Saturday, November 27, 2010

Hotels and Social Media

Nowadays everyone talks about Social Media networks and hotels are absolutely recognizing the importance of engaging with customers, travel planners and other stake holders through the social media. Most of the hoteliers around the globe using these micro blogging social media platforms as a business tool to improve their businesses. In certain countries the struggling hotel and tourism industries are now using it as a way to reach potential guests.

When a friend of mine, who keeps a blog that covers restaurants and hotels in Singapore, told me how she had a super happy hour experience at one of a best known hotel in Singapore, the hotel offered her a free meal at its restaurant. Further, they ask her to write about her meal experience in her blog and her Facebook page. It shows the power of social media and web blogging.

While straying too far from business-like Facebook or Tweets, might not be all hotels’ goals, reaching out to customers and potential guests on a more personal level than the traditional press avenues could be a good bet. Most of the hotels pages in Facebook or Youtube you can see the comments about the services and the experience faced by the writers. These comments give a good feedback to the properties to improve in the near future and attract more visitors. While people are demanding lower prices and better deals from their go-to travel destinations, they also want better service, and communicating via Face book, Twitter or other social media platforms is an effective way to do it. And not only are hotels using Facebook or Twitter to interact with its guests, they’re also using the platform to generate general interest by giving away free stays and other goodies. Some hotels use their Twitter feeds to create a persona, essentially giving life to a hotel. 

What a boon to finally have a means of interacting directly with people who have had both good and bad experiences, in order to give the kind of follow-up customer service that the best hospitality brands so successfully execute on-property. As the public relations representative for a Hotel, they are thrilled with these new opportunities presented by social media. Providing better services is the first of many steps toward utilizing new media tools to provide useful information, feedback and planning resources to past and future guests and other interested parties.

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