February FOCUS

Social Media: Communicating Safety Practices

Social Media: Communicating Safety Practices

By all accounts, hotels can expect to welcome back more guests in 2021. But it is necessary to have a strategic communications plan in place - including an effective social media strategy - that will rebuild brand awareness, promote guest engagement, and maximize recovery efforts. And for the foreseeable future, hotels will also be compelled to use their social media channels to communicate the actions they are taking to protect the safety of their guests. In that regard,  accuracy and transparency are paramount. Hoteliers must be certain that what they are posting about cleanliness, contactless service, cancelation policies, etc. are accurate and true, and consistently communicated across all social media channels. To that end, some hotels are featuring employees in videos of their behind-the-scenes, day-to-day activities, demonstrating the safety measures they are practicing. The February Hotel Business Review will document what some hotels are doing to integrate safety concerns in their social media strategies.



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This month's feature articles...

Rohit Verma

Social media marketing plays an important role in hotel recovery strategy from the Covid-19 pandemic. By reviewing new and creative ways of using social media, this article suggests social media practices that hotels should be doing in 2021 such as –engaging with customers by providing virtually immersive hotel experiences; social listening; "human touch" communication; employee ambassadors, and more. READ MORE

Arielle Rubenstein

How can hoteliers tell stories on social media without guest photos? In this article, Screen Pilot Social Media Manager Arielle Rubenstein will teach you a few new tricks to get your beacon shining bright again as soon as possible. Let your guests and followers walk the journey with you and you'll discover a mutually beneficial relationship that lasts - and creates revenue. READ MORE

Heather Lee

With a travel reboot just around the corner, hoteliers can lay the groundwork now for a successful recovery through smart, strategic use of social media – both proactively and via listening for trends and traveler sentiment. It provides a platform to raise awareness and to build trust. This article addresses five effective ways to use social media in your recovery strategy. READ MORE

Lanny Grossman

As we look ahead to 2021, Influencer marketing will solidify its position as a key strategy for brands, especially in travel. The challenge will be, as always, to decipher who is an effective amplifier of your message and who is a freeloader with an Instagram account. Maximize your connection to guests through the use of social media and influencers. READ MORE

Linchi Kwok Ph.D.

Facebook faced numerous backlashes and is no longer a cool cyber place among young internet users. Some even called for #DeleteFacebook and left Facebook. Through a review of relevant reports, this paper addresses several critical questions: Is Facebook losing charm? Should hotels abandon Facebook? Which social media platforms are popular now? What actions should hotels take in social media marketing? READ MORE

Narda Malcolm-Kingston

This article provides tips on actions that can be incorporated into your COVID-19 recovery strategy to boost customer trust, strengthen relationships, and bring their business back to your establishment. Social media is a viable tool that can prove beneficial when utilized in a strategic way. The article provides in-depth suggestions for hotels and other hospitality businesses can employ via Social Media. READ MORE

Georgi Bohrod

Can you imagine life without social media? Whether personal or business social media communications is a constant presence in our lives. Both anecdotal and statistical research support the importance of social media in the vacation industry. We all acknowledge the importance of social media. The question remains: how do you make it work for your property or your travel related business? READ MORE

Rana Kay

Many hotel marketing teams, specifically those representing high-end lifestyle properties, are inundated by hundreds of proposals for "collaborations" each year by self-proclaimed influencers willing to build awareness for a brand in exchange for a hosted vacation. Social media marketing continues to skyrocket as an effective strategy for building buzz but finding the right partnerships and maximizing them is critical for success. READ MORE

Amy Draheim

Whether you love them or hate them, influencers are tapped into social media best practices like no one else, and influencers have become major players in hotel marketing in recent years. While hotel budgets have been cut as a result of the pandemic, smart marketers have leveraged the power of influencers to share their stories for a fraction of the cost of traditional advertising. The benefits don't stop at cost savings, either. READ MORE

Stuart Butler

While social media channels can certainly be used as a broadcast platform for you to pump out self-serving propaganda, savvy marketers are increasingly tapping into the concept of turning your guests into your own secret army of advocates. Given the fear surrounding travel during the coronavirus pandemic, this novel approach may be just what you need to show people that responsible travel is safe and to encourage them to book their next vacation at your property. READ MORE

Megan Paquin

As hoteliers look forward to welcoming guests back in 2021, a strategic communications plan including social media strategies will be essential rebuild brand awareness and customer relations, drive intent and maximize recovery efforts. Megan Paquin, vice president at Poston Communications, shares insights on the road ahead for hotel communications amid the ongoing crisis, social media strategies to implement in 2021, and top considerations for creating COVID-related content. READ MORE

Carrie Trimble

Even as welcome news of coronavirus vaccines rolled out in December, the news for the hotel industry remained grim. The considerable discomfort caused by the sharing economy will outlast the pandemic. Can hotel brands overcome the unhospitable environment? An optimized social media performance of user-generated content, point-of-view posts from all hotel staff, and personalized technological support could help. READ MORE

David Nuenemann

Client perception needs to play a key part in your online presence & strategy, making sure you are carrying an image that truly identifies your brand. Keeping your online presence up to date, interesting and engaging with your customers might seem a daunting task for many business owners. Let's look at some recommendations to ensure your online presence is perceived in the most positive way possible. READ MORE

Alan E. Young

Social distancing may be the norm for quite some time, and as a result, we'll likely see even more hoteliers engage with guests using a myriad of social media platforms and text driven applications. Hoteliers will have to embrace this new and evolving engagement model to ensure that their guests feel welcome when they still want to maintain their distance. READ MORE

Jamie Sterling

Now more than ever, controversial and political issues risk finding a home on your hotel's social media platforms. Rather than ignoring negative or inflammatory comments, understand how to proactively respond and turn an issue into an opportunity that builds on your hotel's service and enhances your reputation. READ MORE

Robert O'Halloran

Social media is a great way to quickly reach out and touch multiple market segments and It is important to have a plan and consider and select the platforms that best fit our needs. This column highlights what social media is, the parallel plans needed in both industry and academia and the choices of social media platforms that exist. READ MORE

Coming up in April 2021...

Guest Service: Health and Safety First

Though expectations are that hotels will return to some semblance of normalcy in 2021, their highest priority must continue to be the health and safety of guests and employees. To that end, hotels are training their guest service personnel in enhanced cleaning routines, which include the following practices - bathrooms, elevator buttons, remote controls and other high-touch items, are disinfected and cleaned with a higher frequency; all tables, chairs and menus in restaurants are cleaned at a much higher frequency, and after each seating; floor markers in public areas to remind guests and team members to maintain physical distance; hand alcohol stations and disposable gloves in lobbies and restaurants; loose items such as pens, note pads and information material removed from rooms and meeting rooms; limiting the number of seats in restaurants and public areas; and revised food & beverage offerings. The April issue of the Hotel Business Review will review how guest service personnel are being trained to maintain health and safety protocols in their operations.