Hotels           2011                 Social                 Media                 GuideHow	is	Social	Media	Shaping	the	Ho...
Gaining/maintaining business: Hotels monitor the social          reviews over asking a friend or consulting a newspaper fo...
ative viral campaign coincides with Hawaii’s 50th anniversa-ry of statehood. To win, users are asked to submit a videothat...
their guests as possible, and this “social media” experience                                                              ...
collection of 46 mountain peaks in Adirondack Park – it’s         How	Should	YOU	Use	Social	Media?also the namesake of the...
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2011 Guide for Hotels Using Social Media


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  • Online hotel reservation software are also helpful for making last minute travel arrangements. Hotels may drop the price of a room if some rooms are still available. There are several websites that specialize in searches for deals on rooms.
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2011 Guide for Hotels Using Social Media

  1. 1. Hotels 2011 Social Media GuideHow is Social Media Shaping the Hotel media is another great marketing tool when used correctly. This guide details how some hotels are using social mediaIndustry? to their advantage and how you can, too.Social Media allows hotels to establish a relationship with Most Common Uses of Social Media for customers unlike any other media. It opens the door forhotels to establish a one-on-one relationship with travel- Hotelsers where hotels are getting regular feedback on how Information Experts: Hotels want to be the go-to resourcetheir customers are reacting to their marketing messages, for all things travel related. They spotlight interestingcustomer service, and hotel stay experience. things going on in the cities where their hotels are located,Social media is also impacting the way consumers per- and they connect social media to employees who areceive hotels. Many consumers read reviews online before in-the-know about what guests can and should do whilethey book their hotel stays. Hotels can benefit from online they’re in by addressing the needs and concerns of their Discounts: Hotels offer discounts through social media oncustomers. By responding to a negative review, the cus- anything from stays to special packages to hotel amenities.tomer feels like his or her needs are addressed and takeninto consideration. Potential customers view the hotel as Contests, Sweepstakes, and Giveaways: Hotels are em-genuinely caring and constantly improving their offerings. bracing contests sweepstakes, and giveaways by providingThis turns a negative situation into a positive. dream vacations or free stays to those talking about their experiences or at random.Social media is a great way to build brand awareness. Ho-tels can interact with customers more personally on Face-book Fan Pages or through Twitter. They can provide newsabout their hotels, talk about promotions or deals, and askquestions directly to their fans. While people are demand-ing lower prices and better deals from their favorite travel Contents destinations, they also want better service. From pre-stay 1 How is Social Media Relevantquestions to post-stay follow up, communicating via Twit- 1 Common Social Platformster or other social media platforms is an effective way to 2 Key Benefitsprovide a positive customer service experience. 3 Practical Application 4 Common MistakesHotels are also using social media, specifically multimedia 4 Legal Considerationssites like YouTube, to set themselves apart in an innovative 5 How You Should Use Social Mediaway. Through these unique competitive advantages, hotelsare gaining new customers and creating loyal ones. 5 About Social Media SolutionsFrom positioning to promotions to lead generation, social Social Media Solutions | | Orlando, FL | p. 407.256.9233 | f. 407.539.6191
  2. 2. Gaining/maintaining business: Hotels monitor the social reviews over asking a friend or consulting a newspaper formedia space to deal with complaints, grab business for a recommendation.special events, or to thank happy guests for their visit. By evaluating hotels’ participation in social media, we canSocial travel sites: Hotels visit sites like TripAdvisor to clearly establisha positive relationship between level ofkeep track of customer reviews and to respond to negative involvement and success. From effectively using Twitter,feedback. Hotels aim to be at the top in the rankings for Facebook, YouTube, and blogging, the following are ex-each city in which they have a hotel. amples of how hotels have been engaging in various socialLead generation: Hotels use sites like LinkedIn to connect media business Case Study: Wyndham Hotels & ResortsKey Benefits of Social Media & Hotels Wyndham Worldwide is taking online guest interactionAs the industry continues