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.