The Room Key is LODGING’s advice column for hoteliers, managers, and team members at all levels of hospitality. Have a question for our experts? Submit it here.
My hotel has no social media presence. What should I do?
“I work in revenue management. The hotel I work for doesn’t invest in social media at all, and barely updates our accounts. I have tried to have a conversation about it with our director of sales and marketing, but he doesn’t see it as a priority. It’s not my job to make sure we have a social presence, but I strongly believe we’re missing out by not promoting the property. Any advice for how to make that happen?”
Having a social media presence—and a large one at that—is integral in such a crowded industry. It’s not only a key component in for successful marketing but also reputation management. Over two billion users are on social media worldwide. Even if your hotel isn’t on social, your competitors sure are.
The best thing about social media is that it’s free. Leveraging free social media platforms like Facebook, TripAdvisor, Yelp, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest provide instant media exposure at no cost to the hotel. Through these platforms hotels are able to connect, engage, and interact with current guests and be a part of the dreaming phase for potential guests.
Our guests are our influencers and they play a huge role in how we are perceived. With social media, we can take part in that conversation in real time. We can learn from what our guests have to say about us and use their feedback to change and enhance the guest experience.
While your DSM might have trouble finding the ROI in social media, I can tell you that we find tremendous value in these channels because they drive a high percentage of traffic to our sites where we can actually track revenue back to the source. Through this tool, we can connect with our target demographic, which can result in an increase in bookings.
Ultimately, we need to do everything we can to ensure that guests and potential guests see our hotel and our brand as their happy place through our posts and images. With so many options out there, we need to tap into every resource we possibly can.
Answered by Chris Mueller, general manager of the Hilton Orlando.