to progress more and more, one step further by adopting a more targeted have seen the impact social media can have on their Their newly launched “Women on Their Way” microsite isbusiness. The following is a list of possible benefits that a “soft sell” forum for Wyndham to not only subtly adver-can result by the use of an effective social media strategy: tise female-friendly trip packages but gain valuable insight about guests’ actual trip planning processes and holiday desires. Organized as a community, members can chat  Provides a cost-effective way to boost site traffic about travel ideas and share opinions about destinations,  Has a viral effect – passionate reviewers will spread events and, of course, hotels. the word through their social media accounts Conversational topics have been suggested, such as  Engages travelers in a new way. Girlfriend Getaways, Destination Weddings, GLBT-friendly vacations, and Voluntourism.  Protects the brand’s reputation through consistent monitoring and replies Case Study: Marriot International  Creates loyal customers The Marriot Resort & Stellaris Casino in Puerto Rico uses  Generates brand buzz YouTube to let guests record a 30-second video postcard to send to friends and family through the resort’s YouTube  Boosts brand awareness channel.Hotels Using Social Media Marriott Resorts Hawaii and its partners, Hawaii VisitorsSocial media is impacting the way customers approach and Convention Bureau, Hawaiian Airlines, and Hertz, arethe hotel industry. reports that over two- making interacting with their brands easy by giving awaythirds of hotel booking in the U.S. will be influenced by the free trips to the Hawaiian Islands with the “Tweet YourselfInternet this year. According to a to Hawaii” sweepstakes. Designed to promote the islandssurvey, 62 percent of respondents said they would check through social media networks, this innovative and cre-Remember Word-of-mouth spreads fast, and in the virtual world, it spreads even faster to a much wider audience. Positiveinteractions are important to build relationships and brand loyalty. There are several difference markets that hotels canreach using social media – families, business travelers, leisure travelers, and niche markets. One messaging strategylikely won’t fit all, so don’t be afraid to diversify. Social Media Solutions | | Orlando, FL | p. 407.256.9233 | f. 407.539.6191
  3. 3. ative viral campaign coincides with Hawaii’s 50th anniversa-ry of statehood. To win, users are asked to submit a videothat best showcases why they love Hawaii. The public will Banking Checklistjudge on their favorite from a selection of finalists. 1. Use a relevant name. Make your account names easily searchable andCase Study: Kimpton’s Hotel Palomar relevant to your brand.Instead of the typical vacation or free night giveaway, the 2. Strategically create content.funky Kimpton Hotel Palomar rewarded 20 of its Twitter Don’t just push out information. Think about whatfollowers with free animal print bathrobes, which provided content would be most valuable to your audience.a cost-efficient way to show customer appreciation whilecapitalizing on what customers love about the brand. 3. Remember, it’s a conversation.Some of the excited Tweeters spread Kimpton’s message Talk to your audience like you would talk to realfurther by blogging about their prize. people. Avoid contrived speech or industry jargon. Use content that is open-ended and inviting.Case Study: InterContinental Hotels & Resorts 4. Consistently update your content. InterContinental (IHG) partnered with Communispace Manage the sites effectively by being current and to build and facilitate three up-to-date with content so customers return to private online communities the site for new updates and information. of some 300 members each, 5. Integrate your efforts. all members of IHG’s loyalty Tie social media into your other marketing efforts program. At the core of the by focusing on the same underlying message approach to social market- about your brand and adding your social sites to ing is the idea that IHG puts your print materials. its customer at the center of everything. The company recently expanded its social media marketing footprint by Sheraton hotel best suited to their travel preferences – be launching a public community that Milan, Lisbon, Stockholm, Tenerife, or even the Red open to Priority Club Rewards Sea in Egypt!members. IHG also utilizes third-party social networkssuch as Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter. “Today’s traveler is part of an online digital community andInterContinental recently equipped its concierge staff at Sheraton is committed to helping guests stay connectedits New York, Atlanta, Hong Kong, and London hotels with to friends, family, and colleagues whilst on the road.Apple iPads. The brand hopes the iPad will revolutionize Sheraton has launched a range of initiatives