Hotels are today facing a new Social Media reality. I will here share some behind the scene tips on How to protect your Hotel.

I have a Secret to share with you today. Back in the days, I worked for the Military in home country Norway. I was part of a team where our primary responsibility was to set up the IT Infrastructure.

One of our main focuses was on Security. We were required to follow the Trusted Computer System Evaluation Criteria (TCSEC), or as we popularly called it “Orange Book”. The security levels were divided into four levels, D, C, B, and A.

D represents minimal protections which was typical for some of the first computers that directly accessed the operating system. The C levels typically require some form of password identification to access, which today is standard for most Windows-based computers. B level is a structured security system that includes security policy, structured security similar to CAPTCHA requirements and secure domains. This is typically where we find most Social Networks today. A level security is the most complex security level that requires security all down to code levels. This is a very complex and difficult level for any brand to meet the requirements off.

Why Hotels today need a Risk Management Strategy

Risk Management Success

Risk Management is part of your Hotels Reputation Management. I often experience that the Hotel Family raise concerns related to Social Networking. Many of these concerns are related to security, privacy and brand integrity.

Social Networks like Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook today all meet the requirements of B level security. They all are hosted on a secure domain, and all are structured to develop a functional security policy for your Hotel. Today all of these Social Networks has included two-step verification processes.

This is optimal security that we can require from any type of online service today. So the challenges today is very similar as when I worked for the Military, or primary challenge is often related to Human Behavior.

We will address these challenges by first put in place Social Media Guidelines that focus on Human Behavior. On important factor when you develop your Hotels Social Media Guidelines, do this in collaboration with all team members. The reason for that is often reflected in that your Social Media Guidelines is not stronger then weakest link in your organization. And very often when there is a concern Many Hotel Brands tend to focus on the problem itself, then the cause of the problem.

Core elements to implement in your Hotels Social Media Guideline:

  • Be transparent – provide honest and truthful information – disclose your relationship with the brand
  • Be judicious – don’t violate your brands privacy and confidentiality
  • Be authentic – make sure your write about your area of expertise, when you write outside your area of expertise provide proper disclosure
  • Be perceptive – represent your brand, be consistent, be proud of who you are and your brands identity
  • Reach out – engage in the conversation, identify consumers that mention your brand or niche
  • Add value – identify your consumer’s needs and wants, and add value related to this
  • Be a thought leader – make your content open-ended, be proactive and anticipate trends, don’t talk negative about your competitions SEND– why not refer to them?
  • Create excitement – share the values you learn, share Social Goodwill and leave Social Footprints
  • Did you screw up? – If you make mistakes – ADMIT IT!
  • Pause – if you question your knowledge or info, then pause and ask for others opinion within your own organization before you hit
  • Rinse/Repeat – developing your Social Media Guidelines is an ongoing process. Adapting to changes and new requirements is important. And it also important to be open to change when the process raise concerns

I learned a lot about Customer Experience and Social Network Security from my friends at IBM. Jay Henderson is one of the team members that showed me the value of combine Customer Experience with security. IBM has combined Risk Management and Reputation Management in a way that effectively allows us to listen and manage our brand reputation.

1. Put someone in charge
Your Hotel needs one person in charge that will oversee the process of combining Risk Management and Reputation Management
2. Make the compliance and reputation connection
Measure Risk Management and Reputation Management against your Hotels Social Media Guidelines
3. Reevaluate the impact of Social Media
Your Social Media Guidelines should address both the negative and positive effects
4. Keep an eye on your supply line
There are a lot of great third-party applications that allow us to improve our Social Media Experience. But some third-party applications come with an additional security risk. So get familiar with third-party applications to be sure that they meet your Hotel Requirements set in your Hotels Social Media Guidelines
5. Avoid complacency
One of the unique characters of Social Media is that is very Dynamic. This will require your Hotel to be Dynamic with your Hotels Social Media Guidelines. It will be an ongoing process that changes and adapt. Concerns need to be addressed immediately and eliminate any gaps in your process
6. Fund remediation; invest in prevention
Critical IT systems should be part of your core Hotels Social Media Strategy
7. Common Sense
The value of your Hotel Reputation is very critical today. It is important that every team member of your Hotel work by your Hotels Social Media Guidelines. Don’t over complicate security, focus on common-sense strategies.

Take proper actions steps according to your Hotels Risk Management Strategy. Make sure you have activated two-step verification for Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, and Facebook. Many tend to blame Social Networks and don’t even have a proper Password strategy in place. We are at the Social Media tipping point. Hotels can no longer afford to stand on the sideline. But at the same time, we have to assure proper actions is taken to control Hotels security, privacy, and brand integrity.

What Is Your Thoughts?

Our Social Media too much of a risk factor for the modern Hotels of today?


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About the author

Are Morch is the founder and owner of Are Morch – Hotel Marketing Coach. Get more from Are on Facebook | Twitter | LinkedIn | Pinterest | Instagram| Podcast