The Power Of Social Media In Hospitality

Recent studies have shown that overall guest satisfaction has declined by 70% since 2011. However, the underlying experience has deteriorated much more than this score suggests, as relatively high levels of satisfaction with cheaper booking costs and less hidden fees mask the decline in other areas of the guest’s experience. Satisfaction with check-in & check-out, F&B, hotel services and hotel facilities are at new lows since 2006; satisfaction with guest rooms has declined also.

There really is no reason to be using paper feedback forms in an age where mobile technology provides the ability to give and get immediate feedback, share an experience as well as request a service. Even more baffling is compelling a guest (especially a millennial) to pay for his/her Wifi while staying in a room that doesn’t even have an iPhone charger. To make matters worse, imagine checking in into a a brand new hotel in Shoreditch and while you are being welcomed to realise that the front-desk has no idea what the package that you booked through the hotel’s own website actually includes.

What most hotels (and most companies actually) fail to grasp is, that in today’s world, word travels fast! Images and rumours spread and suddenly sales become stagnant, reputation declines and therefore guest satisfaction. There are a few ways to control that narrative thought. But you got to be proactive about it. No company ever decided to handle it’s own PR and did so within a day. It takes time, energy and effort. But cheer up… there is a way. For some it’s a headache, for others a rich purse. By now I’m sure you know where this is going: Social Media.

While the independent hotelier is discovering Instagram, Twitter & Facebook by posting once or twice a week trying to get their followers north of 1K the big brands are using sophisticated techniques to exploit the market research potential of social media, either by linking people’s interests to purchase behaviour or by gaining wider insight from the conversations, posts, complaints and compliments people post. Social media insights can also give competitive advantage if you are open to look beyond what people are saying about you and use it to gather information about guest habits and motives.

In essence, there is a constant need of portraying and promoting your hotel online, whether you are an independent property or a big chain, and what better medium to use other than the one that has 2.46 billion users. But be careful with it. Find people that understand the “game”, be on top of it and carve a unique strategy that’s custom made for you.

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