We’ve been discussing the different uses for Google+ Hangouts here at the Monscierge office, and it got me thinking about how much fun they could be for hotel use. As a B2C business, and arguably one of the most “social” industries, how can hospitality make use of this fun new aspect of social networking?
These are a few ideas I came up with, and I’d love to hear yours in the comments.
- Face-to-face time with your concierge – allow future travelers to get the inside scoop on your location before they visit.
- Q&A with manager – discuss amenities and hotel events.
- Chef – answer questions about local cuisine and food trends, or offer cooking tips.
- Wedding coordinator – this one is easy, every new bride has questions. You can open this up for general information or send invites only to brides using your hotel for more specific information.
- Local experts – do you have a local historian, nature expert, or tour guide? They can be excellent sources of information on things to see in your area.
- Weekend events – schedule a host for mid-week to talk up local weekend events.
- “Day in the Life” – have a host visit the different departments in your hotel, allow viewers to ask questions, and show off the many ways your team works together to provide an excellent guest experience.
- Invite local restaurant managers to host a hangout to boost local economy and goodwill.
- Can you get a player from your home team to talk about the next game? While that’s probably a long shot, a team associate or PR employee hosting a hangout can increase your brand awareness and establish you as a community leader.
- During times of emergency, go ultra-local by hosting (and recording for future use) a Q&A with a member of the emergency response personnel, providing information on where to go for shelter, food, or other help. (I probably don’t have to say this, but this is NOT the time for self-promotion! Offer genuine help, and that will be promotion enough.)
- What is your latest brand announcement? Is it worth a half an hour chat with potential guests to explain its benefits in depth? “Hanging out” with the manager is much more fun that reading a press release.
- Do you have a specific luxury produced on-site? A chat with your resident bee keeper or vintner will be interesting to most travelers and promote your in house specialty at the same time.
- If you don’t have one on-site, do you have a locally produced product you feature at your hotel. Share the social networking love with your local winery, farmer’s market, or gardener.
- Does your property have a “best loved” personality? Whether it’s a favorite door man, long-time housekeeper, or ultra friendly valet, show them off to your potential guests and allow their passion for your property to speak for itself.
- What about non-guest facing staff? Do you have brilliant IT support or an amazing groundskeeper? Let them give helpful tips to your “guests of the future” as a way to show your appreciation for the job they’re doing as well as connect to your audience.
These are just a few of the things that I would be interested in as a potential guest. Has your property made use of hangouts yet? What works best for you?