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Jumping into the social media moshpit by Melissa Meulenberg, Hard Rock Hotel
Jumping into the social media moshpit by Melissa Meulenberg, Hard Rock Hotel
Jumping into the social media moshpit by Melissa Meulenberg, Hard Rock Hotel
Jumping into the social media moshpit by Melissa Meulenberg, Hard Rock Hotel
Jumping into the social media moshpit by Melissa Meulenberg, Hard Rock Hotel
Jumping into the social media moshpit by Melissa Meulenberg, Hard Rock Hotel
Jumping into the social media moshpit by Melissa Meulenberg, Hard Rock Hotel
Jumping into the social media moshpit by Melissa Meulenberg, Hard Rock Hotel
Jumping into the social media moshpit by Melissa Meulenberg, Hard Rock Hotel
Jumping into the social media moshpit by Melissa Meulenberg, Hard Rock Hotel
Jumping into the social media moshpit by Melissa Meulenberg, Hard Rock Hotel
Jumping into the social media moshpit by Melissa Meulenberg, Hard Rock Hotel
Jumping into the social media moshpit by Melissa Meulenberg, Hard Rock Hotel
Jumping into the social media moshpit by Melissa Meulenberg, Hard Rock Hotel
Jumping into the social media moshpit by Melissa Meulenberg, Hard Rock Hotel
Jumping into the social media moshpit by Melissa Meulenberg, Hard Rock Hotel
Jumping into the social media moshpit by Melissa Meulenberg, Hard Rock Hotel
Jumping into the social media moshpit by Melissa Meulenberg, Hard Rock Hotel
Jumping into the social media moshpit by Melissa Meulenberg, Hard Rock Hotel
Jumping into the social media moshpit by Melissa Meulenberg, Hard Rock Hotel
Jumping into the social media moshpit by Melissa Meulenberg, Hard Rock Hotel
Jumping into the social media moshpit by Melissa Meulenberg, Hard Rock Hotel
Jumping into the social media moshpit by Melissa Meulenberg, Hard Rock Hotel
Jumping into the social media moshpit by Melissa Meulenberg, Hard Rock Hotel
Jumping into the social media moshpit by Melissa Meulenberg, Hard Rock Hotel
Jumping into the social media moshpit by Melissa Meulenberg, Hard Rock Hotel
Jumping into the social media moshpit by Melissa Meulenberg, Hard Rock Hotel
Jumping into the social media moshpit by Melissa Meulenberg, Hard Rock Hotel
Jumping into the social media moshpit by Melissa Meulenberg, Hard Rock Hotel
Jumping into the social media moshpit by Melissa Meulenberg, Hard Rock Hotel
Jumping into the social media moshpit by Melissa Meulenberg, Hard Rock Hotel
Jumping into the social media moshpit by Melissa Meulenberg, Hard Rock Hotel
Jumping into the social media moshpit by Melissa Meulenberg, Hard Rock Hotel
Jumping into the social media moshpit by Melissa Meulenberg, Hard Rock Hotel
Jumping into the social media moshpit by Melissa Meulenberg, Hard Rock Hotel
Jumping into the social media moshpit by Melissa Meulenberg, Hard Rock Hotel
Jumping into the social media moshpit by Melissa Meulenberg, Hard Rock Hotel
Jumping into the social media moshpit by Melissa Meulenberg, Hard Rock Hotel
Jumping into the social media moshpit by Melissa Meulenberg, Hard Rock Hotel
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Jumping into the social media moshpit by Melissa Meulenberg, Hard Rock Hotel

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  • Like we’ve talked about before, giving people a voice means that you lose control over whether they will use their voice to say good or bad things about you. What would you do if?
  • Just to give a little background on our property…
  • Although we are independently owned and managed, we do adopt the operating values of the Hard Rock brand, which are… Our mission statement is…and that truly is encouraged. Lucky for us, this spirit of authenticity is encouraged and rewarded on social media sites, which really works to our benefit as a brand.
