So many businesses within the hospitality industry rely on word of mouth and good reviews from loyal customers that social media is a natural marketing tool. The use of social internet outlets have become widespread, and travelers consistently use the media to brag about their great experiences as well as express displeasure with poor ones. Whether it is used intentionally or inadvertently, the leaders within the hospitality industry cannot ignore the impact of the new internet phenomenon on their businesses. Here are some ways that companies use social internet platforms to market hospitality products and services as well as raise service quality by holding businesses accountable to their customers.
The use of social internet platforms like Twitter and Instagram have evolved from a strictly peer-to-peer communication channel to one that allows businesses to effectively engage with clients. Although the methods of communication have changed somewhat, businesses still must apply the fundamental principles of marketing and promotion to get their messages across to their targeted audiences. The difference is the speed and reach that can be achieved by the new digital tools. For instance, marketing professionals use information technology tools to determine how well a car rental agency is doing within a certain sector like business travel, and they can identify new markets for the hotel like weekend leisure travel through market analysis. The market analysis can also reveal certain preferences of the new targeted audience like their tastes, styles, purchasing habits and preferred communication channels. These preferred communication channels often include social internet media platforms. Car rental agencies can then launch creative internet marketing campaigns to encourage their new customer base to reserve rental cars when the agency has a full supply of them on the weekends.
Improving Customer Relationship Management
After they conduct promotional campaigns, businesses like the one in the car rental example can measure their success quantitatively. Analytic tools that are synced with chosen digital communication channel traffic can also help marketing professionals know what the new customers enjoyed about their car rental experience as well as what they disliked about it. The digital nature of the communication channels often encourages greater transparency in consumer responses. The results are that businesses within the hospitality industry can readily engage with consumers and update their products or services for quick improvements that have big pay offs in the long-term.
Conducting Reputation Management
The use of social media goes beyond simple internet marketing campaigns that companies conduct one time to sell their product or service because companies use it to build ongoing relationships with consumers. These digital communication channels become key tools used for continuous brand management. For instance, a customer who was attracted to stay at an upscale hotel for a weekend getaway with his spouse through a social internet media marketing campaign will also complain of a poor experience using the same platform. After they pursue traditional avenues for redress, these upscale customers have been known to take their complaints to the hotel’s Twitter audience. These consumers expect companies like the hotel in the example to address problems promptly since they are essentially engaged in a high-speed, personal relationship with the company.
The speed of the internet undoubtedly brings many opportunities to hospitality industry businesses. A company with a great product or service does not have to wait long to reap the fruits of their marketing labors because their enthusiastic customers become members of a built in marketing team. Satisfied, social media savvy customers ease some of the marketing burden from businesses so that they can concentrate on improving their products and services.