How to Transform Satisfied Guests Into Hotel Brand Advocates

And Build an Army

By Pedro Colaco President & CEO, GuestCentric Systems | February 07, 2016

Word-of-mouth is nothing new. Consumers have always shared their opinions with their family and friends. Brands, on the other hand, have always known that word-of-mouth has a powerful influence on business results, as consumers trust friends over advertising. With the rise of social media on the Internet, consumers can now share their opinions with a much larger audience, amplifying its impact and multiplying it by 100x or more.

Welcome to Word-of-Mouth 2.0

Word-of-mouth 2.0 should be an opportunity. The internet has made it easy to identify consumers who are happy with your brand and therefore you have plenty of opportunities to turn these happy consumers into brand advocates. Social media allows brands to identify its advocates and leverage their opinion on its favor, especially because according to Nielsen, 68% of consumers trust peers' opinion posted online. Brands can then establish a targeted two-way dialogue, engage with prospective customers and get immediate feedback - a big advantage over traditional advertising campaigns.

How Does Social Media Affect the Hospitality Industry?

The rise of Social Media has brought massive changes to the hospitality industry, as we are witnessing the emergence of an empowered consumer that makes decisions based on other user's opinions. User reviews, self-service and e-commerce are replacing traditional travel agencies and operators who are losing marketing share to OTAs, such as Booking.com and Expedia. New tools like TripAdvisor, Kayak and Trivago have emerged to provide travelers total control over all stages of the travelling experience, from researching a destination to booking flights and accommodation.

Recent studies show that online bookings can reach up to 70% of all travel bookings worldwide. Also, eMarketer's latest forecast of worldwide digital travel and sales predicts that by the end of 2015, digital travel sales will total more than $481 billion. These are huge numbers to be ignored, and judging by them it is likely that your guests have already discovered your online presence, no matter how small or remote your property is.

Choose a Social Network!

The social network you are looking for is not available.

Close

Hotel Newswire Headlines Feed  

Chris Charbonnet
Tony Heung
Sara Djubek
Ed Blair
Suzanne Owens
Emily Loupee
Scott Hale
Renie Cavallari
Dean Minett
Jackie Collins
Rick Skinker
Coming up in June 2019...

Sales & Marketing: Selling Experiences

There are innumerable strategies that Hotel Sales and Marketing Directors employ to find, engage and entice guests to their property, and those strategies are constantly evolving. A breakthrough technology, pioneering platform, or even a simple algorithm update can cause new trends to emerge and upend the best laid plans. Sales and marketing departments must remain agile so they can adapt to the ever changing digital landscape. As an example, the popularity of virtual reality is on the rise, as 360 interactive technologies become more mainstream. Chatbots and artificial intelligence are also poised to become the next big things, as they take guest personalization to a whole new level. But one sales and marketing trend that is currently resulting in major benefits for hotels is experiential marketing - the effort to deliver an experience to potential guests. Mainly this is accomplished through the creative use of video and images, and by utilizing what has become known as User Generated Content. By sharing actual personal content (videos and pictures) from satisfied guests who have experienced the delights of a property, prospective guests can more easily imagine themselves having the same experience. Similarly, Hotel Generated Content is equally important. Hotels are more than beds and effective video presentations can tell a compelling story - a story about what makes the hotel appealing and unique. A video walk-through of rooms is essential, as are video tours in different areas of a hotel. The goal is to highlight what makes the property exceptional, but also to show real people having real fun - an experience that prospective guests can have too. The June Hotel Business Review will report on some of these issues and strategies, and examine how some sales and marketing professionals are integrating them into their operations.