The Communications of Social Media
By Leora Halpern Lanz President, LHL Communications | April 17, 2011
Why is this increasingly influential method of communication becoming even more prevalent and critical for the hotel industry?
How can we intelligently participate in this medium? Social networking has been in existence since the first man and woman learned to communicate. Before the advent of social media sites on the Internet, social networking included making sales calls, "working the room" at a trade show, following up with a phone call, and just touching base to reaffirm a client relationship. So professionals in the hospitality industry have always networked.
But now that social media sites have created more intimate communities of friends with commonalities, social networking takes on an even stronger significance. With smart phones, iPads, or laptops in our hands 24/7, we have access to our "friends" at any given point in time. The opportunity to dialogue and engage with guests who "like" or "fan" us is ever present.
Social media marketing has opened new avenues for hotels to connect with guests. Although traditional forms of media are still important to those guests who use them, social media can be utilized in novel ways to create a sense of value, trust, and connection between hotels and their fans. The extent of influence that social media wields is limited only by one's imagination.
Social media as a communication platform has emerged rapidly and established itself as an integral part of marketing strategy. To keep pace with the growing influence of social media, hotels must hire the right talent to manage their presence online. With the Internet as the touch point for nearly every travel deal or reservation, hotels must have a social presence online. With this online presence, it is essential for hotels to communicate consistent brand messaging; a hotel's online voice must mirror its public relations, sales, and operational messages.
Why have social media burst on the scene with such rigor and loyalty?