Sofitel Social Media Secrets Revealed

Travel Spike offers Facebook/Twitter tips for hoteliers based on successful social media campaign

By Ryan Bifulco Founder & CEO, Travel Spike | April 24, 2011

Let's get a few things straight before we get going: there are no secrets to overnight success in social media unless you are a celebrity. It takes time and focus to make your hotel stand out in the social media realm. In this article we will share several social media secrets that can propel your property ahead of the competition. We have tested and proven these techniques from many years of experience within the hospitality industry and through our experimentation with new media. We will review the social media strategies our team developed for Sofitel Luxury Hotels - which effectively built hotel brand awareness, increased their hotel Facebook fans and took their Twitter followers from only 1,000 to over 28,000 high quality followers.

Here are some important pieces of advice we can offer:

Don't trust a college kid with your social media program. Would you appoint a college kid to handle your TV commercial? Do you hire entry level people as your head chef or concierge? The answer is of course no, yet so many companies think that just because a person has a bunch of friends on Facebook that they should be managing a corporate brand in the social media arena. Social media is so critical and so public - just like your hotel's homepage. It demands that you develop a comprehensive strategy before you send the first tweet or post your first photo on Facebook. We spent months developing and implementing the successful social media strategy for the 9 Sofitel Luxury Hotel properties across North America and here is a brief summary of what we learned along the way.

Appoint a social media coordinator

We first appointed a social media coordinator at each property to be the local eyes and ears and to act as a liaison with our Travel Spike social media team. This person can come from any department as long as they are comfortable working with many other departments within the hotel. You will want to get updates and information from your various departments including: weddings, events, marketing, sales, public relations, concierge and food & beverage.

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