|Having trouble attracting and engaging a Twitter following? It’s ok, you are not alone.
Although keeping up with social media trends can feel impossible, it is absolutely feasible with the right dedication, focus and long term strategy. For businesses within the hospitality industry, having a social presence is particularly important because social networks are becoming the review sites of tomorrow. Unfortunately, building a following is not always an easy task. So for those of you looking for a little help, I have examined the profiles of some of the most highly engaging hotels on Twitter and put together a list of a few common best practices that stood out within them all.
Take Care of your Guests
For a majority of social savvy hoteliers, Twitter has become the customer service center of the 21st century. With customers already spending a majority of their time on social networks, Twitter has become a convenient, non-threatening space for guests to address questions, complaints or praises. Likewise, the popular social media platform provides a property with the opportunity to take control of its reputation and mitigate the spread of negative social criticism.
But BEWARE, if this is the route your hotel decides to take, it is absolutely necessary to give prompt responses, and have a person/team that can effectively monitor tweets, answer questions and resolve guest complications.
Here’s a great example of how Omni Hotels used Twitter to take care of an important guest:
While staying at an Omni property in Florida, a well known social media expert tweeted about the slow Internet connection coming from his hotel room. Immediately after the tweet was sent out, the Omni Twitter team contacted that specific hotel about the complaint.
While the hotel’s IT expert looked into the problem, the GM and VP of sales at the property informed the displeased guest that the Internet should be fixed shortly.
Within the hour, the hotel fixed the problem by adding additional routers and the additional capacity needed for high speed internet access.
The guest was amazed, and now he uses Omni as an example when giving presentations on social media strategies.
Talk. Don’t Just Listen.
How much fun would you have talking to a wall? Probably not very much. The hotels with the strongest social followings are those that are great conversation starters and provide interesting, desirable content on a very regular basis. Every day, both negative and positive reviews are posted on Twitter about any brand, and I can assure you that the hotels that are not monitoring the dialogue taking place about their business will miss out on the opportunity to build a community of loyal brand ambassadors.
But this type of engagement requires more than just a presence. To achieve these sort of results, a property needs to “talk” to those that are talking to them and when the conversation is slow, it’s important to provide content that will keep followers engaged.
Below is a great example of how the Wynn Las Vegas took the initiative and tweeted @ a customer that was talking about its hotel. Rather than let the Twitter user spread inaccurate information, the Wynn joined in on the conversation to notify the user that he had been misinformed.
In case you were also wondering, the Wynn Encore does not charge resort fees.
Thank Your Guests and Followers
The best part about “Thank You” is that there are a million ways to say it. When going through the different profiles, I found that a majority of hotels are giving back to their fans through a variety of methods including weekly twitter contests, “@ Thank You” replies and special follower discounts. Not only do these attract a following, but they also make your followers feel appreciated and at times, help them feel like they are a part of your brand.