including atheir concierge experience by providing high-resolution lobby-based signature communication hub, Link@Sheratonsatellite maps, close-up street views, video clips of local experienced with Microsoft, which provides Internet en-attractions, directions to a requested location, and custom- abled PC work stations and free WI-FI so guests can remainized InterContinental content. fully productive and connected to what matters most to them whilst away from home. InCase Study: Sheraton Hotels addition, through Facebook Con- nect and now Shared Moments,In December of 2009, Sheraton Hotels launched a new Sheraton is empowering travel-social media platform “Sheraton Shared Moments” which ers to share and inspire eachenables users to share their travel experiences with friends other in a new and exciting way,”and family and the public via the Internet. Those who Susanne Barfoed, VP of Brandsign up to the portal and share their moments also have Management for Sheraton Hotelsthe chance to win one of five dream holidays to a luxury & Resorts, said about the brand’s so-Sheraton Hot el or Resort. Simply by uploading a photo, cial media initiatives.saying where it was taken, how it felt and what made thismoment special, and then by answering a few questionson your travel likes and dislikes, users will be entered intothe competition to win one of five week-long stays in a Social Media Solutions | | Orlando, FL | p. 407.256.9233 | f. 407.539.6191
  4. 4. their guests as possible, and this “social media” experience as a guest of the Garden Court Hotel makes customers ap- preciate the little touches people do - which defines their approach to customer service. Case Study: Hyatt Hotels & Resorts Hyatt has implemented a Twitter concierge service in their locations around the world. The Twitter service is be avail- able to guests of the hotel 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and is designed to help guests ask questions, book spa appointments or dinner reservations, and make special requests. Fans have begun to embrace the @HyattCon-Case Study: The Gainey Suites Hotel cierge Twitter account – which currently has over 11,000 followers. The accounts i staffed 24/7 by customer serviceThe Gainey Suites and Hotel in Scottsdale has a strong agents around the world. Hyatt already provides round-Twitter following along with videos on YouTube and at- theclock service by phone and email, so translating theirtractive property shots on its Flickr photo sharing site. strategy online was just a matter of training the agents toThe high-end destination uses Facebook to feature hotel type responses in 140 characters or less.special events and promotions that leverage its current “Whatever we did, it had to be with the theme of goingnumber-one TripAdvisor ranking. the extra mile, providing additional service. We really be-“Social media gives our hotel freedom to do creative lieve that it is a concierge service rather than a promotionthings online we cannot do on our website,” Rich Newman, tool,” said John Wallis, global head of marketing for Hyatt,general manager of the Gainey Suites Hotel, said. “We use said about the company’s Twitter strategy.Maestro’s ResWave booking engine on our website with Social Media for Recruitinglinks to our social media pages. Our link to YouTube videoson the ResWave page drives business because guests can There is no doubt that social media is the hottest topic insee rich-media hotel presentations and book rooms im- recruiting these days, and Hyatt’s Facebook page demon-mediately. Our social media strategy generates hundred of strates exactly why that is the case. Hyatt’s Facebook pageroom-nights and adds to our F&B business.” is branded with a ‘HyattCareers’ URL which makes it easy to find for the page’s over 15,000 fans. Most importantly,Gainey Suites links its Maestro ResWave booking page to there is a real dialogue going on between job seekers andproperty photos, floor plans and enhanced room descrip- people within Hyatt. Comments from job seekers postedtions. to Hyatt’s wall are answered individually in a timely man-“Chains have corporate social media programs, but are ner with thorough, thoughtful replies. While most answerconstrained by policy guidelines. Independents like Gainey direct people to, there is usuallySuites can respond to market changes and promote their some personalization in the answer, providing an indicationhotels with a creative style that builds an image of a that the comments are actually being read by someoneunique, personalized, destination that people respond to who is interested in engaging with Hyatt’s fans, customers,by making reservations,” Newman said. and potential job candidates.Case Study: The Garden Court Hotel In terms of job listings (which are powered by LinkUp’s Facebook app ‘Current Jobs at Our Company’), Hyatt listsThe Garden Court Hotel in Palo Alto, uses social media to 968 jobs