A lot of hotels, especially high-end hotels, pride themselves on customer service and having a concierge available 24-hours a day –– and they should. The need for helpful hotel staff and excellent service will never dwindle in the hospitality industry. But while this necessity isn’t alleviated, the demand to implement social media to enhance this service is well passed gaining speed. More and more customers are engaging with hotel properties through social media. Facebook and Twitter allow hotels to reinforce relationships with guests before they arrive and after they leave –– not just while they are on the property. In some ways, social media is forging guest loyalty where it has been sorely lacking –– especially with online, tech-savvy guests. It is no secret that the use of online travel sites has been hitting hotels hard, forcing them to drive rates down to stay competitive. There will always be guests and consumers who are just looking for a deal –– but many guests who are using online travel agents also use social media. And when hotels communicate and cater to guests through the mediums they use daily, the guests notice. This works twofold. 1) The hotel-guest relationship is strengthened, creating loyalty through a memorable experience that feels like above-and-beyond service from the hotel. 2) Hotels can push exclusive offers and discounts for their friends and followers –– who most likely found their property looking for deals. This is a win-win. Guests get excited about these offers, and they don’t have to be as extreme as online travel site prices. Finally, by paying attention to social media, whether through Facebook and Twitter or the user-generated content on TripAdvisor or Expedia, hotels can monitor negative feedback. Knowing what people dislike is just as important as know those things they love. If hotels can pinpoint guest dissatisfaction, they can fix it. While it is common to hear that social media is growing in use and importance, I would dare say that has proven itself. It’s no longer a trend gaining popularity. It’s a necessity.