Employee Use & Abuse of Social Media

By Kathleen Pohlid Founder & Managing Member, Pohlid, PLLC | January 29, 2012

Best hotel in the city – most luxurious accommodations & great service!

My hotel is making me work long hours and my boss is full of crap!

If a member of your hotel staff made the first posting to a social media site lauding your hotel establishment to the public could this pose a concern for management?

Or, with respect to the second posting to a social media site, will management run afoul of any laws for disciplining or terminating the employee for making disparaging remarks against their employer?

These examples typify some of the unique and emerging issues facing employers with respect to social media and the workplace. With social media sites such as Facebook reaching more than 800 million active users, more than 350 million of them accessing their accounts using mobile devices, employees have greater means than ever to communicate matters relating to their employment to the public. This poses several legal concerns to employers.

NLRA & Social Media

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Coming up in February 2019...

Social Media: Getting Personal

There 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.