No Hotels Should Be Left Behind With Social Media
Marketer and Influencers tell us that we now live in the Sharing Economy or the Disruptive Marketing age.
Evolution and revolution are part of human behavior. There is nothing unique with this. The difference today is that technology is changing faster than many Hotels is able to keep up with. Technology is the main factor behind the Sharing Economy and the Disruptive Marketing.
Both the Sharing Economy and the Disruptive Marketing has created new ecosystems. These ecosystems are primarily driven by influencers. Consumers today use these ecosystems as a megaphone to voice their opinions or concerns.
Hotels have over the years learned how to handle traditional customer reviews provided through channels like TripAdvisor or Yelp. In those cases where the Hotels did not respond or provided poor responses, there were some negative amplifications as results of this.
Consumers also had the opportunity to share their thoughts through surveys or focus groups. Hotels would in return get Guest Satisfaction Index scores that gave them indications of what areas that needed attentions.
Let’s make a little shift here, and take a brief look at two important Social Network today Facebook and Twitter.
In the US, the average friends per users were in 2014 as much as 350 per person. And on Twitter the average followers per user where 208 in 2012. These numbers have increased radically the last few years.
The key here is to look at the ripple effect in these numbers. Consumers can now put out a Tweet or a Facebook update and reach a large network immediate. And one crucial impact as a result of their network is that if the consumer voice a concern the network will back up this concern. Many will share this concern with their network, and others will start to voice their own concern they might have at the same Hotel.
In 2015, we saw multiple examples on how consumers took down Hotels that did not respond, did not respond fast enough or gave the wrong response. Even a big chain like Marriott had to respond to the voice of the consumers.
We are looking at 2016, and it is time for Hotels to draw a line in the sand.
No Hotels should be left behind!
Hotels might have to;
- renew the whole computer park
- make investments in new technology and new media
- get rid of old school Property Management Systems
- hire new skill sets
- provide team training on Social Media
- put in place new policies that take in account Social Media
- outsource new Hotel services
- build a new culture
- change mindsets
- empower employees
- put in place Social Media Strategies
- research alternatives
- improved WiFi and bandwidth
There is some sense of urgency in my message here. But you and your Hotel should know there are several options available out there ready to step in and help you on the way. And trust me you are not alone.
One reason we can no longer sit and wait to see what is happening is that alternatives like Airbnb will not sit and wait. I am confident that we will soon see similar alternatives that will start provide similar options like Airbnb.
Either we like it or not Airbnb is not a fad or a hype that will disappear with the first. And we also know that OTA’s are adapting to Social Media and looking for new ways to innovate their services.
Old competitions innovate, new competitions innovates it is time for all Hotels to jump on this bandwagon.
Today we see maybe 40-45% of all Hotels here in the US has some form of Social Media presence. And about 20-25% of them has an effective Social Media Strategy in place.
Creating either a Facebook or Twitter Profile will not have any impact on occupancy or revenue. Or in addition, create a profile on the shiny new Live Streaming channels like Snapchat or Periscope will neither have any impact on occupancy or revenue.
Replacing lack of presence with some presence will not make any difference at all.
Success with Social Media is not magic and it will not come overnight. Don’t buy into anyone that try to sell you this hype. You will then pay the price for this wrong investment.
Don’t let all the challenges that come with Social Media stop your Hotel to move the leveler, but take this as an opportunity to set your Hotel up for tomorrow’s consumers.
Please take the time to share some of the challenges your Hotel faces with Social Media. What are the pros and cons you see for your Hotel?
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