Hotel websites are very similar. They all have the same stock photos of beautiful people sitting in beautiful lobbies or the typical hotel bedroom and the navigation panel on the side to book the room. To the average consumer, your hotel website does not do much to differentiate itself from the others. However, there are several things your property can be doing with social media to blow every competitor out of the water.
Here are 7 Ways Your Hotel Can Win With Social:
Listen to the social vine and have your hotel engage early
I don't mean to listen to someone saying they are thinking of making a trip to Denver and you send a 20% off promo code. I mean use Twitter's geo-location feature to listen for conversations going on in your city and then jump in and engage in the conversation with fun facts about the city, events that might be taking place that week or “DID YOU KNOW” trivia about your property or area. Ask what brings them to Denver and share a favorite restaurant or place of interest with them. Let them know you can help in any way possible AND oh, by the way, you want to offer them a special deal only available to your Twitter friends. Don't offer the same worn out deal that they can find on any travel site.
Have your “Social Concierge” welcome a guest BEFORE they arrive
Sure, after booking a hotel room many hotels send a confirmation email, but why not encourage them to connect with you on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, or any other sites your Social Concierge is connecting with guests. Show them you are on duty and ready to make their experience extra special. You can now extend the guest experience from the booking to the arrival, and of course, all the way through to their next booking.
Provide helpful information to guests
Have the Social Concierge provide guests with seasonal weather information suggested packing items like winter coats or fall sweaters. Put together a list of things ahead of time for each season and then place the link in a tweet or Facebook post to them. On Twitter and Facebook, you can continue the relationship building and find out if they are coming for business or perhaps a special occasion that you can now help make more productive or more special.
Send a link with local events happening in your town and suggested sites to see. Send a list of restaurants in your area and shopping malls around. The concierge at the desk isn't the only one who can help them make plans.
Let your guests know you're online and ready to answer any questions, before during or after their stay. This can personalize the experience and nip any problems in the bud. It can also relieve your front desk team from some of the traffic that gathers to ask simple questions.
Watch for SOCIAL check-ins
Be sure and have your social “check-in deals set up” and watch those check-ins daily to also welcome folks who may have come into your social range through these channels. A person is always stunned when they check in on a social channel and someone replies to them with a WELCOME note. It shows you are listening.
Don't send a typical survey after a guest leaves
These are impersonal and most guests feel as if it goes into a shoebox under the GM's desk anyway, never to be looked at or acted upon. You do the work. Reach out and ask them via Twitter or Facebook, if their stay was excellent. Get specific feedback and if the guest is delighted, then you can ask if they'd be willing to share the sentiments on TripAdvisor, Google My Biz or Facebook recommendations. Encourage them to share any favorite photos or memories from their trip. Keep the relationship growing!
What are some other ways you can reach out through the social channels that guests are flooding, to create a more unique customers experience? Have you had any hotel or retail store do something creative that WOW'd you? We'd love to hear.
How can we reach out and help YOU connect to your world?