Social Media For A Hotelier: Best Practise

When it comes to using social media in the best possible way, it is good to know the best practice for your industry or sector. If you are a hotelier, there are many ways in which you can utilise social media to your benefit and the following best practice tips will help you to engage your audience effectively.

Consider social media to be your front door or reception
When it comes to getting the best from social media, you should think of social media as your front door. This is the place where first impressions are made, where you welcome guests and where you provide information as quickly as possible. There is a need to make your account look as good as possible and you have to be attentive to the needs and requests of your guests.

There is also a need to make sure that all of your employees understand the importance of social media. There needs to be a full buy-in from your employees and whether they are using it or linking to and from social media, it is important that everyone realises how important the level of service you offer on social media is.

Don’t expect bookings to come automatically from what you do on social media
One of the most frustrating aspects of social media for many hoteliers is the fact that a lot of work can be put in for very little return, or so it initially seems. Just because a booking doesn’t appear automatically from an engagement or interaction doesn’t mean that it was a waste of time.

There is a need to bear in mind that the real benefit of social media comes with fostering relationships and developing a good relationship with people. There is a need to communicate in an effective manner with people on social media, and in the long run, this will hopefully generate into sales.

In the future, you can expect the option to book directly from social media to improve the amount of sales that can be linked from social media but until now, it is best to think of social media as an ideal platform to provide guests with information and confidence about what you have to offer. For many people, their annual holiday is of the utmost importance.

This is what people save money for and it is what they look forward to in times of terrible weather and long days of work. You need to make sure that you provide people reasons to choose your hotel to stay at during their big break, and this means using social media to provide information and positive factors to choose you.

Connect with experts and respected parties
Social media is all about engaging and connecting. For a hotel, it is easy to think that this only means connecting to guests and potential guests but this isn’t the case. If there are experts or respected parties in your local area or in the hotel industry, follow them, pay attention to what they say and try to engage with them. Conversation can’t be a one-way thing, you need to talk and listen and it is important to remember that there are other professionals and businesses you can connect with too.

It may be that you have a chance to connect with local businesses, which means that you can develop a strong relationship in the local community. This could see you improve relations with your local supplier or even form a partnership with a local taxi or bus company. You should be looking to engage and connect with experts as much as customers on social media.

Be mindful how you engage and reply
With social media being what it is, it is inevitable that not every comment will be positive. While many hoteliers fear a negative review, how you deal with a review can make a massive difference in the perception that people have about you. Your first instinct may be to delete negative comments, but this is not recommended. If the comments are abusive, contain bad language or libellous, it is sensible to remove or amend them but on the whole, a negative comment provides you with the opportunity to engage your audience, gain feedback on your services and hopefully provide good customer service to customers.

No matter how brilliant your hotel is or how efficient your service is, it is likely that problems will occur at times. This means that you need to recognise these problems and then act upon them. If you can show that you are a company that listens to customers and takes their complaints seriously, you will be held in higher regard than a firm that merely deletes negative comments and tries to ignore problems.

Written By
Ian Watson
Agent Travel UK

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