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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Eco-Friendly Practices: Corporate Social Responsibility

The hotel industry has undertaken a long-term effort to build more responsible and socially conscious businesses. What began with small efforts to reduce waste - such as paperless checkouts and refillable soap dispensers - has evolved into an international movement toward implementing sustainable development practices. In addition to establishing themselves as good corporate citizens, adopting eco-friendly practices is sound business for hotels. According to a recent report from Deloitte, 95% of business travelers believe the hotel industry should be undertaking “green” initiatives, and Millennials are twice as likely to support brands with strong management of environmental and social issues. Given these conclusions, hotels are continuing to innovate in the areas of environmental sustainability. For example, one leading hotel chain has designed special elevators that collect kinetic energy from the moving lift and in the process, they have reduced their energy consumption by 50%  over conventional elevators. Also, they installed an advanced air conditioning system which employs a magnetic mechanical system that makes them more energy efficient. Other hotels are installing Intelligent Building Systems which monitor and control temperatures in rooms, common areas and swimming pools, as well as ventilation and cold water systems. Some hotels are installing Electric Vehicle charging stations, planting rooftop gardens, implementing stringent recycling programs, and insisting on the use of biodegradable materials. Another trend is the creation of Green Teams within a hotel's operation that are tasked to implement earth-friendly practices and manage budgets for green projects. Some hotels have even gone so far as to curtail or eliminate room service, believing that keeping the kitchen open 24/7 isn't terribly sustainable. The May issue of the Hotel Business Review will document what some hotels are doing to integrate sustainable practices into their operations and how they are benefiting from them.