  • So just to start as a baseline for what we’ll be talking about today. Twitter – site where u interact by sending out brief messages of 140 characters or less to people that “follow” you. You can interact with others by responding to their tweets using an “@” sign, or re-tweeting their messages, which is denoted with the letters “RT”.
  • PR – one of the struggles we have as a hotel that is only 10 years old is that we don’t have the kind of recognition or notoriety that say, a hotel like The Drake or the Palmer House Hilton has. We’ve been working with a PR company called Henson Consulting to get us a little more national recognition. Whatever we can do online to get our name out there is only going to help us. The second obvious reason to jump into the social media moshpit was to provide the same level of customer service online that we do for our guests that stay at our hotel. After all, if a complaint falls in the woods and no one is there to hear it, does it still make a sound? Yes, yes it does. So we want to be there to listen and respond if necessary. I was personally convicted from the beginning that this channel needed to make money for us if it was going to be worthwhile. Standing here today in front of you I cannot tell you that we can track every penny that has come to our business by using social media, but neither can I do that from our relationship with our PR company, and we still know in our guts that it was brought business and brings great value to us. I am a firm believer that just staying active in a user’s mind, not just e-blasting them discounts and deals, can persuade someone to book. After all, our largest feeder market for Chicago is actually the Chicago suburbs, and it doesn’t take a lot to persuade them to come spend $200 on a nice dinner and a romantic hotel night in the city.
  • Like we’ve talked about before, giving people a voice means that you lose control over whether they will use their voice to say good or bad things about you. What would you do if?
  • Be interesting – Choose non-traditional photos for your accounts. Find new ways to recycle old concepts. Get creative with your profile information and descriptions. Be authentic – Ditch the traditional polished “website talk”. Let those interacting with your business know a little bit about who they are really speaking with. Be funny – There is no easier way to get your shit re-posted than to be a little bit funny. Be helpful – Social media gives everyone a voice, including the complainers. A little bit of listening goes a long way.
  • Like we’ve talked about before, giving people a voice means that you lose control over whether they will use their voice to say good or bad things about you. What would you do if?
  • Update Often – when you update, you increase the chances of being found through searching and through your followers commenting on your posts (and therefore dropping your name in their “Twitter Feed” for THEIR followers to see). How often is often? It’s a matter of opinion, but we think 3x/day on Twitter and 1x/day on Facebook is enough without being obnoxious.
  • Join in on Conversations – and not just conversations about YOU! You would be surprised at how often you can find ways to make your brand relevant to seemingly unrelated conversations. But even if it’s not…talk anyways! Joining in on conversations lets people know that you are actually there to interact…not just to find customers and make money. Remember, social media rewards authenticity.
  • Using hashtags allows other people to find you when they click on the hashtag or enter it into the search box. It is a way to reference your tweet under a certain topic. The most popular hashtags can be found on the right side of the Twitter page as “Trending Topics.” Being a hotel, we also pay attention to hashtags for conventions and special events happening at the hotel. The organizers and attendees love when we enter into the conversations. Here are two examples of hashtags that have been used by groups staying at the Hard Rock – one for Magnet Global and the other for a “Mom Blogger” convention sponsored by Chevy.
  • Being a hotel, we also pay attention to hashtags for conventions and special events happening at the hotel. The organizers and attendees love when we enter into the conversations. Here are 3 examples of hashtags that have been used by groups staying at the Hard Rock: MagnetGlobal was an in-house group booked exclusively in our hotel. SVmomschevy was a blogger mom event/expo sponsored by Chevy, and they (of course) loved that we took part in their conversations. Neocon is an annual convention here in Chicago. Any convention attendees, even those staying at competing hotels, who searched the neocon hashtag would see our updates. Since so few other hotels participate on social media in these kinds of ways, it means that anyone to whom this sort of interaction is important may consider us next time if they attend the convention again.
  • To grow our follower base, we knew it would be important to tell those that were already interested in our hotel about our new presence on facebook and Twitter. So we added direct links to our profiles on both sites to our website and our emails.
