Social Media: Social Listening Tools

The reach and influence of social media is staggering. Nearly 3 billion people use social media daily, posting a range of messages, selfies, images, and everything in-between. According to HubSpot, almost 4 million posts are uploaded to the major social networks every single minute! That's an astounding amount of content and it is crucial for hotels to skillfully use social media in order to effectively compete. From establishing a suitable brand identity and voice to creating content across all the major networks (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, etc.), the goal is to actively engage consumers and to eventually convert them to customers. Some hotels are initiating online contests as a way to attract new customers, while others are rewarding customers with discounts who subscribe to the their email lists or follow their social media pages. Another recent strategy is to employ social media listening tools that track what people are posting online about their businesses. These tools allow hotels to monitor - or listen to - what's being said about a brand across the entire social web, and this can prove to be very valuable, unfiltered information. Social listening permits hotels to be aware of people's opinions about their business, industry or competitors, and some of these tools even listen beyond social media platforms. They also monitor publicly available information on blogs, forums, news outlets and websites. Some listening tools are more focused on gathering and analyzing data, while others offer more engagement-oriented features, which allow hotels to interact with people right from the platform. Often the information that is gleaned from these listening tools ends up being the most authentic, unbiased insights a business can get. The February Hotel Business Review will document what some hotels are doing to successfully integrate social media strategies into their operations.



Library Archives

 
Laura Guitar

While coronavirus is a serious health threat, the risks go beyond wellbeing – with misinformation spreading more quickly than the disease itself. The current media landscape capitalizes on public fear, and communicators must navigate ways to share important information in a way that will get through to stakeholders while clarifying the facts. In an age of click-bait, there are several key factors to consider when tackling communication around a topic as complex and fear-inducing as a new virus strain. READ MORE

Alexander Shashou

If you polled 100 different people asking for their definition of hospitality, chances are that you would get 100 different answers. However, many of them would directly or indirectly mention safety, comfort and feeling well cared for. Hotels can spend time focusing on impressing their guests with exciting offerings from guest-facing mobile technology to new and exciting experiences, but the basic hospitality needs of hotel guests still need to be met. Providing hotel staff with mobile technology, especially housekeeping software, is one way for hotels to efficiently and seamlessly provide exceptional hospitality. READ MORE

Megan Pope

The modern traveler is accustomed to streamlined self-service throughout most steps of their journey. The breakdown happens when they arrive at their hotel and have to wait in line to check-in and get their room key. Fortunately, technology has made it possible for hoteliers to streamline and expedite guest check-in by automating the process with mobile technology. As mobile technology continues to gain traction, guests are increasingly demanding access to the self-service experience they're accustomed to in the airline and ride share sectors of the travel industry. For these reasons and many more, mobile check-in is set to be hospitality's biggest trend in 2020. READ MORE

Katerina Berezina

Some customers are digital natives, inclined to do everything on their phones, including their interactions with hotels, e.g., selecting a hotel, booking a room, setting up their customer account, texting the hotel before arrival, and using their smartphone as a key. However, there is also a group of consumers who would choose a hotel based on a billboard advertising or a printed catalog, who would call the hotel to make a reservation, and would ask to cut a key for them upon arrival. Therefore, hotels need to manage their efforts of technology adoption in such a way to serve the whole spectrum of customer groups. READ MORE

Ajay Aluri

Mobile technology has existed since the 80s, but it was not until late 2000s that it reached the mainstream consumer. Since then, mobile technology has become much smarter, drastically changing the way consumers use it on a daily-basis and reshaping the way they search and make purchase decisions. From eCommerce to the sharing economy, from Facebook to TikTok, and from texting to virtual assistance, mobile technology has reframed the world consumers inhabit. The next evolution of mobile technology is capable of changing our immediate surroundings with applications that offer interactive and immersive experiences that merge real-life and virtual worlds. It is time that the hotel industry start exploring these applications, that is, Augmented Reality (AR) technology. READ MORE

Adam Gillespie

It is no exaggeration to say that technology is advancing so rapidly that it is often difficult to keep up with the changes. Year after year, one area in which this is apparent is within the hospitality industry, as more hotel brands respond to the needs and requirements of discerning customers who expect an experience that fits their modern lifestyles and expectations. Many market leaders have responded well, with new and exciting innovations, while others lag behind. As we approach the start of a new decade, take a brief insight into where hotel technology stands at the moment, along with some suggestions as to what we might expect to see in our hotel rooms for 2020 and beyond. READ MORE

Babs S. Harrison

The hot concept in 2020 hotel and resort marketing is influencers - you know you want to do it. But you also must know that there are many ways to do influencer marketing wrong. There are plenty of reasons to want to do this right - notably the popularity of social media channels (think Instagram and Facebook) and their increasing importance as places where consumers search for travel information. Which can mean inspiring pictures, for instance. Also brief, punchy write-ups that make the reader want to pack and go. Resolution for 2020: learn to succeed with influencers. READ MORE

