The Top 3 Social Media Concerns that Keep Hoteliers Up at Night

By Benjamin Jost Co-Founder & CEO, TrustYou | August 13, 2017

If you ask most hospitality C-levels, social media might not be their top of mind priority. And why would it? Between worrying about operations, finances (average daily rates and average length of stay), staff turnover and more, social media is just one item at the end of the list.

But the truth is, the number one thing that we should all worry about is guest satisfaction - I know I don't need to hammer that home; however, what I do need to mention is that guest satisfaction comes from many places, and is heavily influenced by what people are saying online, not just what happens at your hotel.

From a C-level perspective, managing your company's Twitter page or reading every review just isn't the reality (that's why we hire those great social media managers or amazing multi-tasking front desk agents). Rather than let social media fall to the bottom of an ever-growing to do list, instead, break it down to the three most important things you can focus on that will impact your hotel's guest satisfaction the most.

 1. What's the Cost of Lacking a Social Ambassador?

There's a cost to not caring about social media. Recent studies show a strong correlation between online review score 1.s and revenue per room - a Cornell study found that if a hotel increases its average review by one point on a five point scale, the hotel could raise its price by about 11 percent and still keep occupancy and market share consistent. Plus, a TrustYou study found that people are willing to pay more for a hotel that had higher review scores. Having social ambassadors for your hotel tie directly to revenue management.

The traits of a successful social ambassador are: relatable (consider your target guest - who stays at your hotel? Look for guests that fit the mold - age, gender, occupation, etc.), frequent visitor (more likely to have a multitude of experiences to draw from), and active on a minimum of three social channels. Consider enticing guests with a social ambassador program - guest of the month that goes behind the scenes in exchange for sharing their reviews. Key Takeaway: When you link revenue to social, that puts its importance into perspective. Ask your social media manager today if you're tracking the demographics of your online reviewers (age, gender, etc.), what they're saying (ideally, aggregated by category - rooms, entertainment, staff etc.) and where they're saying it (your website, social, etc.). Then, use this data to figure out the characteristics of who your social ambassadors are most likely to be, so you can target them specifically for more online reviews.

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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.