10 things hotels need to embrace in the face of social media marketing and customer engagement
Check out these hot tips from hotel blogger and social media consultant Are Morch to directly engage with guests and build brand presence
When it comes to social media marketing, many hotels struggle with customer engagement.
Many hotels find the real-time conversations intimidating and often that they pose more concerns than adding any value to their business. The high-volume of customer inquiries many hotels also find very difficult to deal with.
Today it is accepted among most brands that social media marketing is valuable because it allows companies to directly engage with their customers, build brand presence, and ultimately sell more products.
The challenge for many often becomes how much value you attribute to the relationship with the hotel versus the last click.
It is critical for hotels to implement frameworks that address this challenge.
Authentic and thoughtful interactions
We need to move away from the ‘spaghetti on the wall’ approach many hotels tend to get themselves into.
I see many that get frustrated and indicate social media is not working, or their reach is declining.
And looking at their social media profiles I see why this happens. They often post content that is totally confusing the audience that takes time to stop by their social media profiles.
Facebook’s mantra is to ‘Bringing People Closer Together’, obviously if you scare them away at first visit to your social media profile this will not happen.
Start with identifying authentic and thoughtful ways to add more value to your audience.
Embrace the challenges
Social media marketing is just a tool that will add additional value to your hotels overall marketing.
Your hotel will still run into challenges, setbacks, roadblocks, and failures. But with proper social media marketing frameworks in place you are armored with tools that will help your hotel take proactive actions and provide proper relevant responses in real-time.
Listen and learn
What type of social media marketing challenges have you run into in the past? What did you learn from it? What can you do different today?
A proper social media marketing framework will assist your hotel in your journey towards new growth.
Focus on Value Innovation
Value without innovation will give only incremental gains easily duplicated by the competition. Innovation without value is typically technology-oriented and will not be a commercial success.
Value innovation is the simultaneous pursuit of differentiation and low cost, creating a leap in value for both the customers and the hotel.
Differentiation is the way your hotel stand out from other competitors in the marketplace.
Ask your customers and employees what matters. Explore new areas and alternatives. Look at your hotel currently serve your customers and what could be improved with the assistance of effective and valuable social media marketing campaigns.
Identify and befriend the Enthusiasts
There are three types that we typically see on social media; lurkers, dabblers, and enthusiasts.
In the past, we have seen data that indicated that 85% of social media updates come from the enthusiast, but this group of people only represent 29% of a given brands audience.
While lurkers often represent 50% of the social media audience of a given brand, they only account for 5% of social media updates.
Enthusiast is more likely to share and recommend valuable information about your hotel with their friends and network.
Take it to the next level and identify creative ways to embrace the Enthusiasts as valuable brand ambassadors.
Build a Community
Your hotels influence is determined by how abundantly you place your community interest first.
Know how to develop a network of customers who know you, like you and trust you.
They will become your hotel army of walking ambassadors. When you got your own army of personal walking ambassadors, you’ll have referrals coming your way faster than you can handle them.
Watch out for the community. Forget about fifty-fifty. The only winning proposition is one hundred percent.
It will magnetize your hotel!
Capture customer data and give them what they really want
In the past, hotels have taken advantage of surveys and focus groups to capture valuable data about the various hotel offerings.
This was often a very tedious, time-consuming and costly process.
Today hotels has access to new technology and tools that provide the customer with multiple value-enhancing functions.
Several social media networks provide us with tools that allow us to ask and gather real-time data.
Have your hotels used social media to ask for help from your audience? Try it! The response might surprise you.
Measure and analyze the data
Social media marketing in itself has become more competitive. Therefore we here also look at alternative solutions that make your hotel stand out.
Measuring and analyzing the social media marketing data is critical to get a good understanding of how your process is working. The process is not complicated when you understand and is honest with what stage your hotel is in the process.
Social media framework stages for hotels:
- Reaction: This is where your hotel jumps on the social media train without any Strategy or Guideline in place. Do you go to a party where you don’t know anyone, and start to pitch your product lines?
- Realization: Here hotels have started to apply some sporadic and yes some ‘hot’ approaches.
You heard Facebook is ‘hot’, and you start a contest there. You get a lot of ‘Likes’, and the engagement is awesome. But you ‘forget’ to follow up on your leads.
- Relationship: Now your hotel got your social media marketing framework in place.
The hotel brought onboard peers and Brand Ambassadors to help form a new approach.
You have learned that Networking, Listen, Predict, Engage and Convert is an ongoing process. You change and adapt when needed without compromising your hotels products and services. And you provide proper responses and follow up in real-time.
Learn Great Storytelling techniques
n a world where there’s an enormous amount of real-time data and content, if your hotel doesn’t make someone stop what they are doing and create a response, you are going to lose.
Whether that’s an action or an emotion, the true test of storytelling is how you feel or what you do after you consume it.
A great story will grab attention, and it will capture the emotions in the customer’s mind. It will have their full attention despite what is going around them.
What is it that makes your hotel and local community unique?
A lot of customers that visit a hotels social media profile often find the content dull and boring. Often this is because the hotel is promoting what is important to them, not what is important to the customer.
When stories are well constructed and narrated in storytelling, and its characters are authentic, exciting, and the experiences that are transmitted are rich, real and universal, a strong and powerful product that moves us and makes us feel valued.
Transactional Customer Experience
This is the time where we as hoteliers need to be bold and innovative with new technology, transactional customer experience and prepare for the next chapter for the hotel Industry.
Is your hotel ready to make a blast with new transactional customer experiences?
With value innovation, a creative hotel brand has been something required intelligence, foresight, and a little bit of daring to take the necessary moves to achieve a big payout.
Customers want to escape from their daily routines. Your job is to help them with alternatives that provide both an escape and at the same time allows them to do business.
The new innovate transactional experience allows the guest to be part of a movement that is bigger than themselves and the hotel.
Guests and customers want hotels to use technology to add new value to the transactional customer experience.
This article was originally published here.
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― About the Author ―
Hotel blogger and social media consultant
Are Morch is the founder and owner of Are Morch – Hotel Blogger and Social Media Consultant. Coming from a strong background in IT, customer service, and hotel management; Are helps hotels and resorts reach their customers on a whole new level, through social media. Contact him at https://aremorch.com/contact/