“What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas. What happens on Twitter stays on Google forever!” – Jure Klepic
Social media has brought a level of communication between brands and consumers that has never been seen before. For hoteliers, this brings with it a lot of work and attention to detail to expand service to the digital space, but the reward potential is high. Here are a few ideas to meet your guests where they are, personalize the journey, and own your digital guest experience.
Facebook – Travelers tend to use Facebook during the planning phase of the journey, as well as during the stay. During planning, they want to get a feel for what to expect, so be sure to have plenty of photos and videos of your property and its surroundings. Savvy guests will also be paying attention to comments and your responses, as this can be telling in terms of service levels. Not every property will have time to respond to every comment, but the more you can do in this area, the better.
During the stay, Facebook’s check in feature allows guests to show their trip to their friends. You may consider giving special offers to those who check in from your property.
Twitter – While guests may use Twitter to share about their journey, the most important use is customer service. Keep a running search for your property name along with direct mentions to discover what guests are saying as they arrive and while they’re on your property. Responses should be fast and pleasant. Twitter can be a goldmine of guest information, so this is a perfect chance to have a guest’s preferred snack or wine waiting for them on arrival, or a customized welcome or departure message.
Instagram – Instagram is all about the images, and travelers love it. Along with using it to highlight the beauty of your destination, pay attention to the comments you receive to see who may be visiting soon. Instagram users tend to share photos of their favorite things, so a quick scan could reveal enough information to personalize their stay in a non-creepy way. Think favorite coffee, tea, or chocolate. If they are passionate photogs, be sure that they’ll be sharing their own images of your property. If engagement is what you’re after, consider hosting an Instagram contest among your guests.
The easiest and most time-tested way to personalize the guest experience is direct interaction, face to face, on the phone, or via SMS. All of these channels are a means for guests to communicate their needs and preferences to you, and each is an opportunity for a solid guest experience and perhaps a little surprise and delight.