Friday, March 21, 2014

Hotel Marketing and Technology - Social Media

Alongside the global explosion of social media in recent years, the hospitality industry has been forever changed by this medium. Hotels have learned that having a social media presence is critical to the process of gaining and keeping guest loyalty. The very nature of social media works extremely well for hotels, having relied to some extent on favorable word-of-mouth advertising all along. Social media is really nothing more than word-of-mouth advertising on a large technological scale. An ongoing and vibrant social media presence benefits any hotel in a variety of ways including:

 

  1. Higher level of brand recognition and visibility.
  2. Improved customer service.
  3. More direct and increased opportunity for guest interaction when they are not physically on the property.
  4. Building, managing, and repairing, if necessary, the hotel’s reputation both online and offline.
  5. Leveraging new revenue opportunities through direct booking on social channels.

 

Facebook

Facebook, with its more than 1 billion worldwide users, is at the top of the social media world. The world’s most popular social network not only provides hotels the most exposure, but offers the opportunity for direct bookings as well. A hotel’s Facebook presence must be both attractive and engaging, while also staying fresh and useful to its followers. Facebook apps specifically designed for hotels can highlight the best features and important information needed by potential guests. The hotel Facebook page must have a hotel booking engine and offer the audience the opportunity to see rooms, rates, and availability. This is essential to converting a fan or follower into a paying guest. Specific Facebook hotel apps are available to make this a smooth and easy transaction.

 

Twitter

The sheer volume of tweets on the social network Twitter and its resulting highly viral nature, make it vitally important for hotels to have an active presence on the platform.

Since Twitter is all about people communicating in real-time and the hospitality industry is naturally operated in a time-sensitive manner, the two are a good fit. A hotel should start out by just listening at first, then join in the conversation. Make sure the hotel’s Twitter profile is complete, visually attention grabbing, and keyword-rich. Monitor everything said about the hotel as often as possible. Twitter’s advanced search features can help accomplish this. Besides comments directly about the hotel, related search terms can be monitored, such as “beach hotel” for example. Twitter can be a surprisingly effective marketing tool for the hospitality industry, if used properly.

Hotels that choose to ignore social media do so at their own peril. The public has shown its willingness to unleash their wrath on brands that have proven themselves or have been perceived to be somehow less than satisfactory to their customers. Given the nature of the hospitality industry, it is crucial for hotels to stay ahead of any negativity on social media.

 

 


Posted via OnFast - http://www.OnFast.com

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