from their company career portal on their Face-improve one-on-one guest relations. When blogger Jeff book page. These jobs appear in a widget on their Wall, asPulver stayed at their hotel earlier this year, he noticed well as on a separate jobs tab across the top. This makes itsomething special upon check-out. Jeff had received a easy for fans and job seekers to find current opportunitiespersonal note from their general manager, Barbara Gross, at Hyatt from throughout their hotel and resort network,referencing a blog post he had written earlier that week. and each and every job listing links directly to that specificThe fact that Barbara made the effort to research one of position on Hyatt’s career page where job seekers can ap-their guests and then write something personal about it ply for jobs straight into Hyatt’s applicant tracking systemon a handwritten note added a very special personal ouch (ATS).to Jeff’s stay, and it was something he had never experi-enced in the past. The Garden Court Hotel makes an effort Case Study: High Peak Resortsto research and personally communicate with as many of The Adirondack High Peaks is not just the name of the Social Media Solutions | | Orlando, FL | p. 407.256.9233 | f. 407.539.6191
  5. 5. collection of 46 mountain peaks in Adirondack Park – it’s How Should YOU Use Social Media?also the namesake of the High Peaks Resort, which boastsa very creative social media plan. For example, in Spring Social Media is an excellent tool to positively promote your2009 it was all about the number “46” as the Resort’s hotel to your desired audience, by allowing them to becomefriends, fans and followers on Facebook and Twitter took actively involved. We have created a list of tools that weadvantage of a 46-minute per day, 46-day promotion based recommend you consider engaging in, which will increaseon the elevations of the High Peaks. For example, a rate your site’s popularity and reviews.based on the 4,867-foot elevation of Whiteface Mountain  Create a Facebook page – be sure to continuouslywas $48.67. A rate based on the 4,361-foot elevation of add engaging content and respond to posts.Seward Mountain was $43.61; Porter Mountain’s rate was$40.59. The Elevation Rate appeared on the High Peaks  Actively involve yourself in a Twitter account, &website between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. and the Resort alerted show participation by following others.friends, fans and followers when that day’s rate was avail-able. While these rates are certainly low for this caliber  Seek out & interact with your audience.or hotel, it filled rooms during a typically slow season and  Create a blog where your audience can findalso garnered substantial publicity. industry-related tips and trends while communicat- ing their opinion on current topics.  Use sites such as Flickr and YouTube to promote your site, by uploading photos and videos for your audience to access and link to their own accounts. About Social Media Solutions LLC Many social media campaigns transcend across channelsMistakes Hotels are Making with Social such as marketing, public relations, and sometimes eveMedia customer service, depending on the goals of the campaign. To effectively manage these needs, a social media agencyGiven the viral nature of social media, it is inevitable that must essentially be an extension of the client, involvedsome individuals or entities may find that the incorrect use of with various communication channels within the client’sit has actually damaged their reputations. organization in order to communicate the right content and the right time.Using these tools incorrectly, such as ignoring rules abouttransparency, honestly, and trust, can do more damage Social Media Solutions prides itself on becoming anto a site’s reputation and media attention than taking the extension of your business. Not only will we work yourextra time to understand your audience’s expectations account as if we were promoting our own business, but weand remaining patient as social media contributes to your will also continue to brainstorm and develop new onlinelong-term growth plan. As review sites reach into the social marketing and social media strategies to optimize yourmedia tool bag, they must be aware of the impact of their business.actions and understand exactly how these tools work. To learn more about Social Media Solutions, visit ourTo help hotels understand the potential pitfalls of social me- website at, we have identified common guidelines that review sitescan use to thwart negative feedback from their community:  Be upfront about any advertisers or sponsored content.  Don’t use manipulation or bribery to gain reviews or advertising.  Be transparent about your mission, motives, and methods.  Provide consistent, valuable content and interact with your audience. Social Media Solutions | | Orlando, FL | p. 407.256.9233 | f. 407.539.6191