I see great examples of social media engagement every day. While many of our clients are considered leaders in hospitality social media and have teams in place to manage engagement, many others are just starting to put social media practices in place and might have one person working part time on reviews and other social media platforms. While I do think dedicating resources to social media is money well spent, I realize that for many hotels, this isn’t an option.
There’s no doubt that monitoring your online reputation is important. Reputation management has become its own industry, with agencies and software companies devoted to the cause. But today, the trend is moving from monitoring to acting and engaging. For example, whereas many Revinate clients were content a year ago to have all their reviews aggregated in one dashboard, recently the most often requested features from Revinate clients are alerts and ticketing systems to ensure that every review or social media mention can be acted upon to drive loyalty and sales. These features, launched today, will guide hoteliers to action with “Recommended Actions included in their daily alerts, and a new ticket-based workflow management system.
With action in mind, and to celebrate the rollout of the features mentioned above, here are 3 simple things that hotels can do to make a difference. Each activity only takes a couple of minutes.
1. Respond to an online review or two every day. If you only do one thing on social media you should show your clients and prospective clients that you take feedback seriously by responding to reviews on TripAdvisor, Hotels.com, and Expedia. With less than 5% of hotels responding to reviews online, it’s the perfect opportunity to shine and show you are customer focused. Respond to both negative reviews and positive reviews. Thank guests for positive reviews and address negative feedback to assure guests that their input will be used to drive operational improvements. According to TripAdvisor, management responses are read more closely than actual reviews, so it’s a great opportunity to turn a negative into a positive.
2. Take advantage of a competitor’s silence. The hotel business is competitive and many hoteliers are simply not taking advantage of all the opportunities that social media provides. For example, I recently saw a tweet from a young woman who announced that she was headed to Planet Hollywood in Las Vegas to gamble. She even used the @phvegas. An hour later, she heard nothing from Planet Hollywood but she did get a tweet from the Las Vegas Hilton saying, “Good luck. But you really should catch the monorail at Bally’s & come game with us.” The next tweet the woman sent was, “Looks like we need to hit @lasvegashilton too! Hoping there is luck in the air.”
3. Welcome a guest who tweets that he’s coming to stay with you. This sounds like a no brainer but I can’t tell you how many hotels don’t respond to these softballs. If you have a Twitter account and you’re not responding to these tweets, I would consider shutting down your account until you have the resources in place to spend a few minutes to welcome guests and ensure they know you’re there for them should a question or need arise. Here’s an example, “Looking forward to having you. Lots to do in SF this week. Let me know if you need help deciding.”
If you have ever been on the receiving end of a review response, or a welcoming tweet, you know how great it is to know that a hotel cares about your stay and is willing to spend a minute or two to personally acknowledge you.