Social Media Trends Impacting your Hotel in 2018

By Gaurav Varma Product Marketing Manager, Milestone Inc. | February 11, 2018

Social media is the natural extension of your business. It helps you to engage with your target audience to inspire real-life conversations. Social media is particularly engaging and with the increasing mobile penetration user engagement is only going to increase. More and more businesses including hotels are trying to connect with audiences on social media to establish a meaningful relationship to become a partner of choice.

1. Social Networking Remains Popular

Social media penetration is increasing year over year. Per Statista in 2017, 71% of internet users are also social media users with future projections showing no signs of slowing down. In 2016, more than 81% of the US had a social media profile. For many people social media is now their primary source of news and information, elevating it to more than just entertainment. With increased digital connectivity, around the clock access to smartphones and the lower cost of data, social media is now a way of life.

Mobile devices occupy a center stage role to enhance user experience. Location based services and Apps, near me searches such as Google Now, Foursquare, Uber and AirBnB are now solving a range of customer problems and delivering experiences in the here and now. Most social networks have launched mobile specific apps to cater to the on the go user making social media seamless in one's lives. Thus, it's important for your hotel to actively include social channels in your marketing mix.

Action Points for Your Team:

  • Make social media marketing part of your 2018 digital marketing road map
  • Find talent within your company or hire a professional agency
  • Start by auditing your existing digital assets (vs competition) to know where you stand

2. Bet on Video

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Mobile Technology: The Future is Now

Mobile Technology continues to advance at a relentless pace and the hotel industry continues to adapt. Hotel guests have shown a strong preference for mobile self-service - from checking-in/out at a hotel kiosk, to ordering room service, making dinner reservations, booking spa treatments, and managing laundry/dry cleaning services. And they also enjoy the convenience of paying for these services with smart phone mobile payments. In addition, some hotels have adopted a “concierge in your pocket” concept. Through a proprietary hotel app, guests can access useful information such as local entertainment venues, tourist attractions, event calendars, and medical facilities and services. In-room entertainment continues to be a key factor, as guests insist on the capacity to plug in their own mobile devices to customize their entertainment choices. Mobile technology also allows for greater marketing opportunities. For example, many hotels have adopted the use of “push notifications” - sending promotions, discounts and special event messages to guests based on their property location, purchase history, profiles, etc. Near field communication (NFC) technology is also being utilized to support applications such as opening room doors, earning loyalty points, renting a bike, accessing a rental car, and more. Finally, some hotels have adopted more futuristic technology. Robots are in use that have the ability to move between floors to deliver room service requests for all kinds of items - food, beverages, towels, toothbrushes, chargers and snacks. And infrared scanners are being used by housekeeping staff that can detect body heat within a room, alerting staff that the room is occupied and they should come back at a later time. The January Hotel Business Review will report on what some hotels are doing to maximize their opportunities in this exciting mobile technology space.