Over the last few days I have spoken with three hotel executives from different management companies that are including Revinate metrics in their employee bonus programs for 2012. We have been recommending this practice since we rolled out GS2 Reports almost a year ago, encoraging hotels and brands to set goals and measure results, and while I would like to think that our messaging was heard loud and clear, I think there are actually many factors in play that make 2012 the right time to include social media metrics in bonus programs.
First, the ROI around social media is no longer as elusive as it once was. Many great minds have been studying the effects of social media marketing and the power of online reviews and all signs point to the fact that both make great business sense for the hospitality industry. Bain and Company, for example, recently reported that customers who engage with companies over social media are more loyal and they spend 20 percent to 40 percent more with those companies than other customers do. And Market Metrix has been reporting on the shifting factors that go into consumer booking decisions. Whereas location and price used to be the top factors in booking decisions, online reviews and recommendations are now at the top of the list.
Second, it is now possible to easily operationalize social media. Last year many clients were still figuring out their voice on social media and online review sites. They also hadn’t yet determined objectives around Facebook, Twitter, location-based services and online review sites. But today, the majority of our clients have standard operating procedures in place. Many have incorporated social media best practices into their brand guidelines and have made social media part of every department’s purvue. And, of course, they are using workflow features in Revinate to ensure that feedback from reviews and social media is acted upon and responded to in a timely manner.
Third, hoteliers are realizing the powerful benefits of having plentiful online reviews. In addition to helping to improve their ranking on TripAdvisor and driving more business to the hotel, the feedback, when analyzed using Revinate’s sentiment analysis, provides real-time, valuable data about what guests love and hate at the hotel. Through Revinate, hoteliers now have the power to bring guest feedback into the decision making process. Revinate is now being relied upon for capital improvement projects, training and standard operating procedures.
And of course when hotels focus on receiving great online reviews, they pay closer attention to guests’ needs. Guests notice the extra level of service and write great reviews and the cycle repeats, driving more and more people to book at the hotel.
Finally, it is now easier than ever to measure success on online review sites and social media. Revinate provides dozens of reports and metrics to show how a hotel or brand is doing over time or against the competition. Our GS2 Reports allow brands and hotels to set goals across regions or properties and see how they’re doing against their goals on weekly or monthly basis. Aggregating these stats used to take days; now it takes less than a few minutes.
Are you planning on rewarding employees based on review metrics and social media feedback? Please let me know in the comments, below, or by emailing Michelle at Revinate.com.