How to Monitor Social Media
By Tema Frank CEO, Frank Reactions | April 13, 2014
My family and I recently spent a year living in the southwest of France. Finding an apartment to rent for the year was difficult, so we extended our search to include hotels, inns and bed and breakfasts that might have something suitable. We eventually found a fantastic place (Clos Mirabel) in the foothills of the Pyrenees, surrounded by grape vines. We fell in love with the photos on the website but, before making a commitment to stay there, we not only talked with the owners, we searched sites like Trip Advisor to see what others had said. Both during the trip and since returning we've repeatedly commented in social media about how wonderful the place is.
Hotels are affected more than almost any other type of business (except, perhaps, restaurants) by people talking about them in social media. When we were in France, Clos Mirabel's rooms were in constant demand, and almost everyone who came said they'd heard about it from great comments online. At the same time, nearby hotels and inns stood empty.
When people have a great customer experience at your hotel, they love to share it. When they feel mistreated, most people will not only share it, they'll shout it! Small hotels can be destroyed by bad reviews in sites like Trip Advisor or Booking.com.
The bad news: You can't control what people write in reviews. And those conversations are not just happening on the hotel review websites. People comment on Facebook, Twitter, and in many other online spots. The good news: You can easily monitor what's being said about you. By monitoring social media you have a hope of heading off the damage done by negative comments.
The key to damage control is to respond quickly, apologetically, and encouraging them to connect with you offline to see how you can resolve the situation to their satisfaction. That way other readers see that you care, and the unhappy person is more likely to be satisfied through private conversations than a back and forth online.
Monitoring comments on the major booking websites isn't enough. Often disgruntled guests will sound off in other places, such as Facebook and Twitter. If you don't know they are talking about you, it's like having an arrow shot at your back while you are innocently walking away.