Social Media: Getting Personal

Social media platforms have revolutionized the hotel industry. Popular sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Snapchat, YouTube and Tumblr now account for 2.3 billion active users, and this phenomenon has forever transformed how businesses interact with consumers. Given that social media allows for two-way communication between businesses and consumers, the emphasis of any marketing strategy must be to positively and personally engage the customer, and there are innumerable ways to accomplish that goal. One popular strategy is to encourage hotel guests to create their own personal content - typically videos and photos -which can be shared via their personal social media networks, reaching a sizeable audience. In addition, geo-locational tags and brand hashtags can be embedded in such posts which allow them to be found via metadata searches, substantially enlarging their scope. Influencer marketing is another prevalent social media strategy. Some hotels are paying popular social media stars and bloggers to endorse their brand on social media platforms. These kinds of endorsements generally elicit a strong response because the influencers are perceived as being trustworthy by their followers, and because an influencer's followers are likely to share similar psychographic and demographic traits. Travel review sites have also become vitally important in reputation management. Travelers consistently use social media to express pleasure or frustration about their guest experiences, so it is essential that every review be attended to personally. Assuming the responsibility to address and correct customer service concerns quickly is a way to mitigate complaints and to build brand loyalty. Plus, whether reviews are favorable or unfavorable, they are a vital source of information to managers about a hotel's operational performance. The February Hotel Business Review will document what some hotels are doing to effectively incorporate social media strategies into their businesses.

Library Archives

Stuart Butler

How your hotel handles the guest relationship is one of the most critical components to running a successful property. Often, the approach that is taken with guests while they are on property is mirrored in the manner in which your property responds to online reviews. In this article, we break down some of the good, the bad, and the ugly responses that real hotels have made to negative online reviews and we discuss ways to limit the damage the original review may have caused, while also avoiding making things worse. READ MORE

Kathleen Hayn

In today's interconnected world of marketing, social media remains a growing area for businesses to attract new customers on various platforms to grow their brand. Now companies in every industry are integrating Influencer Marketing within their campaigns as a new way to reach audiences on various platforms. As this practice evolves, there are various best practices that should be followed when executing an Influencer Marketing campaign such as picking the right platform and being aware of what metrics are crucial to monitor. This article will take you through the foundational do's and don'ts when it comes to working with an influencer to promote your business. READ MORE

Janelle Schwartz

Hoteliers must be plugged into social media 24/7 to know what's happening and be ready to provide meaningful and helpful posts when there's a crisis. Just as anyone with a social media account can post bad news, the same technology can enable organizations to defend themselves and share information that may help mitigate a crisis. Comprehensive social listening can help organizations gain insights about issues before they escalate into a crisis, provide advance warning that a crisis is brewing, help identify problem issues and provide enough information to develop a strategy to address them. READ MORE

Dean Minett

Social media has opened up wonderful new opportunities for hoteliers, but has also exposed them to a range of new risks. Our reputations are closely linked to guest reviews, and our style of engagement affects how the public see our properties. Avenues for advertising have taken new shapes with the rise of social media influencers, while the forward march of technology and service trends is never-ending. It wouldn't be smart to plug your ears and ignore it all (as there is a lot of leverage to be gained through social media) but at what point does the noise become deafening? At one point should a hotel ignore the growing buzz and be loyal to its own identity? READ MORE

Bruce Seigel

Launching a new social media channel can be daunting. Whether debuting a brand new property, renovating an outlet or seeking to expand existing hotel channels; it is important to develop a strong brand voice, leverage influencers, curate content and consistently engage with users. Guests follow the property social media handles to learn more, engage with the property, and share their experiences with friends and family. Developing and maintaining strong social media channels are a critical part of brand reputation and guest engagement. READ MORE

Christina Leme

Twitter is just like the new world of online dating. You need to swipe right on (signal affinity for) many potential suitors to match with just one normal person. And getting a match is only the start. You still need to spark a conversation and tailor it to the interests they've indicated on their profile. Careful though! If you take too long to answer, they may lose interest. Or worse-inundate you with angry follow up messages for "ghosting" them. READ MORE

Megan (Sterritt) Taylor

For the past several years working with influencers has been a cost-effective tool for brands, including hotels and resorts, to reach target markets. But as an influencer's follower count gets higher and higher, so too does their partnership fee. A better option now is micro-influencers and nano-influencers. They allow brands to significantly narrow down targets without a very large fee. And, with precision targeting, help brands reach new markets. In the article, we will take a look at three ways KWE Partners helped client Grand Velas reach new markets without increasing their budget. READ MORE

Mia Schipani

Personalization and "people relations" have become a priority for businesses and especially hotels to succeed today. As always, relationship-building has been the key to sales and marketing successes across all industries. Businesses that proactively invest in their relationships with a human-touch, reap the best return on their investments, says Mia Schipani, President of Schipani PR, a boutique public relations agency specializing in hospitality. READ MORE

Babs S. Harrison

Traditional media - remember them? In the rush to embrace social media, plenty of hotel and resort sales, marketing and PR executives have lost sight of the onetime mainstays of influence but they are missing out on grand opportunities to get their messages out. Traditional media have almost become a secret weapon among savvy marketers - the power is there if you know how to harness it. That's what this article is about: Integrating traditional media into a full throttle campaign that hits all the 21st-century buttons - and a few now neglected 20th-century ones too! READ MORE

