Social Media, Concierge: A Natural Merger
By Larry Mogelonsky President & Founder, LMA Communications | December 01, 2013
Any hotelier who has ever glanced at a hotel's social media profiles – or at least read articles on proper management of these pages – knows that these forms of electronic communication have replaced many of the tasks formerly attended to by the onsite concierge. Past, present and future guests send their digital queries and it's the property's responsibility to respond with helpful information.
I'm stating the obvious here. Nowadays, it is critical that you treat social media networks as personal assistance and relationship building channels. Future guests will be thankful you took the time to answer their requests. Past guests will appreciate your kind remarks. And all other fans and travel researchers will be silently judging you by the attentiveness of your online activity. In the past, helping guests was the primary duty of the concierge, but now that this role is being widely usurped by that social media managers, wouldn't it make sense to merge the two departments?
I pose this question because even though having an onsite concierge – or any other team member who fills this role, be it the front desk or a dedicated floor manager – is still vital, your guests have gone online. Even when they are already on property, increasingly so they will direct their imminent concerns towards your Facebook fan page or direct a comment at you on Twitter. In essence, social media has become a virtual concierge.
Why the Merge?
Even before the advent of internet travel websites and Google, every guest could probably find all the information they needed without the help of knowledgeable hotel employees. But this would be a strain on their time and their moods. The reason for creating and sustaining the concierge position is to alleviate guests' stresses by providing immediate and specific advice so that they can better enjoy their stay.
The same goes with digital communications with consumers. People could just browse one of the more popular search engines to get what they want, but submitting a question to a local expert (your employees) and having a response tailored exclusively for them is so much easier. You're exerting yourself on their behalf so they don't become fatigued with research. Plus, these interactions build rapport and trust with potential guests, heightening the likelihood that they'll stay with you or come for a return visit.
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