U.S.A March 25, 2013
By Debbie Allen
Besides using social media as a
strategy for building a positive image and solid business reputation, it
is also a great way to really connect with customers before, during,
and after their travel experience. Facebook, Twitter, and other social
media networks are enormously popular with virtually every age group.
these platforms as a way to communicate with customers and potential
customers alike is not only strategic; it is absolutely necessary.
Including social media networking as a marketing strategy is a powerful
branding technique. This kind of connection helps create a true sense of
bond with customers that other forms of communication lack.
The Value of Social Media
As the hospitality industry uses
social media as a marketing strategy, it gains multiple benefits. Not
only are relationships and bonds with customers strengthened, there is
also an increased brand awareness of services, increase in sales, and
improvements in customer service.
In addition, customers become better educated and informed about the industry. This is beneficial for everyone.
should be remembered that social media is an involved platform.
Customers become engaged in the content. This adds to the brand
awareness, and it also means the platform becomes a place hotel
officials can monitor brand reputation.
Getting Personal with Facebook
a quick visit to Facebook will provide the visitor with a feel for the
fact that Facebook is "personal." That is, the people that spend a lot
of time there enjoy sharing and viewing photographs and graphics. They
also like to learn tidbits of information about their online friends.
personal touch of Facebook is a perfect fit with the hospitality
industry. Facebook is a great place to share images of everything from
new hotels and renovations to employees, amenities, and views from hotel
balconies and surrounding scenery.
Tweeting to Build Trust
is a different sort of platform. It uses a short message format that
allows users to leave brief tweets or to actually engage in
conversations. In order to build a relationship with customers on
Twitter, it is important to spend time contributing meaningful content.
add a tweet that is just a link to the business website. Instead, the
tweet should contribute to a conversation or offer useful information.
Adding links to informative articles and interesting sites at the end of
a tweet is always a nice touch.
The idea is to treat the
community as friends, not just as people you want to sell something to.
Your goal is building trust and building lasting relationships.
Concierge via Internet
Many hotels now provide high-tech
concierge services accessible via Twitter and Facebook. Customer service
agents are on-call around the clock to ensure that questions get
answered in a timely manner. This helps guarantee customer satisfaction.
a question is asked or a complaint is made, customer service
representatives can immediately begin working to provide an answer or to
resolve the problem.
In addition, some hotel chains have created
destination-specific concierge videos that are shown on the hotel’s
website and on YouTube. The reality is, keeping up in today’s market
means using high-tech strategies. Social media marketing is a trend that
isn’t likely to end.
About the Author
Debbie Allen, founder of TheThingsWomenWant.com, is a professional writer and blogger who specializes in topics such as online marketing strategies.