Accommodation providers take reputation management seriously when it comes to guest feedback on TripAdvisor, but often under-appreciate the need to closely monitor other social media channels.
This is a lost opportunity to gain short term insight and long-term goodwill.
Here are 3 reasons hotels need to prioritise social listening:
- Instant karma
Social Media is a two-way communications channel; you can talk to guests, and guests can talk back. You can have a real conversation with an individual. Not so with TripAdvisor: By the time you respond, the damaging review may already have been posted.Not to mention, social media trains consumers to expect an immediate response, and an already irritable customer can get more irritable if they don’t receive a response in an adequate amount of time. Ignoring a problem doesn’t make it go away. It can often exacerbate the situation.
Most negative posters on hotel social media channels are still on the property when they post.
And they aren’t doing it for their own enjoyment, either: 78 percent of people who complain to a brand via Twitter expect a response within an hour. By monitoring and responding ASAP, hoteliers can potentially engage these dissatisfied guests during their stay – and win them over – before they turn their vitriol into permanent TripAdvisor or OTA reviews.
Another instant benefit of social listening for hotels is the ability to glean insight on guest experience and product/service issues – both positive and negative.
If your accommodation makes the mistake of ignoring positive comments about your property, you’ve just lost out on valuable testimonials you can utilise, as well as gaining useful feedback and a chance to strengthen relationships with users. And if you ignore negative comments, you’ll damage your brand and foster negative social proof.
Further, by listening to social media channels and acting quickly, accommodation providers are often able to delight guests with unexpected surprises that create long-term loyalty and evangelism. These opportunities – which are fleeting and must be capitalised on almost immediately – can offer significant branding value, at minimal cost.
One company making tremendous strides to this end is Marriott, which has tasked its M Live team with constant monitoring of social channels, for the sake of surprising guests with enhanced service touches, like a free bottle of champagne delivered on-site for guests who got engaged while staying at a property.
- Complete strangers are talking about you…
It’s not just your fan base that you have to worry about.
Non-fans and non-followers are talking about your brand too. It’s crucial to listen to these potential influencers as well.
Surprisingly, 96 percent of the users who discuss brands online don’t actually follow those brands’ profiles, according to a Brandwatch report.
You can be reactive and only monitor people who directly comment or tag your hotel’s Instagram “handle” (your actual Instagram account name) in a picture. You’ll receive a notification and you can respond accordingly.
But there are more proactive ways of monitoring ALL relevant sentiment on Instagram. By typing the generic name of your hotel or property-specific hashtags in the search bar, you can discover additional content that guests have posted about your property.
- Discover (and celebrate) the evangelists
Hotel social media monitoring isn’t just about catching people bashing your hotel: It’s equally valuable when guests are celebrating their experiences on channels such as Instagram.
Over the last few years, storytelling and other forms of user-generated content (UGC) have become some of the most popular and cost-effective methods for hotel marketers looking to harness digital and social media and put more heads in beds.
This is driven by a decline in consumer trust in advertising; instead, consumers now look to one another for credibility. UGC such as photos, videos, and posts about hotel experiences are viewed as more authentic and less sales-focused, so using that content to your advantage can offer tremendous benefits.
By monitoring things closely, you can locate and celebrate those brand ambassadors who are taking pictures of their property experience, allowing you to benefit from what is essentially free positive publicity.