016 comparisons but are the numbers any more meaningful?

Evaluating Seventh Art Media’s Top 20 Hotel Twitter Accounts by Valuation from the Tnooz piece published on February 24, 2011 against today’s numbers provides a glimpse into just how much the landscape has changed.

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In 2011, the Twitter account for Hilton used was @HiltonOnline. Today, it has 339 followers as it was phased out to @HiltonHotels. The original @StanDarde has been replaced with @StandardHotels. @TheAceHotel swapped out to @AceHotel and the @sofitelMiami is now the @PullmanMiami.

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Coming up in July 2018...

Hotel Spa: Oasis Unplugged

The driving force in current hotel spa trends is the effort to manage unprecedented levels of stress experienced by their clients. Feeling increasingly overwhelmed by demanding careers and technology overload, people are craving places where they can go to momentarily escape the rigors of their daily lives. As a result, spas are positioning themselves as oases of unplugged human connection, where mindfulness and contemplation activities are becoming increasingly important. One leading hotel spa offers their clients the option to experience their treatments in total silence - no music, no talking, and no advice from the therapist - just pure unadulterated silence. Another leading hotel spa is working with a reputable medical clinic to develop a “digital detox” initiative, in which clients will be encouraged to unplug from their devices and engage in mindfulness activities to alleviate the stresses of excessive technology use. Similarly, other spas are counseling clients to resist allowing technology to monopolize their lives, and to engage in meditation and gratitude exercises in its place. The goal is to provide clients with a warm, inviting and tranquil sanctuary from the outside world, in addition to also providing genuine solutions for better sleep, proper nutrition, stress management and natural self-care. To accomplish this, some spas are incorporating a variety of new approaches - cryotherapy, Himalayan salt therapy and ayurveda treatments are becoming increasingly popular. Other spas are growing their own herbs and performing their treatments in lush outdoor gardens. Some spa therapists are being trained to assess a client's individual movement patterns to determine the most beneficial treatment specifically for them. The July issue of the Hotel Business Review will report on these trends and developments and examine how some hotel spas are integrating them into their operations.