InterBrand has named this years best global brands and there’s a lesson in there for every company, regardless of sector.
Jez Frampton, InterBrand’s CEO says, “The challenge for today’s brands is to adapt to this new real-time environment and the increased call for transparency. The real test will be if brands can use these channels to forge deeper relationship with customers. While the rules may be shifting, the long-term sustainable advantage gained by building a strong brand – a brand that builds stability, trust, loyalty, and drives a premium price – remains consistent.”
With respect to hotels and hospitality, the report warns that “hotels and hotel brands will need to move away from superficial gestures, like nicer pillows, and focus on creating truly memorable moments of delight in order to connect with guests.”
Throughout this blog I have written about ways that hoteliers can use social media to surprise and delight guests. Since the time seems right, I will now include 5 favorites. Revinate customers will be able to easily identify almost all of these opportunities using Social Media Searches and the other tools in Revinate.
1. Acknowledge check-ins and tweets
Keep your eye on Twitter for mentions of your property. As soon as people check-in or Tweet about being on site, acknowlede them. Send them a message or a tweet welcoming them to the hotel and offer your services to help make their stay exceptional.
2. Become a destination expert on TripAdvisor and other forums
You know your city better than most. Watch travel forums for people looking for advice in your area and start contributing content that will help make their stay incredible, whether they stay with you this time or not. Do you know the best place for breakfast? A great hike that’s not in the tourist guides? Let them know! Become a trusted member of the forum and, where appropriate, let people know why they should stay at your hotel. Is there a special event or a great deal that they shouldn’t miss? It’s ok to softly sell as long as you’re transparent and have provided valuable content so they know they can trust you.
3. Celebrate moments
Closely monitor public Facebook pages, blogs and Twitter for people celebrating events in your hotel, such as birthdays or anniversaries. When they check-in, acknowledge the event with warm wishes and a bottle of wine or other amenity.
4. Treat pets like family
If your property is pet friendly, treat Fido like the king his mom thinks he is. People love for their pets to be noticed and with more and more dog friendly hotels, you can make a big mark by catering to your furry guests. Deliver special dog bones to the room with a map of a nearby park.
5. Respond to reviews
Many savvy hotels are already responding to online reviews but I can’t emphasise enough how important it is for all hotels to begin this practice. By responding, you send the message that you care about your guests’ experiences and you learn and grow from their feedback.
Other ideas? Please comment below.
To read the whole InterBrand report about the top 100 brands, please click here.