Don't Be Just Any Old Hotel - Become a Social Hotel
By Tom Costello
I got this inspiration after viewing one of Sandy Carter’s IBM Social Business Coffee Break videos the other day. Sandy is the VP, IBM Social Business Sales and Evangelism and she produces these short and insightful pieces about Social Business that I recommend you watch from time to time.
Now I want you to think about the concept of changing your hotel’s perception in the eyes of those who are looking at you through their social media colored glasses and become a social hotel.
As a social hotel you can communicate with people both in and outside of your four walls, leverage your hotel on social networks to attract top talent, collaborate with your audience to develop new ideas faster, identify and convert leads, and provide better customer service. You see, becoming a social hotel is not just a silly inspiration, it’s a necessary evolution of your hotel.
Here’s how Dell’s Brian Solis describes the subject.
“When I talk about the idea of the social or adaptive business, it is to the extent that social media impacts the entire organization. Responding to problems is only one facet of listening and engaging. The intelligence rife within the always-on focus group yields insights that can inspire new products, services, and improvements across the entire organization.”
So what do you think about becoming a social hotel now? Come on there are a lot of you that are at least partially there already. You monitor and respond to guest comments on hotel review sites don’t you? OK there aren’t enough of you that are responding to guest comments on review sites but for those of you that do, you are partially there.
Here are some ideas to help you quickly get the social hotel concept ball rolling.
- Broaden your engagement with your customers in addition to your current involvement on Twitter, Facebook and hotel review sites. Consider what Hyatt did with e-Concierge as an example.
- Be on the lookout for your hotel tippers (a new jargon for influencers), reach out to them, be transparent, and instill their trust in you.
- Do you have access to rewards members? Start connecting with them first and then begin to expand your influence with those who are thinking or talking about travel.
- Network with customers and converse with them across all social channels. If you improve customer confidence you will improve your conversion rates.
- If you have an online reputation management tool dig deep into your analytics. You need to be keenly aware of your sentiment patterns, who your influencers are, and make a commitment to man your “listening post” daily.
Tom Costello is the CEO of Groups International and iGroupAdvisor Hotel Consultants. Tom is a recognized thought leader and serial entrepreneur with more than 20 years of experience in the hospitality and travel verticals and is a recognized authority in the areas of sales, marketing, social media, and hotel marketing and distribution strategies.More from Tom Costello