This is an excerpt of our free 2015 Social Media Action Plan for Hoteliers. CLICK HERE to download the full action plan.
Through our work with over 24,000 hospitality professionals worldwide, we’ve developed a framework that should prove helpful as you create your own strategic social media plan and standard operating procedures for 2015. We organize potential social media actions into five main categories.
What: Develop your brand story on social media. Respond to questions and identify your brand enthusiasts.
Why: Engaged social followers are your best customers. With the right marketing initiatives, you can turn brand enthusiasts into influencers. Influencers create a word-of-mouth phenomenon by spreading the word about the best parts of your property to their social networks.
Result: Increased satisfaction and loyalty. Incremental bookings. Encouraged word-of-mouth marketing.
What: Monitor all comments posted to your social media profiles. Respond ASAP to any negative feedback or complaints.
Why: Social media is becoming a very public, interactive support line. It is more important than ever to respond promptly and appropriately. ACCENT found that nearly half of consumers use social media to make issues public. More than half (51%) use social media to see if others have had similar issues. Close to half of the consumers (44%) who post about issues to Facebook in particular expect a response from the brand. Guests may complain on social media while they’re still on property. If you resolve the issue before they check out, you may save yourself a bad review on TripAdvisor. Responding quickly to any negative feedback on social media also reassures potential customers that you care about your guests.
Result: Real-time service recovery. Reputation management.
Get Inspired: Through active social media monitoring and engagement, Grupo Sunset, a six-property group in Riviera Maya, was able to bring a unique moment of special delight to a guest. While monitoring its Facebook page, managers learned that a guest’s daughter was very disappointed not to find the chocolate-dipped strawberries that were mentioned in the hotel’s marketing materials. Seeing this comment, the GM immediately requested that the property chef send a special plate of strawberries to the young girl. Jim Wehrle, E-Business Director, explains, “I don’t know how much this sort of advertising would cost, but the little girl’s mother was so pleased that she bought a timeshare for our resort the next day.”
Public Feedback Analysis and Operationalization
What: Analyze all comments posted to your social media profiles and look for trends in your feedback. Identify any action items. Share your findings with your entire staff and engage with department leaders to make necessary changes.
Why: Gain valuable new insight and make smart operational changes based on what your guests are saying about you. Learn what guests truly love about your hotel and what they are consistently complaining about so you can improve your operations and drive revenue.
Result: Improved operational performance. Increased guest satisfaction and loyalty. Incremental bookings. Prioritized facility improvements, based on data specific to your guests and your property.
Get Inspired: “We found that we were getting a lot of commentary about our beds that indicated an improvement was needed. We made the decision to replace all of the hotel’s beds as quickly as possible,” says David Eisenbraun, General Manager of Pier 2620 Hotel in San Francisco. Now, comments regarding the hotel’s beds are substantially positive (CLICK HERE to read the full Pier 2620 success story).
What: “Spy” on your competitors’ guest feedback. Leverage sentiment analysis to identify your competitors’ operational strengths and weaknesses based on voice-of-the-customer feedback.
Why: Harness this social media feedback to discover what guests like and dislike about your competitors’ properties. Use this information to highlight the ways you are better than your competitors in the eyes of their guests.
Result: Identify competitive advantages. Optimize your marketing and public relations.
Use Technology: Use an online reputation management solution to track feedback for your property and for those of your competitors. “Revinate is a really important tool for us to stay on top of our guest feedback, and also to see what’s happening at other hotels in our market. Knowing what guests are saying about our competitors and why guests are choosing to stay there is critical in a competitive market like Bangkok,” says Samir Wildemann, General Manager of the Okura Prestige Bangkok.
What: Use social media searches to discover what people are talking about in your geographical region. Look at how your competitors are marketing themselves and learn about trending topics and hashtags. Find past guests and prospective guests in the research/inspiration phase of travel planning, based on who is posting about your geographical region.
Why: Understanding your potential guests while pinpointing trending topics and interests can help you deliver more relevant marketing messages via email. You can also use this opportunity to establish a one-to-one relationship with past and prospective guests.
Result: Discover new marketing topics, trends, and best practices. Deliver more effective targeted marketing. Develop a continuous relationship with your guests.
Get Inspired: The Amora Hotel Jamison Sydney is an independently owned hotel with 415 rooms, a world-class spa, conference and meeting space, and the presidential suites necessary to service VIP guests. Front Office Manager Abhishek Sinha enjoys the unique social media features that come with Revinate’s Online Reputation Management solution. He says, “One of the best parts of Online Reputation Management is the social search feature. I wasn’t getting this with the other online GSS provider, and I’ve never heard of this functionality in my 15 years in hospitality. We can put in keywords for our area, and get all social media mentions pulled up, allowing us to target promotions based on what people are looking for.”
Did you know?
Bain & Company reported that customers who interact with companies using social media spend between 20 and 40% more money at those companies than other customers.
These customers didn’t spend more because they were bombarded with sales-oriented posts, but rather because they were engaged by the brand.
We recognize that this list may seem overwhelming at first. Don’t panic. It’s possible to build a social media plan for every team and budget, no matter how large or small.
Want to drive more direct revenue and connect with guests? Download our free Email Marketing Strategy Guide. Never before has there been a more jam-packed, industry-specific guide to help hoteliers master the art (and science) of email marketing. Over 40+ topics with actionable insights, strategies, and best practices for email marketing.