I wrote the following article for Cleverdis which was published just recently. To see the original article you can see the online version of the Magazine here. I thought it would serve our readers to also republish it on WIHP’s Magazine.
Social Media isn’t just a bunch of hype, it’s the evolution of word of mouth which has always been the number one advertising and PR medium for any product, even more so for hotels. Here’s how hotels can take advantage of it to it’s fullest.
Travel is social, Hotels are not
See the online version of the Magazine here
What should hoteliers do with social media
Travelling is social, hotels are personal. One socializes when one travels but stays personal at the hotel. The hotel experience is about intimacy and not about sharing. So how do hoteliers insert themselves in the social conversation?
Firstly understand that guests share very good experiences and very bad experiences. The mediocre or “just-asgood-as-expected” experienced don’t get shared.
Then you need to understand the 90-9-1 principle which is that 1% of the “community” create content (post on social media and reviews), 9% will act as editors (sometimes modifying or adding to an existing post and 90% are readers or just an audience.
To insert your hotel in the conversations on social media (and they are happening by the millions every day) you’ll need to deliver a better-than-expected experience and use your existing guests as ambassadors for you.
So while a hotel experience is all but a social experience during the guest’s stay it will rapidly become social once they leave. Per a study we conducted of over 13,000 hotel guests 25% of them booked at the hotel because a friend or family told them about the hotel.
By delivering a great experience, having social media presence (a Facebook page, Twitter account, Foursquare profile etc) and encouraging guests to tell their friends about it and “tag” the hotel’s page you begin to use those guests as ambassadors who will become the 1% and their friends become the 9% which in turn goes out to the 90%.
At best your actions should sometimes be 1% (creative) actions but focus on the 9% (editing and commenting) on the creations of happy guests.
In summary, a hotel guest isn’t being social in the hotel, they’re being social when they leave the hotel. The conversation is happening already, the proof is that it’s the biggest source of reservations for hotels. Hoteliers need to control it by delivering a great experience and using social media as a tool to add to the word of mouth that is already happening and thus reaching hundreds of thousands of potential future guests rather than the typical 50 friends and family of the existing guests.
Vincent Ramelli on Google+
Vincent Ramelli is the CEO and Founder of WIHP a leading hotel marketing agency specialized in complete marketing solutions for independent hotels that manages dozens of high profile social media campaigns.
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