Whether it's summer time or pre-holidays, the big blockbuster movies are all released around these times. You can bet there will always be at least a couple movies with robots battling humans for world domination. Avengers, Star Wars, Terminator and the list goes on and on. We don't even have to go to the movies to see this play out…Just jump on Twitter and watch the battle begin!
I travel a lot and always check in or give shout outs to the hotels, restaurants and services that I visit along the way. I check to see who has Facebook pages or Twitter accounts and I'm careful to use their correct usernames so they will get the message. The sad truth is, only about 5% of them reply back. I don't hear “Thanks for staying with us” or “Glad to hear you enjoyed your meal” or “Let us know if we can help you with anything during your stay.” NADA! Silencio!
Managing your brand is harder than ever with consumers checking in, liking and ranting on your social media channels, but if you choose to open those social doors, you'd better make sure someone monitors them and there to respond quickly. According to an Edison study, 42% of consumers expect a response on social media within one hour, and 32% think it should be within 30 minutes. Today's consumer will talk about your brand (good or bad) wherever they are and they expect you to find it. Make sure you are listening! The purpose of creating a social media platform should be to make it easy for your customers, fans, and potential customers to get ahold of you, not just to pump out more promotional content.
Here are 3 things that tell people you have automated your social media and the robots are at the helm:
When you are sending out auto-generated messages to welcome someone on your Twitter account, it smells of SPAM! Make sure your interactions with guests and fans let them know that you have caring humans working your social marketing and that you will be there to assist them with their travel or meeting plans. Sending messages like “ABC Hotel is a four diamond property with 20K square feet of meeting space” is not the warm and fuzzy message that tells people you are there for REAL conversations.
Comments sitting on your pages and profiles without even an acknowledgement. When fans take the time to comment on your content or ask a question, their expectations are that someone will be reading them and getting back to them. We call it closing the loop on all communications, regardless of how small they are. Thank people for their comments. Let someone know that you are looking into the problem or question they posted and let them know you are listening to them.
When a canned response is posted to a real question. Empathy in any situation goes a long way, and social media is no different. If someone posts a glowing review or a scathing comment, respond empathetically…respond like a HUMAN. “I’m so sorry that the air-conditioner kept you up all night making weird noises. That should not have happened” is so much better than “We at ABC Hotel apologize for the inconvenience.” Train your social media team to loosen their ties or scarves and respond with real emotion that shows you really care. This is tricky since most companies throw their social media marketing to someone in the sales or marketing department who has not had customer service training. This is a critical touch point for a business in today's social landscape.
Yes this all takes a little more work and definitely more time, but remember, like all of the summer sci-fi movies, the humans always win!