How to Transform Satisfied Guests Into Hotel Brand Advocates
And Build an Army
By Pedro Colaco President & CEO, GuestCentric Systems | February 07, 2016
Word-of-mouth is nothing new. Consumers have always shared their opinions with their family and friends. Brands, on the other hand, have always known that word-of-mouth has a powerful influence on business results, as consumers trust friends over advertising. With the rise of social media on the Internet, consumers can now share their opinions with a much larger audience, amplifying its impact and multiplying it by 100x or more.
Welcome to Word-of-Mouth 2.0
Word-of-mouth 2.0 should be an opportunity. The internet has made it easy to identify consumers who are happy with your brand and therefore you have plenty of opportunities to turn these happy consumers into brand advocates. Social media allows brands to identify its advocates and leverage their opinion on its favor, especially because according to Nielsen, 68% of consumers trust peers' opinion posted online. Brands can then establish a targeted two-way dialogue, engage with prospective customers and get immediate feedback - a big advantage over traditional advertising campaigns.
How Does Social Media Affect the Hospitality Industry?
The rise of Social Media has brought massive changes to the hospitality industry, as we are witnessing the emergence of an empowered consumer that makes decisions based on other user's opinions. User reviews, self-service and e-commerce are replacing traditional travel agencies and operators who are losing marketing share to OTAs, such as Booking.com and Expedia. New tools like TripAdvisor, Kayak and Trivago have emerged to provide travelers total control over all stages of the travelling experience, from researching a destination to booking flights and accommodation.
Recent studies show that online bookings can reach up to 70% of all travel bookings worldwide. Also, eMarketer's latest forecast of worldwide digital travel and sales predicts that by the end of 2015, digital travel sales will total more than $481 billion. These are huge numbers to be ignored, and judging by them it is likely that your guests have already discovered your online presence, no matter how small or remote your property is.