3 Essential Social Media Marketing Strategies for Hotels
By Leslie Wilkins Co-Founder, Pipeline Social Media | February 18, 2018
Co-authored by Keith Mather, Chief Revenue Officer & Partner, Pipeline Social Media
There is no doubt that marketing for hotels has evolved over the years. Hoteliers have more options than ever to spend advertising dollars in both traditional forms and digital forms, so how do you choose? While there is a need for advertising methods through specific channels like billboards, Google AdWords, and TripAdvisor, none of these channels can simultaneously maximize your hotel's digital presence in the three important ways that social media can: by managing your reputation, marketing your property by telling your story, and targeting your ideal guest.
I am here to argue that social media is the only place where you can accomplish all three necessary actions and -- to a more advantageous degree -- save money, as it is the least expensive route. Let's dive into these three strategies to explain why each is important and give you the insight you need to accomplish these marketing methods today on your hotel's social media.
1. Reputation Monitoring
In an industry where success is based on reputation, you want to control the conversations happening online about your property. With social media reviews, messages, comments, and check-ins happening every second, it's important to be at the forefront of these interactions, especially if they are negative. These negative interactions cannot be completely prevented, but I can tell you how to equalize and maintain these issues by responding efficiently and correctly. I believe there is a form of performance measurement in social media called a Negative Social ROI, and it occurs when reviews and social interactions do not have a response. Create a Positive Social ROI with quick responses that conciliate your customer, keeping in mind the potential impact of friends of guests or potential guests. To put it simply: if guests or potential guests are trying to contact you through social media, you have to be effectively present in order to connect with them.
There's no need in responding to negative reviews because the guest is just being demanding and finicky, right? Wrong. Allow me to explicate with a recent incident we had representing a Hilton property on Facebook. We will reference the fan as James. James checked into the Hilton property and after seeing his room, made complaints to the front desk about the uncleanliness of it. The front desk staff gave him 8,000 points and a new, clean room thinking all was resolved. James proceeded to "check in" on Facebook, an action that created a post on his personal profile and tagged the hotel's Facebook page, as well. James' check-in included multiple photos that displayed the dirty hotel room to all of his friends on Facebook; in the caption, James wrote that he should have held out for 20,000 points because the room was so indecent. Since James checked in on Facebook, our company was alerted, and our staff implemented proper procedure and contacted the hotel immediately to notify them of James' dissatisfaction.
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