Are We There Yet? The Path to Social Business
By Janet Gerhard Founder, Hospitality Gal, LLC | October 19, 2014
Social media has come a long way since it burst on to the hospitality scene in the mid 2000's. We could probably write a full article arguing the point on when social business truly began…with the first email sent or when the Internet hit 1 million sites. Regardless, social media's rise offered promise of an elixir to aid in marketing, e-commerce, digital strategies, and driving loyalty through improved guest experiences.
As we entered into this world, hotels began to anoint social media experts and create centers of excellence for tackling what was quickly becoming a tsunami of consumer generated media, competing technologies touting their services, and general confusion on how to best tackle an issue that was not even yet fully understood.
The bravest of brands rushed in to try the new emerging listening platforms. Many individual hotels signed up while their enterprise tested options, weighed the pros and cons, and waited to see how the landscape would settle. In fact, some of the biggest brands only last year fully jumped into social media. The tangled web of decisions include: How far reaching does the platform need to be? What reports should be available and to whom? Is this a corporate funded adventure or something that should be passed onto the hotels directly?
Once those questions were answered new ones are ushered in. Specifically, now that we are gathering this information, how do we best harness it to realize its maximum potential across the multitude of function areas and needs within the business?
First up was guest experience and social media's implications for the traditional surveys that have long been used as the carrot and the stick in hotel operations.