Gio Palatucci

At the intersection of hospitality social media campaigns and esteemed industry influencers, you'll find a select few social media users fraudulently touting tremendous influence over their too-good-to-be-true number of followers. The social media influencer industry is not going away anytime soon, so it's more important than ever to keep your brand safe and in the eyes of your target audiences. Marketers are finally talking about the issue of influencer fraud openly, to put these potential negative brand representatives on notice. A watchful eye for influencer red flags will help hotel brands search, recruit and manage influencers for a positive campaign. READ MORE

Garrett Kingsbury

For hotels, using Instagram is a win-win, it's free and the opportunity for engagement is endless – as long as you're using the platform in a compelling way. With over a billion active users, Instagram is quickly gaining steam as the social platform of choice, with much higher engagement over Facebook. Although smaller, the IG community is loyal and more active with brands. If you're new to Instagram, or just looking for a few tips to keep your content engaging, we've put together a quick guide of Dos and Don'ts to make your IG account a fan favorite. READ MORE

Gaurav Varma

A growing number of brands and businesses are using social media to tell a more authentic story and to connect with consumers of all demographics. Social media marketing for businesses means more than just posting content on these platforms but its more around building trust and forming meaningful long-term relationships with their audiences. 2018 was an interesting year with several opportunities and saw the rapid growth of live and dynamic content across social channels. As 2019 kicks off we are going to see another year when social media use and adaption will grow and engagement between users will be key to drive the use of the platforms. Hotels can leverage this opportunity to connect with guests and deliver meaningful experiences which eventually will lead to better outcomes for their business. READ MORE

Stephanie Hilger

Creating original content is imperative in order for your brand to stand out; however, curated content is equally important. If it does not already, user generated content (more commonly referred to as UGC), should play an integral role in your social media content plan. User generated content is an essential part of content curation and easy to come across if you know where to look and how to encourage guest participation. Not sure where to start? Encouraging guests to share their stories is easy if your hotel team implements these three methods. READ MORE

Brandon Billings

Today, hotels are keenly positioned across social media to attract Generation Z and Millennials to drive new and incremental bookings to their property. This younger generation is highly influenced by social media when choosing their next weekend getaway or vacation. Hotels have to be part of the social conversation to drive revenues with these younger generations. The following article highlights opportunities for hotels to connect with these younger travelers by developing an overarching strategic approach, building break-through social content and aligning to an overarching measurement strategy. READ MORE

Arielle Rubenstein

Like any other digital marketing discipline's strategy, social media advertising requires careful consideration of the buyer journey and purchase funnel. Building funnels within any advertising management platform can be less than intuitive and seem like a job meant only for digital savvy professionals. In this article, Screen Pilot Social Media Manager Arielle Rubenstein will walk through the high-level planning steps necessary to create a successful Facebook advertising funnel to get you started. From audience targeting to bridging the gap between brand awareness and retargeting to budget management, these five steps will optimize Facebook advertising strategy to fit any goal - for any hotel marketing team. READ MORE

Nicholas Pardon

Looking to solve the social media puzzle, but don't know where to start? Mimicking or copying other Instagram or Facebook accounts that have lots of followers is not going to give your property the results you're looking for. To see real social media success, create a plan tailored to your property or hospitality business by Finding Your Why. Define the unique social media why that inspires people to follow you and keeps them coming back for more. Learn how to define your why and how to use gamification, user-generated content and hashtags to reinforce it across the social media realm - growing your followers and engagement, and driving more customers your way in the process. READ MORE

Coming up in January 2020...

Mobile Technology: Meeting Tech Expectations

What once seemed futuristic is now the norm, owing to the escalating developments in mobile technology, and hotels must continue to innovate in order to meet guest expectations. In a recent study from Mower, 65 percent of guests said they would gladly pay more for a hotel that provides the mobile technology they deem essential. The same study shows that 44 percent of travelers are more likely to book a smart hotel, and nearly 7 in 10 want to use smart devices provided by the hotel. And how do guests wish to use all this technology? A majority expressed a desire for mobile check-in and check-out, and mobile payment options. They also want to be able to stream content from their phone to the TV; to make service requests of the hotel staff; to control in-room lighting, temperature and sound; to order food and beverages; and to request a wake-up call - all from their mobile device. Guests also expressed preferences for robust wi-fi and convenient device charging ports throughout the hotel. They also appreciate the use of hotel branded apps which allow a guest to book a room, access loyalty programs, receive discounts and rewards, and even use the app to choose the room, floor and view they prefer. Some hotel apps also allow a customer to track their charges throughout their stay, rather than waiting to receive a bill at the end. Finally, mobile tech lounges are popping up more frequently in some hotels. These lounges offer guests the opportunity to perform tasks like airline check-ins or access to local info guides, but they also provide a place where guests can comfortably get some work done outside their room. The January Hotel Business Review will report on what some hotels are doing to meet their customers' expectations in the mobile technology space.