The reason I’m not there with you today is that I’m in Florida helping to transition two hotels for one of my clients. It’s tough duty, but I will try to suffer through.
Basically, I’m here to explain to you all why you should spend time, or have your teams spend time, doing something that just a few years ago was a toy for college kids. I want to tell you how spending time surfing the internet can help your business.
I love this way of explaining social media. Joe Kraus is a partner at Google Ventures, Google’s private investment arm, and he says: [read quote]. It’s a good way of demystifying social media. Facebook and Twitter and everything else are just new ways for people to share information that they’ve always shared.
I don’t mean to say that social media doesn’t get overwhelming; there are a lot of tools, and it seems like something new comes along every week. This graphic includes the logos of just some of the social media tools that are out there right now. But don’t worry, we’re just going to focus on the big ones today.
The bottom line is, social media isn’t about the tools; it’s about the outcomes. As Jay Baer of convince and convert says, it is about making your hotel more like a person and less like a machine. It’s about humanizing your business so that people make connections and engage with it. The tools and buzzwords may change, and next yearFacebook may be replaced with a new tool, but the desire to connect with the companies you do business with will not.
I would also say that social media is a great client retention tool but not always a great client acquisition tool.
So, why should you care about this? Social media provides four things that can help your hotel. First is engagement. When you show the human side of your business, customers feel connected to you. This leads to better word of mouth, which leads to more business. I’m not saying get rid of your sales people in favor of Facebook, but understand that word of mouth is five times as effective as a personal sales pitches. Next is community. Unlike a billboard that gets seen by everyone who passes by, the people who see your Twitter messages have signed up to see them – they want to be there. Third is cost. Social media isn’t free, because you need to dedicate resources to manage it, but the cost per impression is much less than a newspaper ad or even a Pay-Per-Click campaign. And last is immediacy. Here’s an example.
Here is how immediacy works for your hotel in social media. [walk through slide]
This is even more true in the hotel business, where every customer has access to a huge selection of review sites.
Audio test packard speech
Using Social Media in Your Hotel<br />
agenda<br />Intro: About Hive & Susan <br />What is Social Media?<br />Why Care?<br />Big Picture Strategies<br />Tips and Tactics<br />
about<br />I spent 10+ years coming up with creative marketing strategies for hotel brands like Sheraton, Westin, and W.<br />In May 2009, I started Hive Marketing to help hotels and restaurants with social media. Hive has grown to include all kinds of businesses.<br />
Current clients include Crawford & Co., Richfield Hospitality, FranNet of Georgia, and Dolce Hotels & Resorts.<br />I’m also the co-organizer of Digital Atlanta, an annual week-long series of events celebrating Atlanta’s digital community.<br />
objective<br />to answer this question:<br />why should my hotel care about facebook, twitter and the rest of it?<br />
“…people have been endlessly fascinated by one another for a very long time. social networking is not new; we just have new ways to do it.”<br /><ul><li>joekraus, google</li></li></ul><li>there are a lot of tools.<br />
what is social media<br />“social media is not about facebook or flickr or twitter or blogs or youtube. It’s about having a strategy for making your company or organization more like a person and less like a machine.” <br />- jay baer, www.convinceandconvert.com<br />
social media is<br />social media isn’t<br />a conversation<br />a good way to raise your internet profile <br />a way for potential clients to find and get to know your business<br />a marathon<br />a targeted community of the right people<br />a sales pitch<br />a guaranteed book deal or appearance on Leno<br />a get-rich-quick scheme; a panacea; or an excuse to stop selling<br />a sprint<br />a giant audience of any people who’ll listen<br />
why care?<br />engagement: better word of mouth & deeper relationships with customers.<br />community: a group of people who are there voluntarily.<br />cost: price per impression is nominal.<br />immediacy: real-time ability to target promotions.<br />
immediacy<br /> <br />Build a community on Facebook , Twitter, your blog, etc.<br />Establish trust. Share useful content, not just sales pitches.<br />Give them offers when you need them.<br />Group cancels for next week<br />Option 1: Big sale on OTA; sacrifice 15-20% of profit.<br />Option 2: Great rate for fans; keep all your margin.<br />
more reasons<br />1 in every 11 people on Earth is on Facebook.<br />More than 2.5 million websites have Facebook integration.<br />13% of internet users are on Twitter; many more people “lurk” than talk.<br />News of Bin Laden’s death broke on Twitter at 10:25pm; Obama announced it at 11:35pm.<br />
be real<br />Authenticity and transparency are the name of the game. The “royal we” is off-putting, but so is a conservative company that tries to be too hip. Be who you are in social media, and tell the truth. <br />15<br />
There is a disconnect when your Twitter handle includes the word “cares” and you have protected your account.<br />
A tweeter for the American Red Cross accidentally sent a personal tweet from the wrong account. They quickly admitted the mistake and moved on, which resulted in Dogfish Head starting a Twitter fundraising drive for them.<br />
cocktail party<br />Treat your social media accounts like a cocktail party– heavy on listening and making conversation; light on the sales pitches.<br />18<br />
Corning only allows its own posts on Facebook. There’s no point in being there if you don’t want to hear from customers.<br />
Coca-Cola’s Facebook page is all about the fans.<br />
complaints<br />Face complaints head on. Respond to everything quickly, and don’t be defensive! Your response is a commercial for the next customer.<br />21<br />
After a negative tweet about Price Chopper, the grocer called the tweeter’s boss to complain!<br />
Nestle to Facebook fan: “Thanks for the lesson in manners.”<br />
When his customer tweeted about her pizza being delivered an hour late, Domino’s franchisee Ramon DeLeon made a video to apologize and sent free pizzas to the local Social Media Club to generate some positive buzz on Twitter.<br />
behind the curtain<br />Show off your team. Use photos and videos (even informal ones) to humanize your hotel. Give your fans the inside scoop.<br />25<br />
slow burn<br />Because social media takes place online, people think it can be measured like PPC ads. You should look at it more like playing golf or going out to dinner – an investment in relationships.<br />27<br />
Tips for Facebook<br />Don’t use a personal profile or a group for your business; use a page.<br />Link Facebook to Twitter (and maybe LinkedIn) to save time on posts.<br />“Like” sister hotels and nearby attractions.<br />Use Facebook ads for granular targeting.<br />
Tips for Twitter<br />Leave room to be retweeted: 120 instead of 140.<br />Use TweetDeck or Seismic to manage multiple accounts.<br />Use HootSuite, SocialOomph, or Vitrue Publisher to automate some posts.<br />Use a link shortener like bit.ly.<br />
Tips for LinkedIn<br />Don’t link Twitter to LinkedIn. Use #in.<br />Join groups to access more people. Search is biased by connection, so the more you have, the more people you can see in search.<br />Check and update your profile often. This is the 1st place your customers and vendors go to check up on you.<br />