As revenues for the global hotel sector alone approaches an astounding 500 billion U.S. dollars yearly, organizations that operate in the hospitality industry eagerly embrace business functions like those performed by a social media manager that can keep this momentum going in the long term. Since social media outlets have become widely used by nearly everyone who has access to a computing device and an internet connection, most companies cannot ignore the impact of social media on their sales and reputations in the marketplace. Most hospitality industry businesses opt to have a proactive social media presence rather than sit back and let others define their brands for them. Subsequently, social media management becomes part of organizations’ overall marketing strategies. Here are some of the duties that managers of social media conduct to enhance marketing efforts for businesses operating in the hospitality industry.
Apply Reputation Management Techniques to Social Media
Various social media platforms are available in today’s digital marketplace, and it seems that more sites are added to the list regularly. When customers had complaints about a company’s products or services years ago, they could register a complaint with the Better Business Bureau to seek resolution. Making complaints in the system was easy to do, but people were not always satisfied with the results. Some businesses did not care about making things right with customers because they felt that the complaints reached only a limited number of people. The creation of social media sites like Yelp and TripAdvisor coupled with the powerful search engine capabilities of entities like Google and Yahoo meant that complaints about businesses would be quickly read by millions of people worldwide. A person assigned to manage social media would start by conducting a comprehensive assessment of their company’s brand based on social media comments. Reputation management software is available to help hospitality marketing professionals to identify positive and negative online reviews of organizations. Subsequently, many social media managers draft strategies for responding to online comments in ways that reflect their companies’ core values, strategic goals and legal obligations.
Perform Customer Engagement Techniques in Social Media
Social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook allow hospitality businesses to engage customers with information about special events happening near their venues, discounts on rooms or meals and positive activities that are happening within their organizations that reflect shared social values. These sites give customers opportunities to ask questions and give valuable feedback. Savvy marketing and social media managers work together to incentivize customers to give honest feedback through special rewards and perks that tend to create strong relationships between a business and its clients. These interactive sessions with former guests and potential customers can help hospitality industry managers to discover the amenities, products and services that their target market considers valuable. Armed with this information hoteliers and restaurants can redirect marketing efforts and adjust their offerings to improve the customer experience in a cost effective manner.
Measure Benefits of Social Media Activities
An effective social media manager usually wants proof of how and to what extent their social media activities have helped their company reach its strategic goals. This evidence can be gathered by establishing measurable, relevant, realistic and time constrained goals for all planned social media activities. Achievement of these goals which should directly link to corporate strategic objectives can nearly always be measured quantitatively. For example, increasing a resort hotel’s website traffic by 10 percent within three months is an appropriate social media goal to increase brand awareness. Analytical, web based tools exist that make gathering this type of information about a website quick and easy.
Social media management helps to educate, inform and guide customer expectations. The efforts of a successful social media manager are used to attract happy clients as well as the best talent in the industry.