  • Our partner restaurant, China Grill, is doing something really interesting as well. When you log onto their website, you get this popup screen inviting you to become a friend or follower. It’s very “in your face”, but hard not to miss. While I hate to call attention to a competitor hotel, TheWit Hotel just down the street has implemented a “Social Media” hub. When a customer clicks on the hub on their homepage, they are brought to a page with tabs for Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Tripadvisor, which is a travel review site.
  • We talked earlier about our goals for using social media in a business setting. We can use targeted, smart searches on twitter to help us achieve these goals. From a public relations and customer service standpoint, the most important and basic searches discover whether someone is talking to or about you. A default search that is automatically set up on any account is the Twitter handle, which tells you that someone that knows your handle is talking to or about you. The second is simply a search of our business name as someone might google it. It was important for us to set this up right away, because not everyone that is talking about us on Twitter is going to know that we are active users, and what our handle is.
  • Since the ultimate goal of doing any marketing campaign is to get guests to come to our hotel, of course prospecting is a priority. If you can’t make money doing this stuff, what’s the point? We set up these 2 searches to prospect tweets that were “warm leads” – people looking for advice on a hotel to stay in in Chicago. It can apply to most business by asking yourself, “if someone where to ask for a recommendation in my field, what would they say? If my business has a deal-driven consumer, would throwing the word “discount” or “deal” at the end of my search find me a “warm” lead? From a branding AND time-saving perspective (because we all know that the creative juices only flow when they want to sometimes) we search the Hard Rock brand for related items to re-tweet or comment about.
  • Once we got comfortable interacting on the social media channels, we wanted to jumpstart our follower base. We though running a promotion is a good way to encourage people to spread knowledge about our presence and get excited about winning something big, and we were right. 09.09.09 – about four months after launching, we ran a promotion called 09.09.09. If our twitter followers “re-tweeted” a special message, they would be entered to win one night at our hotel for just $9. There was hardly any effort needed in the launch – all we had to do was come up with the 140-character message, and then tweet it. Everyone knew what to do from there. We cross-promoted this on the specials page of our website as well. Tweeting the message automatically returned their handle in a search under the hashtag #hardrockchicago09”. We printed out the page of entries, and randomly selected 9 people to receive the prize. When we had our winners, we tweeted them to follow us (if they didn’t already), and direct messaged them that they were a winner and we would send along the details in an email. The promotion helped us increase our weekly pickup of followers by 350%, and also got us mention on blogs and other PR outlets.
  • Like we’ve talked about before, giving people a voice means that you lose control over whether they will use their voice to say good or bad things about you. What would you do if?
  • It’s in the nature of the Hard Rock brand to push the envelope a bit. While our sleek, sexy website is meant to provide an attractive and luxury-oriented view of the hotel, we use our social media accounts to show our sense of humor and frankly, post information that we wouldn’t dream of putting on our website. We think we are rewarded for showing our personality, and not presenting such a “canned” image. With that said, we received a tweet from a convention visitor staying in our hotel that had a popular blog called Mom101. She wondered whether people could actually see into our bathrooms. We warned her that they are not, and directed her to our Facebook “Notes” page.
  • A while back, just to be funny, we had posted a very clever letter from our GM (who has an amazing sense of humor) to an office worker across the street who wrote a snarky email about seeing one of our guests showering through a window. Here are excerpts that give the general idea of the exchange. The actuals are much more detailed and funny.
  • The blogger wrote a blog post about the funny experience, and we thanked her in the usual way with a note from myself and a collection of gourmet chocolate. Our GM read her blog and loved, and posted a funny comment.
  • It was fun reading the blog comments. People loved that we payed attention, involved ourselves, and showed that we didn’t take ourselves seriously and enjoyed our work.
  • Like we’ve talked about before, giving people a voice means that you lose control over whether they will use their voice to say good or bad things about you. What would you do if?
  • Like we’ve talked about before, giving people a voice means that you lose control over whether they will use their voice to say good or bad things about you. What would you do if?
