Balancing Social Media Engagement and Marketing

Hospitality businesses need to carefully balance social media engagement and social media marketing to realize their social media goals.  The most powerful benefits of this medium come when hotels and restaurants understand that engagement and marketing are NOT the same thing in the social media age.

Social Media Engagement Objectives

Think about social media engagement like networking at a cocktail party.  Rather than peddling your greatness when introduced to someone you should listen first.  When you speak, join conversations that make sense to your business and where you can add value to the discussion.  Your objective should be to network and grow relationships over time. Social media engagement will drive revenue when each potential customer needs your service or product. They will think of you first because they know you, like you, and trust you based upon the relationship that you have built with social media.

Hotel and restaurant owners and general managers with near-term profit motives might find this discouraging, but social media should remain a focus. To be successful, you must understand the difference between social media engagement and social media marketing. Your first objective should be engagement that provides value outside of your core service. Extrinsic value drivers are what will keep your customers interested in liking you, following you, and staying engaged with you. Your second objective can be to drive revenue through promotional social media marketing and word-of-mouth marketing.

Download the entire Best Practices article here.

2 responses to “Balancing Social Media Engagement and Marketing

  1. Very interesting article summary. I have to admit I did not read the complete article, but still interesting. While I am not in the hospitality industry perse, I believe this is good information for anyone in a service industry. Building strong relationships based on trust, confidence, and reliability are key to successful engagements and interactions. They have to be a customer before they can be excited about what you provide them (hotel room, dining experience, high speed network, a cheeseburger, or a doggy nail trimming). Just like our relationships with our loved ones, you have to listen as much or more than you speak so they know how much you value them and what they are feeling and thinking.
    Just my two cents. Thanks for this posting. Have a blessed day all.

  2. I think your advice is exeenlclt, Alex. An important part of making sure your social media time investment is worthwhile is making sure you’re reaching the right audience, as you discuss. I found it takes time to find them, and I suggest that folks treat the process as an experiment. Decide what you’ll measure resulting hits on a product page of yours, for example do your work to connect to them (using your suggestions), then evaluate how the experiment went. Did you get results you care about? If not, keep Thinking, Trying, and Learning. What’s a trap is getting sucked into the Twitter/Facebook/etc realm (they’re addictive, after all) and losing sight of what you’re using them *for*. This shift, so it helps to re-evaluate after some time.Re: helping people YES! One of the things I love about LinkedIn is those times when someone asks for an introduction. Being able to connect two people who can help each other is tasty, and I wish I could do it more often. I’ve had a few home runs, which I’m pleased about.

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