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Social Media and Reputation Management for Hotels: Eight Key Takeaways


by Daniel Edward Craig
June 5, 2013

Last month I gave presentations on social media and online reputation management for hotels in Barcelona, Madrid, Paris, London and Rome in partnership with ReviewPro and WIHP.
 
Everywhere we went we found hoteliers facing similar challenges: How to adapt to changes in technology and traveller behaviour, cut through the noise, and use social media to drive higher awareness, guest satisfaction and revenue?
 
To that end, here are eight key takeaways from my presentations.

1.  Social media is everywhere. Increasingly, travellers are turning to review sites and social networks to research trips, share experiences and consult trip information and advice from the source they trust most: other travellers. Earned media—getting people talking about and recommending your brand through reviews, ratings, imagery, blogs and online articles—has become an essential component of marketing strategy.

2.  Converged media.
To maximize reach, integrate paid, earned and owned content into marketing campaigns. For example, when you launch a new package feature it on your website and Facebook page (owned content), hold a contest to encourage people to spread the word on social networks (earned media), and amplify its reach with Promoted Posts on Facebook (paid content).

3.  Facebook, it’s not just for socializing anymore. Two new features turn Facebook into an important marketing tool for hotels. Nearby (also called Local Search) allows users to search local businesses, ratings and reviews on their mobile device similar to Foursquare and TripAdvisor. Graph Search turns Facebook into a search engine for friend activities and interests. Maximize your presence on both applications by optimizing your About page and encouraging likes, check-ins and photo-sharing.

4.  Your website, make it social.
Turn your website into a living, breathing entity that integrates earned media like a review feed, social icons, widgets and plugins with information about local events, dining and activities. This can benefit traffic, engagement and conversions, and ultimately guest satisfaction.

5.  Manage content on TripAdvisor.
TripAdvisor is the world’s most popular travel site, and its mobile app is second only to Google Maps. Optimize your presence with a good description and photos and monitor and respond to reviews. To amplify your presence and drive direct bookings consider purchasing Business Listings and featuring a compelling Special Offer and the mobile add-on.

6.  But don’t neglect other sites.
Travellers check out a range of sites to research trips. Diversify your presence by claiming your space, optimizing content and managing reviews on all major review sites, OTAs and social networks. Google Local is a priority because it feeds reviews and content into its search, Maps and Hotel Finder applications. And now that the new maps application on all mobile Apple devices pulls reviews and content from Yelp, Yelp has become a much more important player in the travel space.

7.  Managing online reputation starts on property. The gap between expectations and results is where reviews are incubated—good, bad and ugly. If you fail to meet expectations you risk creating detractors who not only won’t come back but may warn others to stay away. By simply meeting expectations you create passives who may come back but aren’t likely to recommend you. The key objective is to exceed expectations, which creates loyalists and advocates who not only will come back but will recommend your hotel to others.

8.  Utilize available tools.
Managing your online presence can be a daunting task, but there are tools and resources to help. ReviewPro aggregates reviews and social media content from across the Web, helping hotels to optimize online presence and make better revenue and operational decisions. WIHP provides the expertise, tools and strategies to help hotels drive direct bookings. Thanks to these two companies for making this free seminar series possible!
 
To learn more read Trends in Hotel Marketing on the ReviewPro blog. And stay tuned for highlights from WIHP’s web marketing presentation on the WIHP Blog.




About the Author

Daniel Edward Craig is a former hotel general manager and the founder of Reknown, a consultancy specializing in social media strategy and online reputation management for hotels and the travel industry. He collaborates with ReviewPro as Industry Advisor, Engagement. Visit www.reknown.com.  

Copyright © 2012 Daniel Edward Craig. All rights reserved.

