Understanding the Tools to Help Drive Hotel Revenue Growth
By R.J. Friedlander Founder & CEO, ReviewPro | April 17, 2011
The initial ground swell of change started to become evident around 2005. But, for years the hotel industry acted as if the "social media revolution" was something that was going to make waves in other industries and not hit close to home. Who would have thought back then that social media would significantly impact his/her individual hotel or chain, let alone influence the bottom-line?
For the majority, it was not a case of apathy. Most were still trying to respond to the changes in online distribution and marketing led by OTA's and Google to have much time or resources to be bothered by social media. Anyway, it was not obvious that what started out with a few Websites and new technologies, first embraced by geeks and college kids, would turn out to be one of the most significant trends to hit the hotel industry in years.
From Insignificant to Imperative
Just three years ago, you would have been hard pressed to find many hoteliers that were doing anything significant related to online reputation and social media management. As recently as a couple of years ago, there were still very few hotel groups that had dedicated resources or a budget assigned to manage social media. However, the tide has clearly changed.
Over the last year, thousands of hotels worldwide, from all segments, have begun to engage directly with their clients online via social media. It appears that this trend will continue to grow in 2011. A recent study by TripAdvisor indicated that 57% of the respondents expect their social media budgets to increase this year versus last year. Increasingly, involvement with social media is expanding beyond just the marketing department.
Innovative companies like Sol Melía, The LandMark London and Eurostars Hotels have embraced social media analytics and changed how they manage their entire organizations. From the executive suite to the quality, operations, sales, marketing, distribution and revenue departments; online reputation and social media management has had a profound impact on their entire organization. These companies realize that it is all about tracking and improving guest satisfaction, engaging with clients directly with the goal of turning them into brand advocates and leveraging social media analytics to drive revenue growth. So how are they doing this?
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