Social listening (also referred to as ‘social media monitoring’) gives hotels real-time, actionable insight and an opportunity to build long-term loyalty.

While hotels take guest reviews on TripAdvisor seriously, they often fail to monitor social media feedback just as closely. As a result, hotels miss out on real-time complaints (and compliments!) and the opportunity to turn angry guests into public evangelists.

Here are two immediate benefits of closely monitoring your social media channels:

1. Diffusing Negative Situations

Unlike TripAdvisor reviews, you can respond to social media feedback within mere seconds and engage the guest in a real-time conversation.

Most negative posters who vent on social media are still on property.

Social media users expect an immediate response and an already irritated guest can get more agitated the longer they have to wait to hear back. If your team fails to respond – or worse, fail to detect the comment in the first place – this will only exacerbate the situation.

By monitoring mentions of your hotel on social media channels, your staff can respond ASAP and engage with dissatisfied guests during their stay — before they leave scathing permanent reviews on TripAdvisor.

2. Discover (and celebrate) the evangelists

Hotel social media monitoring isn’t just about catching people bashing your hotel: It’s equally valuable when guests are celebrating their experiences on channels such as Instagram.

Over the last few years, storytelling and other forms of user-generated content (UGC) have become some of the most popular and cost-effective methods for hotel marketers looking to harness digital and social media and put more heads in beds.

An example of compelling guest-generated social proof from The St Regis in San Francisco

This is driven by a decline in consumer trust in advertising; instead, consumers now look to one another for credibility. UGC such as photos, videos, and posts about hotel experiences are viewed as more authentic and less sales-focused, so using that content to your advantage can offer tremendous benefits.

By monitoring things closely, you can locate and celebrate those brand ambassadors who are taking pictures of their property experience, allowing you to benefit from what is essentially free positive publicity.