Social Media: Getting Personal

Social media platforms have revolutionized the hotel industry. Popular sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Snapchat, YouTube and Tumblr now account for 2.3 billion active users, and this phenomenon has forever transformed how businesses interact with consumers. Given that social media allows for two-way communication between businesses and consumers, the emphasis of any marketing strategy must be to positively and personally engage the customer, and there are innumerable ways to accomplish that goal. One popular strategy is to encourage hotel guests to create their own personal content - typically videos and photos -which can be shared via their personal social media networks, reaching a sizeable audience. In addition, geo-locational tags and brand hashtags can be embedded in such posts which allow them to be found via metadata searches, substantially enlarging their scope. Influencer marketing is another prevalent social media strategy. Some hotels are paying popular social media stars and bloggers to endorse their brand on social media platforms. These kinds of endorsements generally elicit a strong response because the influencers are perceived as being trustworthy by their followers, and because an influencer's followers are likely to share similar psychographic and demographic traits. Travel review sites have also become vitally important in reputation management. Travelers consistently use social media to express pleasure or frustration about their guest experiences, so it is essential that every review be attended to personally. Assuming the responsibility to address and correct customer service concerns quickly is a way to mitigate complaints and to build brand loyalty. Plus, whether reviews are favorable or unfavorable, they are a vital source of information to managers about a hotel's operational performance. The February Hotel Business Review will document what some hotels are doing to effectively incorporate social media strategies into their businesses.

Trending articles this week...

Babs S. Harrison

Traditional media - remember them? In the rush to embrace social media, plenty of hotel and resort sales, marketing and PR executives have lost sight of the onetime mainstays of influence but they are missing out on grand opportunities to get their messages out. Traditional media have almost become a secret weapon among savvy marketers - the power is there if you know how to harness it. That's what this article is about: Integrating traditional media into a full throttle campaign that hits all the 21st-century buttons - and a few now neglected 20th-century ones too! READ MORE

Gio Palatucci

At the intersection of hospitality social media campaigns and esteemed industry influencers, you'll find a select few social media users fraudulently touting tremendous influence over their too-good-to-be-true number of followers. The social media influencer industry is not going away anytime soon, so it's more important than ever to keep your brand safe and in the eyes of your target audiences. Marketers are finally talking about the issue of influencer fraud openly, to put these potential negative brand representatives on notice. A watchful eye for influencer red flags will help hotel brands search, recruit and manage influencers for a positive campaign. READ MORE

Garrett Kingsbury

For hotels, using Instagram is a win-win, it's free and the opportunity for engagement is endless – as long as you're using the platform in a compelling way. With over a billion active users, Instagram is quickly gaining steam as the social platform of choice, with much higher engagement over Facebook. Although smaller, the IG community is loyal and more active with brands. If you're new to Instagram, or just looking for a few tips to keep your content engaging, we've put together a quick guide of Dos and Don'ts to make your IG account a fan favorite. READ MORE

Gaurav Varma

A growing number of brands and businesses are using social media to tell a more authentic story and to connect with consumers of all demographics. Social media marketing for businesses means more than just posting content on these platforms but its more around building trust and forming meaningful long-term relationships with their audiences. 2018 was an interesting year with several opportunities and saw the rapid growth of live and dynamic content across social channels. As 2019 kicks off we are going to see another year when social media use and adaption will grow and engagement between users will be key to drive the use of the platforms. Hotels can leverage this opportunity to connect with guests and deliver meaningful experiences which eventually will lead to better outcomes for their business. READ MORE

Library Archives

Stephanie Hilger

Creating original content is imperative in order for your brand to stand out; however, curated content is equally important. If it does not already, user generated content (more commonly referred to as UGC), should play an integral role in your social media content plan. User generated content is an essential part of content curation and easy to come across if you know where to look and how to encourage guest participation. Not sure where to start? Encouraging guests to share their stories is easy if your hotel team implements these three methods. READ MORE

Brandon Billings

Today, hotels are keenly positioned across social media to attract Generation Z and Millennials to drive new and incremental bookings to their property. This younger generation is highly influenced by social media when choosing their next weekend getaway or vacation. Hotels have to be part of the social conversation to drive revenues with these younger generations. The following article highlights opportunities for hotels to connect with these younger travelers by developing an overarching strategic approach, building break-through social content and aligning to an overarching measurement strategy. READ MORE

Arielle Rubenstein

Like any other digital marketing discipline's strategy, social media advertising requires careful consideration of the buyer journey and purchase funnel. Building funnels within any advertising management platform can be less than intuitive and seem like a job meant only for digital savvy professionals. In this article, Screen Pilot Social Media Manager Arielle Rubenstein will walk through the high-level planning steps necessary to create a successful Facebook advertising funnel to get you started. From audience targeting to bridging the gap between brand awareness and retargeting to budget management, these five steps will optimize Facebook advertising strategy to fit any goal - for any hotel marketing team. READ MORE

Nicholas Pardon

Looking to solve the social media puzzle, but don't know where to start? Mimicking or copying other Instagram or Facebook accounts that have lots of followers is not going to give your property the results you're looking for. To see real social media success, create a plan tailored to your property or hospitality business by Finding Your Why. Define the unique social media why that inspires people to follow you and keeps them coming back for more. Learn how to define your why and how to use gamification, user-generated content and hashtags to reinforce it across the social media realm - growing your followers and engagement, and driving more customers your way in the process. READ MORE

Coming up in March 2019...

Human Resources: An Era of Transition

Traditionally, the human resource department administers five key areas within a hotel operation - compliance, compensation and benefits, organizational dynamics, selection and retention, and training and development. However, HR professionals are also presently involved in culture-building activities, as well as implementing new employee on-boarding practices and engagement initiatives. As a result, HR professionals have been elevated to senior leadership status, creating value and profit within their organization. Still, they continue to face some intractable issues, including a shrinking talent pool and the need to recruit top-notch employees who are empowered to provide outstanding customer service. In order to attract top-tier talent, one option is to take advantage of recruitment opportunities offered through colleges and universities, especially if they have a hospitality major. This pool of prospective employees is likely to be better educated and more enthusiastic than walk-in hires. Also, once hired, there could be additional training and development opportunities that stem from an association with a college or university. Continuing education courses, business conferences, seminars and online instruction - all can be a valuable source of employee development opportunities. In addition to meeting recruitment demands in the present, HR professionals must also be forward-thinking, anticipating the skills that will be needed in the future to meet guest expectations. One such skill that is becoming increasingly valued is “resilience”, the ability to “go with the flow” and not become overwhelmed by the disruptive influences  of change and reinvention. In an era of transition—new technologies, expanding markets, consolidation of brands and businesses, and modifications in people's values and lifestyles - the capacity to remain flexible, nimble and resilient is a valuable skill to possess. The March Hotel Business Review will examine some of the strategies that HR professionals are employing to ensure that their hotel operations continue to thrive.