In 2012, again, there was lots of discussion about social media for hotels: is it distribution channel or a marketing tool? We don’t think this questions has been answered yet and we should keep asking ourselves this question as the social media landscape evolves. However, you should make a decision on what you want out of social media for your hotel. And accordingly define a strategy for this year.
Whether you will focus on social media as a marketing channel, as a customer service channel or as a distribution channel: it stays very important to continuously monitor your reviews, comments and content across all channels because either way negative comments can influence your other vital distribution channels. To help you decide on this year’s social media strategy for your hotel we have identified a few trends for 2013 for you:
Social media is at the heart of everyday life and business environment nowadays. If the site your guests are visiting is not a social network itself then it’s usually at least connected to social with a social login, recommendations of your friends, or sharing buttons. Make social media the core of every online activity you want to explore for your hotel in 2013.
Most companies have put a lot of effort in growing the biggest possible fanbase on their social networks. Marketing departments are finally realizing that there’s more to life than just having lots of fans. Hotels and other travel companies will try to finally capitalize on their real fans by better analyzing who they are. Understanding your biggest brand advocates will help you create better stories to connect and engage with your true fans. More engagement with less, but more loyal customers will drive better results with the same budget.
Of course, there’s no real insight in pointing out that mobile is going to be big in 2013, but we will see more developments in targeting the local customer. Mobile advertising is growing and with the help of location based services like Foursquare and new technologies like Near Field Communication (NFC) we will be able to target the local customer. Their social media profiles will play a big role in these developments to identify these customers and his or her preferences.
The traditional television will become more interactive using social media. Second screen apps enable viewers not only to comment and share their feelings during shows, it’s also more and more used to trigger consumers to visit the website of advertisers through this second screen. Wouldn’t it be great to target guests while watching their favorite travel TV show that is just showing them how great your destination is? This can be a very good way to offer potential visitors a meaningful, interactive and personal offer. We also see lots of opportunities in making your current in-room entertainment system more social.
Social media based travel networks like Gogobot got pretty mature in the past year. And lots of similar services popped up in the meantime. Friends are 2013’s travel agent and tour guide but they will be spread over a multitude of networks. You should pay attention to this trend and the networks that will evolve around this.
Champagne image by Rogers1 Twitter image by sarahreido