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Contact: 

Daniel Edward Craig
dcraig@reknown.com

 

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Also See: Trends in Hotel Marketing: Social Search, Utility Marketing and Converged Media / Daniel Edward Craig / April 2013

Is Your Hotel Prepared for a Social Media Crisis? / Daniel Edward Craig / February 2013

How to Generate More Reviews, Followers and Engagement on the Social Web / Daniel Edward Craig / November 2012

Taking Ownership of Reputation / Daniel Edward Craig / October 2012

How Meliá Hotels International Uses Review Analytics to Make Better Revenue Management Decisions / Daniel Edward Craig / October 2012

If Your Hotel Ranks Top on TripAdvisor, are You Not Charging Enough? / Daniel Edward Craig / October 2012

Beyond Vanity Metrics: Measuring ROI in Social Media / Daniel Edward Craig / September 2012

From Pricing Complaints to Personal Attacks: How to Respond to Challenging Guest Reviews / Daniel Edward Craig / August 2012

Social Never Sleeps: How to Use Social Networks to Drive Higher Guest Satisfaction / Daniel Edward Craig / July 2012

For Hotels, Winning at the Reputation Management Game Means Taking a Team Approach / Daniel Edward Craig / June 2012

How Social Media Savvy is Your Hotel's General Manager? / Daniel Edward Craig / March 2012

Dedicated to Social Media, Part II: InterContinental Hotels Group / Daniel Edward Craig / February 2012

Dedicated to Social Media, Part I: citizenM Hotels / Daniel Edward Craig / February 2012

TripAdvisor for Destination Marketing Organizations / Daniel Edward Craig / February 2012

What Do Travelers Want? Setting Hotel and Travel Marketing Priorities in 2012 / Daniel Edward Craig / January 2012

Are Hotel Groups Ready for Total Transparency in Traveler Reviews? / Daniel Edward Craig / January 2012

Keep Exploring: Social Media and Reputation Management in Canada’s Tourism Strategy; An interview with Greg Klassen, Senior Vice President of Marketing Strategy and Communications, Canadian Tourism Commission / Daniel Edward Craig / October 2011

Social Media Coercion: How far should hotels go to please and appease guests? / Daniel Edward Craig / September 2011

Social Media Ambush: When Hotel Guests Go on the Attack / Daniel Edward Craig / September 2011

Creating a Virtuous Cycle: Integrating Online Reputation Management into Operations and Culture / Daniel Edward Craig / September 2011

Google is going Places - is your business ready for the ride? / Daniel Edward Craig / August 2011

How to Make Compelling Video Content for Hotels / Daniel Edward Craig / July 2011

How to Use Social Media to Tap Into the Burgeoning Market of Chinese Travelers; An interview with Jens Thraenhart of Dragon Trail / Daniel Edward Craig / July 2011

A Sample Social Media Policy for Hotels / Daniel Edward Craig / June 2011

The Stanley Cup Riots in Vancouver: a Case Study in Online Reputation Crisis Management / Daniel Edward Craig / June 2011

The Review Clinic is Open / Daniel Edward Craig / June 2011

Help with Yelp for Hotels / Daniel Edward Craig / June 2011

How to Optimize Your TripAdvisor Listing / Daniel Edward Craig / May 2011

Online Reputation Manager: the Newest Position in Hotels? / Daniel Edward Craig / April 2011

Guest Satisfaction Index: the Next Big Measure of Hotel Performance? / Daniel Edward Craig / April 2011

Social Networking or Social Notworking? Social Media as a Sales Tool for Hotels / Daniel Edward Craig / March 2011

Social Search, Video, and Nimble Marketing: Tips for Hotels from Google’s UK Travel Industry Manager / Daniel Edward Craig / March 2011

B&B or Big-Box? Social Media Stirs the Sleeping Micro-Giant of the Lodging Industry / Daniel Edward Craig / February 2011

Social Media and Storytelling for Hotels / Daniel Edward Craig / February 2011

A Round-up of Social Media and Reputation Monitoring Tools for Hotels / Daniel Edward Craig / February 2011

The Confidence to be Transparent: Why Accor Hotel Group Posts TripAdvisor Reviews Directly to its Website; An interview with Jean-Luc Chrétien, Executive VP Marketing & Distribution, Accor / Daniel Edward Craig / December 2010

A Positive Spin on Negative Reviews / Daniel Edward Craig / November 2010

Walking After Midnight: How to Avoid Being Bumped from Your Hotel / Daniel Edward Craig / October 2010

Why Everyone Gets a Hotel Room Upgrade... But You / Daniel Edward Craig / April 2008
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