Any brand should dedicate a considerable amount of effort towards conversing with customers on social media in order to sustain a positive brand image. People will talk about your brand so it's always better to be in control of the flow of content being shared about you. One undetected post going viral for the wrong reasons could create an onslaught of negative content that could be detrimental to your band image.
Hotels in specific have not gone on board with concurrent social media trends and hence forego the expedience of utilizing such outlets. Capitalizing on social media platforms can be an important turning point for driving inquisitive online users into actual clients.
Who’s doing it right?
Netbase identified the Four Seasons Hotels as one of the top performing hotel brands when it comes to social media presence. Yet, the hotel industry when compared to other categories had a lower conversation volume meaning that any trending topic or conversation involving your brand will have a magnified impact on brand perception.
For instance, while Fairmont Hotels & Resorts fairs exceptionally well against competition on luxury check-in and points of conversation the brand performed poorly when it came to bookings; one viral conversation anchoring it down.
Where to direct your attention?
Elvis Lieban, product marketing manager for NetBase - which recently released its 2018 Luxury Brands Report that tracks social-media use of top luxury brands- said “we can see from the tone of overall conversation in our report that people have lots of good things to say about hotels—but that conversation volume is low. This is an opportunity for hoteliers to start doing more to ignite those passions and stoke more conversations around travel.”. Hotels need to encourage and reward user-generated content as it adds authenticity and trust to the brand. People trust other people’s experiences and take them as a reference when making their choice; getting people to talk about your brand and say the right things can get you farther than you think.
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Travelers are leveraging social media to help identify and select everything from travel destinations to where they’re going to stay .The report highlighted the appeal of focusing on Instagram; home to more than 260 million posts with the hashtag “#travel.” making it the ideal platform for players in the hospitality industry.
Share of Voice?
Another underlying point of focus is “the share of voice” your brand has on social media. When compared to other hotel brands in your tier your brand needs to be outspoken, active and basically dominate the social media scene in terms of presence. Why? Because “having more share of voice means you’re more likely to be top of mind when your audience is planning their next vacation”! The more you put yourself out there, the better your chances are getting seen and booked.
Better social media management, happier customers?
Social media should not exclusively be considered as a promotional tool but should also be considered for its merits as a customer care and support channel. The first step in the right direction simply entails being responsive; when someone mentions your brand they expect a response!
“Sometimes just recognizing a person is enough to keep the conversation from turning negative,” Leiban said. Identifying and engaging with an upset user can be enough to contain a potential crisis. These consumers don’t want to voice their concerns with a traditional customer support phone call and thus seek asylum in social media channels where their voice has power. Accordingly, integrating social media responses into current customer care programs is taking things to the next level and staying on top of customer care trends.
What to do now?
The main keepsake from the article is to start investing in your audience and capitalizing on their will to share. Hotels should start putting the spotlight on experiences and guest stories online which will in return contribute to generating revenues. Consumers are always seeking guidance and inspiration online; hoteliers can take advantage of this opportunity and take part of the conversation; sharing the excitement and forging relationships that will help hotels magnet and retain customers