Social Media and Hotels: Why Engagement is Critical
The majority of hotels today have active profiles on social networks and are using the channels to engage with prospects and guests. But, many hoteliers are still trying to find the resources and prove the ROI before diving into social media management. Here’s some data on the value of a strong social media presence to help hoteliers take the plunge.
1. Engaged social followers are your best customers.
While Google Analytics can help track traffic to your booking engine, even hoteliers that can’t directly tie a booking to a successful social media campaign can use social media to identify brand enthusiasts. With the right marketing initiatives, you can turn brand enthusiasts into advocates.
2. Word of mouth marketing creates discovery.
According to an ACCENT research survey, nearly 65% of participants found it helpful to post questions on a brand’s social media channel and receive answers from fellow consumers. This suggests that consumers use social media to create community.
Additionally, 44% of U.S. travelers always or often consult friends and family for travel advice. Hoteliers can take advantage of this trend. By engaging with brand enthusiasts within the social media community, hoteliers can foster trust with their brand.
Which brands have done this well? Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts is one example. By encouraging guests to share their vacation photos with the hashtag #FSFotog, they’re using influencers to create trust with new potential guests. Then, they further develop the relationship with their influencers by sharing the photos and interacting with consumers. Note two things: The social media manager at Four Seasons Hong Kong replied to the mention of their property. And, other comments are mentioning other Instagrammers, perhaps in the research phase of trip planning.
3. Consumers expect responses.
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. When consumers post to Facebook in particular, nearly half of all consumers (44%) expect a response from the brand. Social media is becoming a very public, interactive support line. It is more important than ever to respond promptly and appropriately.
Southwest Airlines has done a great job with this, using their Twitter account to respond to complaints and provide consumers with information.
4. Prospective guests see reviews and comments before they book.
93% of travelers look at hotel reviews before booking and many look for feedback on Facebook pages and on Twitter. Your social media presence can affect bookings, whether it’s the tone of your posts or the interactions of consumers and influencers on your pages.
5. Hotel response is critical.
It’s not just important to strike the right tone with your social media posts. It’s critical to respond to guests and prospectives who post on your pages. Respondents to the Forrester Consulting survey agree:
- 71%, that “Seeing a management response to reviews is important to me.”
- 79%, that “A management response to a bad review reassures me.”
- 78%, that “A management response to a good review makes me think highly of the hotel.”
- 68%, that “If I was considering two comparable properties, the presence of management responses on one would sway me in its favor.”
Guests expect hoteliers to be interactive on social media. According to the last bullet, it can even mean lost bookings to your competitors if you don’t interact with guests and prospectives who post on your page.
Engagement on social media is critical for hotels. But, it takes a lot of time to monitor the various social media platforms and review sites. If you’re looking to develop your social media strategy, check out our best practices guide on Creating a Social Media and Reputation Management Action Plan.
You can also email us at email@example.com to schedule a free demo of our Online Reputation Management software. Revinate aggregates all of your reviews and social media interactions onto one easy-to-manage platform, so you can respond quickly and efficiently. It also automatically gives you analytics on your review data so you can see trends and make informed operational changes where needed.