  • Transcript

    • 1. Jumping into the Social Media Moshpit Melissa Meulenberg, eCommerce Manager
    • 2. Background – Implementation and Strategy – Our Hotel The Hard Rock Brand Why We Decided To Jump Into The Moshpit Overview General Information About Our Listings Strategies We Use To Pick Up Fans And Followers Our Social Media Method to Providing Kick Ass Service – Damage Control – Reward Program Favorite Social Media Guest Stories Overview Sticky Situations + How We Respond to Complaints Our Strategies for Acquiring Positive Consumer Reviews
    • 3. Background
    • 4. Background
      • 381 Guestrooms
      • 60% Corporate/Group, 40% Leisure
      • Independently owned and managed
      • AAA 4-diamond rating
      • No burgers
      Hard Rock Hotel Chicago
    • 5. Operating Values: Create brand excitement through innovation Deliver kick ass service “To spread the spirit of rock 'n' roll by creating experiences that rock.” Encourage everyone to maximize their potential Take personal accountability for getting results Practice honesty, integrity and professionalism AUTHENTIC Background Hard Rock Corporate Values
    • 6. 1,528 “Fans”/“Likes” 2,650 “Followers” Ranked #46 “ Social Media”/ “Web 2.0” is defined as anything on the web that is generated by the “user” Background
    • 7. The Obvious – Customer Service - to address customer service issues - respond to compliments/complaints. Prospecting - to attract new customers. The Not-So-Obvious – CRM (Customer Relationship Mgmt) - to stay “front of mind” for past users. Branding - to assert the Hard Rock Hotel Chicago as a subject matter expert on music, Chicago, and hospitality. Why Did We Decide to Tweet/Facebook? PR – to increase amount of potential users that know about our hotel. Background
    • 8. Getting Started
    • 9. Be Interesting Be Authentic Our Guiding SM Principles Getting Started Be Funny Be Helpful
    • 10. Getting Started Putting Our Best Face Forward on Time Commitment – 5-30 minutes per day Facebook Goal: One Update per Day. Response posted within 24 hours. Pickup: +30 Fans/Week Notes: Drink Recipes Packages/Promos Open Positions Funny Stuff
    • 11. Getting Started How We Roll (and Rock) on Time Commitment – 5-30 minutes per day Twitter Goal: One “Retweet,” One Update, One Mention/Response per Day Pickup: +52 Followers/Week
    • 12. Picking Up Fans and Followers
    • 13. We Update Often How Often Is Often? What Do We Talk About? Music News & Articles Travel News & Articles Upcoming Events Welcomes Renovation Updates Industry Buzz Hashtag Topics Chicago “Things To Do” Promotions Discounts Bar Cocktail Recipes “ Did You Knows” Charitable Undertakings Quotes How We Pick Up Followers
    • 14. We Join in on Conversations Not just conversations about US! How We Pick Up Followers
    • 15. We Use Hashtags/Trending Topics Using hashtags categorizes your tweets. Commenting on trending topics allows a larger pool of users to find your tweets. #followfriday #traveltuesday #musicmonday #nowplaying How We Pick Up Followers
    • 16. We Pay Special Attention to Hashtags Used by Hard Rock Guests #magnetglobal #svmomschevy #neocon How We Pick Up Followers
    • 17. We Cross-Reference How We Pick Up Followers
    • 18. How We Pick Up Followers
    • 19. We Search…Everyday <Default Search> @HardRockChicago – is someone that knows my handle talking to me or about me? hard rock hotel chicago – is someone that does NOT know my handle talking about me? How We Pick Up Followers
    • 20. Prospecting: chicago hotel deal – is someone looking for a deal for a hotel in Chicago? What kind of deal can I send? good chicago hotel – is someone asking advice about which hotel to stay in when they travel to Chicago? Branding: Hard Rock – is there Hard Rock brand related news happening that I can retweet? How We Set Up Our Searches On How We Pick Up Followers
    • 21. We Ran a Promotion 09.09.09 9 rooms for $9 on 09.09.09 “ RT to win! @HardRockChicago is giving away 9 rooms for $9. Winners selected 9/9/09! #contest #hardrockchicago09” Increased average weekly follower pickup rate by 350%. How We Pick Up Followers
    • 22. Our Social Media Version of Kick Ass Service (Plus Storytime)
