Closing the gap between Hospitality and Social Media

Closing the gap between Hospitality and Social Media

Hotels today recognize the need to increase their Social Media Budgets for 2015.

But still struggle with beliefs that provide the Hotel Industry with some challenges.

There exists beliefs that there are very few good solutions available that can help Hotels to measure the impact of Social Media.

No doubt Hotel decision makers should focus on the Impact Social Media have on their bottom line.

Today’s modern Hotels Digital Marketing strategies should be able to leverage Internet Marketing Channels to maximize Hotel online revenues through:

  • Lead generation
  • Increased customer engagement and loyalty
  • Promotion of online brand awareness
  • Positive product exposure

Marketing today includes advertising, snail mail, email, direct mail, SMS, PR, database management, word (world) of mouth, business to consumer, business to business, people to people, new media and Social Media.

With all forms of marketing approaches there also have to be a sound strategy. Choosing the right tools while targeting the right audience has always been related to science and research. Social Media has not changed this fact.

Today Hotel Marketers has to learn some new skillsets; how to inspire trust and loyalty, and how to engage customer instead of simply positioning their product.

Value Proposition

The concept of Social Media Value Proposition is to bundle the Hotel Experience into targeted combination of values – price, quality, performance, selection and convenience. This builds on traditional Hotel Values such as:

  • Operational Excellence – which represent consistent quality at the best price, standardized business system that minimize cost and difficulty the customers experience acquiring the Hotels product
  • Performance Superiority – is attained by continuous, fast-paced innovations that create a steady flow of leading-edge products that constantly push the state of the art technology or enhance customer use
  • Customer Responsiveness – represent the Hotel focus groups; individuals or micro-segments where Hotels nurture long-term relationship

One important aspect of Value Proposition is to understand relevant factors for Hotel Selection:

However, one of the more intriguing aspects of Social Media is their potential to move markets by driving customers purchasing patterns and influencing lodging performance.

How Social Media impacts Hospitality

Several reports from Cornell illustrates how Social Media impacts Hospitality:

These reports shows that the effect of Social Media and user generated content on Hotel performance has been strengthening.

A report from eMarketer 2013 shows that approximately one-fifth of leisure traveler’s worldwide turn to Social Media platforms for inspiration within different categories of their travel planning including:

  • Hotels (23%)
  • Vacation activities (22%)
  • Attractions (21%)
  • Restaurants (17%)
Travel Marketing the Social Media Way

As many as 40% of the travelers use social media for travel inspiration and 42% use it for planning their trip, says Trip Advisor. But what seems to be an important information provided by this travel website is that an overwhelming 76% seems to use

Setting up your Social Media Control Room

To help Hotels measure the impact of Social Media you need to a strategy in place for setting up your Social Media Control Room.

There are several steps in this process that leads to sustainable ROI for your Hotel. In addition you need to set up a process that allows you to track your Hotel Social Media ROI.

One of the main ideas for me to use a Social Media Control Room is have all of my primary Social Media Data available from one primary channel.

I focus on a primary platform (Sprout Social) that allows me to find opportunities through engagement, publish relevant message to important Social Media channels, and measure performance and analyze my Social efforts.

Here is one example on how to track ROI:
a. Set up your Social Media Goals
b. Determine the Right Social Media Platform
c. Track details of campaign
d. Create reports with your Key Performance Indicators
e. Adjust Goals

ROI is measured in three stages;
1. Launch
2. Manage
3. Optimization

Hotels Flourish with Social Media

Today customers is moving the leveler closer to the center, and they are now in the driver seat. Hotels can no longer afford to take a wait and see approach.

Customers will move their business elsewhere if Hotels don’t act. Airbnb and other similar channels will continue to raise.

Start tell customers what your Hotel can do, and what you can offer. And start move the leveler outside your Hotels traditional comfort zone. This is where your Hotel will start flourish again.

One of the essential keys of closing the gap between Hospitality and Social Media is to start ask your customers and Social Media Community about their Social Media patterns. Customers today will indentify valuable information about Hotels in Facebook Groups, LinkedIn Group, Google+ Communities and Twitter Chats.

If customers make a direct booking decision at your Hotels website due to information they collected through their Social Media channels there is no tools available today that will identify this important connection. In several of these Social Communities you will find number of authorities that influence the decisions people makes.

Make sure your Hotel take time and listen to customers. If customers is indicating they intend move to your competition due to your stingy policy you better listen. Not only will they move to the competition they will tell all their friends, and they will tell them why.

Social Media will reward humility and that you are humble to admit mistakes, but it will be brutal when you don’t listen.

It is important to understand that Social Media is a new eco-system where people will follow the leads of authorities or influencers within their communities.

If your Hotel need help with your Digital Marketing Strategy then Let a Social Media Coach help you… Learn More

About the author

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