Social Media Task Teams A New Hotel Opportunity

We have gone through a period here where some brands have come in the spotlight for all the wrong reasons.

I am not going to pick on these brands, for me is more important to see what can we in Hospitality Industry learn from this.

What these recent events have shown us is the power of customers and the ability to share content in ways that make it go viral.

Any brands that embrace Hospitality needs to start to pay attention. We know that customers today travel with a fair selection on Smart Devices that allows them to record any incident and share this in real-time unfiltered and uncensored.

Customer will from one incident resurface another similar incident to and rip apart any form of Hospitality and slogan that your brand represents. You better have a good crisis-management team that can put in place some serious Band-Aid strategies.

Change from Reactive to Proactive

As we learned from these recent events is the being reactive is tricky business, and in some cases just add more fuel to the fire.

I always think it is extremely unfortunate when incidents or concerns occurs. All brands no matter what must be prepared for that incidents and concerns will happen. Human behavior will make sure incidents and concerns happen. And today you bet someone will be there to record it and share it live with a large network.

Obviously, when customer start share the information with their network it will start to take on its own life.

Brands that are reactive to their customers today tend to react to problems when they occur instead of doing something to prevent them.

Brands that are proactive tends to act in anticipation of future problems, needs or changes. They don’t put blame on circumstances, conditions or other factors they can’t control. Their values and culture are aligned with new customer behavior, patterns wants and needs.

Being reactive is not an uncommon behavior. Reactive behavior often is the result of our patterns, our environment and the type of influence we allow to enter our space either consciously or unconsciously.

Many reactive brands don’t change until a given situation force them to act. Today with Social Media and new customer behaviors no brand can afford this type of inaction. It will cost them deeply.

Proactive Hotel brands are a step ahead of the game. Rather than wait for circumstances to dictate their actions, they change long before risks materialize. Competitors find it difficult to keep up because proactive brands undergo continuous self-improvement even during good times when other brands just wait for the magic to appear on the doorsteps.

It all starts with your Hotel. Hospitality and exclusive and high-quality service all starts from within the brand. If your Hotel doesn’t have a team or culture that embrace this you are setting yourself up for scrutiny.

Social Media Task Team

With Social Media and New Media, our day to day life as Hoteliers has become a lot more unpredictable.

Showing Hospitality, and providing exclusive and high-quality service is no longer something Hotels can use loosely to stand out. Today it is the customers that will tell what you what type of exclusive and high-quality service they want. Your mission is to listen and act.

Today we all have become Customer Performers. And we must focus on building relationships with our customer in ways that allow us to tell compelling stories that will make the Hotel brand being recognized as exclusive and high quality.

In his book ‘The Customer Rules” Lee Cockrell has used a quote from Henry Ford “If I asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses”. And his point was the people don’t always know what they want until someone invent it for them.

Today anyone can capture a real-time scoop and present it unfiltered and uncensored. The invention Hotels need to put in place is to start to build their own Social Media Task Team.

Hotels have for years relied heavily on their loyal customers and provided them with various forms of perks. This loyalty was built upon a sense of belonging to the customers. It was their “home away from home”.

In more recent years we have learned that customers are no longer loyal to any given brand in the same ways as they used to be. But one thing that has not changed is their sense of belonging. The way Hotels and brands today must meet this need is to relationship building.

Your Hotels culture must be built on trust. Customers today is increasingly using various digital devices for to provide their stories of how they perceive your Hotel brand. If you screw up it will not help you much yelling to them “I have 100000 Likes who are you to tell me what to do”. One of the brands that got in scrutiny here lately have over 1 million likes and almost 1 million followers, still, they were missing out on the foundational principles.

When you build your Social Media profiles up on solid foundational principles that support trust, relationships, culture, and values then it is more likely that your community will come to your aid than the opposite.

One of the real keys to why Hotels must build Social Media Task Teams is that they must take ownership of these key foundational principles. You can’t outsource this, and you can’t fake it. Can you use Social Media Consultants, Agencies, Managers etc. to assist you with this? Absolutely!

Conclusion

If Hotel brand is suffering from a foundational mess in general Social Media will make sure everyone knows about this in one way or another.

And when you then experience a major concern that goes viral it will take a lot of Band-Aid and goodwill to make of for this.

Therefore, Hotels now must draw a line in the sand. Start with taking back ownership of your Hotel again and start focus on foundational principles like that supports trust, relationships, culture, and values.

Start within your Hotel first. If these principles are lacking within the Hotel brand then there is a problem!

Trust me we all screw up from time to time. And I am sure this will not stop with the first. Mistakes are just part of human behaviors.

Use recent events as an opportunity to learn, and take start being proactive within your Hotel.

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One of my goals is to help you build a Social Media task team that will be your Hotels and small business response team.

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About the author

Are Morch is the founder and owner of Are Morch – Hotel Blogger & Social Media Consultant. Get more from Are on Facebook | Twitter | Google Plus | LinkedIn | Pinterest | Instagram