PARSIPPANY, NJ, February 2, 2010 - Social Media engagement techniques and benefits are all about creating interest and engaging with people online that share a common interest with what you talk about on your social media pages. As a hotelier, you need to talk about more than just your hotel. It’s about your location, events, guest reviews and questions and so much more. An occasional special promotion or a holiday promotion is good, talk it up, but consider a special offer just for your followers. Try to get feedback so you know what actions you can generate to get the results you want.
The social media world is commercializing overnight. The number of hotels on Facebook and Twitter is growing every day. The challenge facing all hotels is how to engage consumers so they become guests or share their praise for your hotel with their network followers and fans. It’s really about knowing all your hotel’s market segments and how to reach out to each segment with a provocative message, survey, specials exclusive to your followers and follower contests.
It is important for every one of the hotel’s management and staff to know about your social websites and to follow what your followers contribute. You need to make your social media pages are public and invite guests, business associates and suppliers to follow you. A neglected social media page will do more damage than good, so keeping it current and fresh is essential. An active social media presence will also help the hotel's search rankings and exposure.
Here again, just like search marketing over the years, the question is to outsource or try to do it in-house. Most hotels have learned their staff is not up to the task of creating and managing effective search and social marketing. These are important marketing elements today and they will be even more important in the days and months ahead. Search marketing will deliver short-term results while social marketing is an investment in long-term results, but when done right returns will materialize from an effective viral network.
Social media is not a fade and it will not go away. The social networks will find ways to generate income and grow their services. Going forward, we can expect to see more social networks and segmentation of the current social networks into sub-networks, along with more blogging relationships. This one-on-one supplier to buyer relationship will put more pressure on the suppliers to deliver. We all know that you can’t satisfy everyone all the time, but if we don’t know how to engage consumers online, we are unable to join the conversation and add two new customers for the one we’ve lost.
For the hospitality industry, it is all about providing the best service possible because if you don’t, over time it will affect your business. Social media is a tremendous opportunity for independent hotels to challenge the cookie cutter standards of the brands and it is an opportunity for the brands to reach their loyal followers with more cookies.
As the Internet has evolved over the past 15 years and the search engines took control of website traffic over the past ten years, those businesses that get onboard with social media early are the ones that will build their relationships and viral networks that will pay off. With social media, it’s about what all-good service businesses do best; know who your customers are, what they want and deliver.
For information on how Lodging Interactive’s CoMMingle Social Media Marketing Service can help your hotel, please visit www.CoMMIngle.me or call 877-291-4411.