News for the Hospitality Executive
Social Media for the Savvy Hotel Sales Manager
|By Susan Deluzain Barry
In this economy, hotel sellers need to use every possible tool in the shed to drive business results. Here are some ideas for using social media to help make your booking goals.
Step One - Get on board; social networking is not a fad.
Get yourself set up on your network of choice. Carve out a rainy Sunday and play around with Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter. If you like to take pictures or make videos, add Flickr or YouTube. All of the sites make it easy for you to import your Outlook, Hotmail, Yahoo, or Gmail contacts. You don’t need to be especially technically-savvy to do this, and I promise you can’t break the site or your computer.
Also, don’t feel like you have to do everything at once. It’s better to do a great job of networking on one site than to do a mediocre job on three. Take your time and figure out what you like best.
Step Two - The requisite cautionary note.
Understand that everything you do or say online lives forever. Forever is a long time, so be careful what you say and who you copy. You’ve heard that before about email. Multiply that by infinity, and you’ll get an idea of who can ultimately see what you’ve said or written on the web. Check your company’s policy, and try to get your boss as a follower/friend/connection for a bit of CYA. Your clients are watching, as are your future employers.
Horror story: You whine to your Facebook friends that your boss is a huge pain. One of them comments in sympathy, which shares what you said to all of their friends, many of whom you don’t know. Unbeknownst to you, one of your friend’s friends is married to your boss. Opposite of a brilliant career strategy.
Step Three - Do something! Here are some ideas:
Prospect. Using search.twitter.com, set up a search for “bride,” “wedding planning,” or “engagement” within 15 miles of your ballroom. Reach out to brides in the planning stages. Caution: lighten up on the spam-attacks. Try a low-key approach, like, “Hi, I don’t want to get too spammy, but I see on Twitter that you’re planning your wedding. I work at the Wedding World Hotel. Let me know if you’d like to talk more.” This can work for meetings and other events, as well, if you tweak the search terms.
|Also see:||Ten Reasons to Use Social Media for Launching a Hotel / Susan Deluzain Barry / June 2009|
|Grappling with China’s Social Media Puzzle / June 2009|
|Franchisors, Owners, Operators: Questions You Always Wanted to Ask About Social Media / Julie Keyser-Squires, APR / June 2009|
|Social Media in Travel: Generating Brand Awareness is Not Enough, Monetization is Now the Top Priority / January 2009|