Andrada Paraschiv

With a long tradition in service excellence, razor-thin, cyclical margins, and a complex ownership/management structure, hospitality has been slow at adopting technology. Today, hospitality companies must embrace new advancements in technology, if they want to remain competitive. Guests and employees expect the same level of digitalization in a property, which they've become accustomed to in their private lives. To adopt technology that sticks and adds value to the organization, there are a few things hoteliers need to consider: return on investment, making sure the technology stack combines into a cohesive ecosystem, have a strong employee adoption strategy and finally have the ability to measure success. READ MORE

Ted Horner

Consumers have embraced voice technology with a high adoption rate in homes in the USA. The end result is that hotels moving forward are seriously looking at this technology. In a recent study of technology investments in 2019 30% of hotels stated they were going to invest in voice technology in 2020. With more than 100 Hotels having made the investment to date the feedback is that the technology is driving new revenues by making guests aware of, and removing the friction to engage with, high margin amenities and services. READ MORE

Dean Minett

For many hoteliers, 'attending to social media' means dutifully responding to comments and guest reviews. In truth, it means far more than that. Hotels can no longer afford a languid approach to social media. A vivid presence on relevant channels – Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, TripAdvisor, Google – is a basic requirement for survival in a hyper-competitive landscape. What do we stand to lose by adopting an unsuccessful strategy, or no strategy at all? By understanding the cost of mediocrity in the digital world, hotels can navigate toward better engagement and stronger balance sheets. READ MORE

Lance Concannon

Over the past decade the unstoppable rise of social media has impacted almost every industry in some way, but the hospitality business has been especially affected. Online customer reviews, real-time feedback through social channels, and the rise of travel-influencers are just a few of the side effects from social media that have had a profound effect on hospitality. But social never stands still and, for marketers in all industries, a process of constant evolution and learning is necessary in order to stay in ahead of the game and take full advantage of the opportunities presented by the channel. READ MORE

Robert Rauch

Hoteliers can leave no stone unturned in this extremely competitive business environment, and a key weapon in our arsenal is technology. Mobile technology, in particular, is in a constant state of flux and continuously unlocking new opportunities to boost marketing efforts and improve the guest's experience. There are a few exciting advances in mobile tech that hoteliers can look forward to employing as mobile and 5G come together. Though as these innovations develop, it's important to take a step back and recognize how users from different generations will perceive and interact with these new marketing tools. READ MORE

Richard Walsh

How are hotels responding to the daily challenges of the escalating evolution of tech services for their properties and more specific for in-room convenience that is becoming an expectation by their guests? In-Room Technology has become a critical issue for all hotels and there is no one answer for all hotels. The evolving changes in guest expectations and tech service selections confronting hoteliers today will continue to escalate and to continue the hotels will have to implement in-room technology services same as they did in the past with air conditioning, television, phones, digital keys and more. READ MORE

Joe Schwinger

For hoteliers, meeting planners are a crucial audience. Planners have the power to direct hundreds of guests to a hotel, often for several events a year. To attract planners (and their business), it's important that hoteliers understand their needs and expectations - especially when it comes to technology. Here, MeetingPlay CEO Joe Schwinger shares some insight into event technology trends in 2020 so you can better prepare your hotel for meeting planners' evolving expectations. READ MORE

Janelle Schwartz

If managed strategically, social media can serve as an early warning system, alerting hotel managers of guest concerns and dissatisfactions before such guest discontent mushrooms to the point where it can seriously damage a hotel's reputation and eventually its profitability. To help prevent such a scenario from occurring, hotel managers can turn to technology known as social listening tools. These are applications that search the web for posts and comments about particular hotels. Once such tools are put in place, hotel managers can begin to analyze the results and then take remedial steps to quickly and effectively minimize any damage that might have occurred to the hotel. READ MORE

Coming up in March 2020...

Human Resources: Confronting a Labor Shortage

With the unemployment rate at its lowest level in decades (3.7%), what has always been a perennial problem for human resource professionals - labor shortage - is now reaching acute levels of concern. It is getting harder to find and recruit qualified applicants. Even finding candidates with the skills to succeed in entry-level positions has become an issue. In addition, employee turnover rates remain extremely high in the hotel industry. As a result of these problems, hotel HR managers are having to rethink their recruitment strategies in order to hire the right talent for the right job. First, hotels have been forced to raise their wages and offer other appealing perks, as a way to attract qualified candidates. Secondly, HR managers are reassessing their interviewing techniques, focusing less on the answers they receive to questions and more on observable behavior. Part of this process includes role-playing during the interview, so that the recruiter can gauge how a candidate works through specific problems and interacts with other team members. Additionally, some HR managers are also creating internal talent pools as a way to address labor shortages. Instead of utilizing department resources to find new hires with specific skills for needed positions, hotels are cultivating talent pools internally and preparing their employees to assume leadership roles whenever the time comes. They are also placing greater emphasis on a company culture that is more performance-based, as a way to curb employee turnover, increase employee satisfaction, and assure higher levels of customer service. Finally, recognizing the importance of employee retention as a way to lessen the impact of a tight labor market, some HR managers are instituting generous reward programs in order to retain their top performers. The March Hotel Business Review will explore what some HR professionals are doing to address these and other issues in their departments.