    • 23. Seek out and respond to complaints/questions/concerns. Provide assistance to questions that have NOTHING to do with our business. Thank those who share compliments with their friends and followers in a special way. Our “Social Media” Version of Kick Ass Service Guiding Principles for Kick Ass Service
    • 24. Our Version of Kick Ass Service on Twitter Our Twitter/FB Reward Program An in-house guest shares a compliment about us on Twitter... We follow them...and click to their page to see if we can find their full name…
    • 25. Our Version of Kick Ass Service on Twitter Our Twitter/FB Reward Program We do some detective work to see if we can find the guest. We usually can! We read their blog/website/ Twitter feed to see if we can get an idea of what they like…
    • 26. Our Version of Kick Ass Service on Twitter Our Twitter/FB Reward Program This guest’s blog mentioned Reisling Empowerment Notification Form: Put in an order to room service for wine and Vosges chocolate bars Handwritten Thank You Note… “Thank you so much for sharing your praises for the Hard Rock Hotel Chicago on Twitter! Here is some world-famous Garret’s Popcorn on me as a token of our appreciation. Please do not hesitate to let us know if there is anything we can do to make your stay more enjoyable.”
    • 27. Our Version of Kick Ass Service on Twitter Our Twitter/FB Reward Program
    • 28. A Warm Welcome Originates On Opportunity to open up communication Comfortable for the guest Our Version of Kick Ass Service on Facebook
    • 29. Our Irreverent Sense Of Humor Gets Us Somewhere on Our Version of Kick Ass Service on Twitter PG-13
    • 30. An Example Response to Neighboring Office Workers Who Complain About Seeing Your Hotels' Guests Naked Hard Rock Hotel Chicago’s Notes Hello. Our offices are across the street and it would be nice if you can inform your guests to shut the blinds of the window that is for the shower. Yesterday I saw some woman soaping up her junk. It was not pretty. She needed a waxing and a few sit ups, let alone her soaping her junk. Mr. XXXXX– Thank you for your observations about our bathroom windows affording you a unique and interesting view. Presumably, our guests can see that there is an office building across the street, and were they so inclined they could easily pull the blind. What can I say? I guess some of our guests enjoy a little exhibition. John Price General Manager Our Version of Kick Ass Service on Twitter Original Letter General Mgr Response
    • 31. Thank you Hard Rock Hotel. For saving me from abject humiliation from the certain circulation of internet photos of my postpartum ass. Our Version of Kick Ass Service on Twitter
    • 32. Mom101 Blog Comments: This is the most awesome example of social media &quot;customer service&quot; that I have ever heard. Way to go, Hard Rock! Amazing use of social networking. Like others have already said... how awesome they have a sense of humor AND good customer service. That is awesome. and the hard rock people had me at the little dog with a mohawk. I'm getting such a great chuckle! Those are the kinds of people who I want running the places I go! Excellent reporting, 101. Love the GM too, it is refreshing to see someone enjoying their job and not taking life so dang seriously!!! Our Version of Kick Ass Service on Twitter
    • 33. Damage Control Social Media Damage Control
    • 34. Damage Control Real Situations We receive a poor review on Tripadvisor or Yelp Our valet partners damaged a guest’s Porsche and the guest shouted about it on our wall A disgruntled former employee made inappropriate posts on our wall A guest tweeted about how our rooms are a “design abortion.”
    • 35. Damage Control Twitter Damage Control Example:
    • 36. Damage Control
    • 37. Damage Control Glad you enjoyed your stay with us (and Elvis)! It really helps us out when our happy guests tell their fellow travelers about their experience on Tripadvisor. Here is a link if you feel so moved! <link> Having a blast in the windy city. Hotel is awesome.
    • 38. “ Found” opportunities for providing great customer service for our guests. Two-way engagement potential Unique Source of referral and word-of-mouth support What We See as the Real Return on Investment Conclusion
    • 39. Thank You Melissa Meulenberg eCommerce Manager Hard Rock Hotel Chicago [email_address]

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