While most of us in Hotels, Restaurants have some type of marketing and business background, it is rare to find anyone who has actually studied “Social Media” in Hotel school in the conventional sense of the word.
Most of us have learned or are learning how to navigate thru the Social Media universe.
When you are a Hotel Social Media newbie You wish to have someone to drive you in the right direction.
During the last diner I participate we had a long discussion about Hotels and Social Media.
I realized that most of my collegues don’t know how to embrace Social Media, if I summarize their thoughts, Facebook is for people who wants to talk about their life, not for Companies, Twitter it’s sms for internet, we don’t see how to drive revenu, Foursquare they don’t know and Google + they never heard about it.
In order to help hoteliers to embrace Social Media I have listed 10 steps to follow. But you must always remember engagement comes first, then sales will follow.
- Be Yourself:
Social media is just that. Social. People want to see who you are and what you stand for.
Join the conversation, show some of your personality. You’ll be glad you did.
It’s why you can’t outsource Social Media. Your Community Manager is your Hotel Ambassador on the Web, hire a trainee for a six month period is a non sense to create a strong relationship with your Brand Advocates.
- Social engagement must be enterprise-wide:
To achieve this goal, you need to “socialize” the hotel. The larger and more entrenched your organization is in traditional ways of handling customer interactions (inbound or outbound), the more difficult this task will be.
How do you socialize your hotel? Through proper training, alignment of objectives (the quintessential question of “what’s in it for me?”), and providing leadership and mentoring. Marketers within your organization need to understand that a brand is no longer what you tell your customers it is –- it is now what they say it is. Make sure the salespeople know how to use Twitter to build relationships without spamming their networks. Empower customer service to help, and product teams to gather and act on feedback.
- Be Humble:
Those just starting in Social Media often try to establish themselves as experts within their field.
Like in real life, no one likes a know-it-all. It is crucial that you learn how to engage your followers or fans without alienating them, and of course don’t become a spammer.
- Numbers aren’t everything:
Social Media isn’t about the number of followers you have or how many fans you get.
Social Media is a long journey not a race.
It’s about creating a conversation with your audience that will hopefully lead to the creation of loyal, repeat customers and Hotel Brand Advocates.
Don’t be discouraged by your number of followers or about one rude person you will encounter in cyberspace. Focus on creating good content, to do it you can use Sumify.
Focus on establishing real relationships and Focus on being helpful.
- Find Your Hotel Business Niche:
Facebook, Twitter and Google+ are not the only social networking platforms out there.
When creating your Social Media strategy, and you should have One, a bad Social Media Strategy Plan is better than no Plan.
it is more important to find out where YOUR clients and customers are than it is to have a presence on Facebook, Twitter, Google + and so on, that may not get you and your Hotel management the ROI you seek.
The main question you should ask yourself is why are we using this Social Network?
- Follow Interesting People:
Everyone needs a mentor, someone who is experienced in their field, for hotelier using twitter you can create a Save Search about the #hotelmarketing and who is willing to share their knowledge.
Asking questions is a great way to gain knowledge, you can easely do it on Facebook using the module Question.
There is nothing to do, create your questions and your answers, ask your Fans to participate, Fans are always Interested to give their opinion and for you a great way to generate trafic.If you have a linked In Account select some Groups related to your niche, you will find a lot of Specialists, and potential Followers.
And remember, to pay it forward is also a key.
- Don’t annoy your followers:
A good social media goal is to be helpful first. Trying to promote your Hotel brand, your Hotel or your restaurant business is the best way to annoy and alienate your followers. As I said before you must convince your management that,engagement comes first, then sales will follow.
- Share what you Love:
Great content is meant to be shared. Posting, re-tweeting, Likes and +1 are all a way to say to your followers that you value what they are doing. And you’ll likely find that the more you do for others, the more they’ll do for you.
- Give Credit Where Credit is Due:
When you borrow someone else’s post, give them credit, on a tweet always mentionned …. Via author.
- Know when to turn it off:
When all is said and done in this 24/7 world of social media, sometimes you have to know just when to turn it off as take a nap, you are not a machine. After all, your Fans or Followers will still be there when you will wake you up. Don’t hesitate to use a dedicated software it will be wake up all night and all weekend long for you.
I hope my advices list will help Hoteliers to embrace Social Media, and will avoid them to do the same errors than most of beginners.
What do you think about these advices? Let me know! Please leave your comments below.
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Posted by Alain Classe