On November 21st, hundreds of hotel marketers from around the world joined me for a webinar that reviewed this year’s biggest hotel marketing trends and looked ahead to what we can expect to see in 2014.
Thanks to our high energy audience, we received thoughtful questions about how to prioritize in the upcoming year. With social being such a hot topic, it comes as no surprise that many of the participant questions revolved around best practices on social media platforms. Here are some of the top questions from the webinar, answered by our knowledgeable industry guest speakers, Rupesh Patel and Melissa Bruckler.
Seth asked: What’s the best way to handle negative posts about your hotel on social networks?
Best Practices do not suggest deleting or ignoring negative comments. If you don’t address an issue where it’s posted, it’s possible that person will just go post it somewhere else. It’s always best, no matter what channel, to respond to the guest’s comment. Let them be heard and let other people who are viewing that comment see that you are responding to both positive and negative reviews. This shows that you care, take the issue seriously, and are going to take the appropriate action to remedy the situation; it is much more powerful than deleting a negative comment. That way, your other guests can see that you’ve acknowledged the negative comments, and are taking action. Show guests that you value their feedback by responding in a polite way, and thank them for commenting.
Anne asked: How important is it to keep the Brand standards on social media platforms?
It is very important to maintain your brand standards online. Most chains (or brands) have specific rules in place that indicate what is allowed or expected from hotel properties, and these guidelines are based on strategy, research and best practices. Being part of a chain has its benefits, as many brands now offer their own booking tools or apps for properties to use, creating a more accessible way for customers to book online. Chains have developed standard procedures so that consumers have a consistent experience across all the key social networks. Help champion brand recognition by adhering to the guidelines set for you.
Jennifer asked: Is it true a hotel should post 80% informative content and 20% promotional content? Is that a good balance for hotels online?
Social media is both an art and a science, so you don’t necessarily need to adhere to a specific percentage formula. Instead, focus on keeping things fresh and up-to-date on your pages. What you post will not only be seen by your fans, but also by other people who are doing real-time searches online, making promotional posts worthwhile for your property. Once or twice a week, drum up some extra business with a special offer to engage potential guests. Think about sharing community news of special events, holiday activities, local sports teams and other updates that your hotel guests would find valuable and entertaining. Be sure to include visuals in your posts because Facebook videos generate3x more inbound links than plain posts, while photos themselves generate 53% more likes than the average post without photos (hubspot, 2013).
For more information on what to expect in 2014, don’t forget to download our eBook Find Success in 2014: Digital Marketing Strategies for Hotel Marketers.