Social Media Questions Answered by an Expert
By Jennifer Nagy President, jlnpr | December 22, 2013
I receive lots of questions from my clients about the best practices in social media. Because social media is constantly evolving – both in the expectations of users and the number of networks available – it's an exciting job, but one that can also be quite confusing for marketers. So I went to the source, Whitney Manson, a social media expert from Bows, Boots, & Blue, to get answers to the most commonly asked questions about how to use social media to promote a hotel or hospitality business.
Is social media really a necessary channel for my property? It takes up so much time and I don't really feel that I am creating relationships with any new potential customers.
WM: Social media is completely necessary for all properties, especially since your competition is marketing themselves through social media. Although it does take time to execute, you should be managing your property's social media profiles, just as you manage your TripAdvisor account. Because your TripAdvisor and your social media profiles are often the source of potential customers' first impression of your brand, it's equally important to use your profiles to the fullest degree possible.
As well as offering opportunities for branding, social media is a fantastic medium for addressing customer concerns publicly. It lets your customers know that there are people behind the company. Social media helps companies establish long lasting relationships with new and repeat customers. Social media is a fantastic way to cultivate word-of-mouth recommendations, as these profiles are built for your brand advocates to spread the word about your property to their friends and family. Finally, social media marketing is now replacing email marketing in many companies' marketing strategies as a method to inform potential guests about business updates, news, etc.
What social media sites are the most important for hotel marketers to use to reach potential guests and why? What sites should hotel marketers avoid and why?
WM: Hotel marketers should begin with Facebook and Twitter to reach potential guests. It is important to use Facebook regularly, as that is the site where people are the most active right now; according to newsroom.fb.com, Facebook has 1 billion monthly active users. Twitter is also a great way to engage with journalists and other people who communicate about your property. Since Twitter is not private, you can communicate with anyone who mentions the brand and create excitement about the property.