In earning a hospitality management degree you have the ability to further develop your skills and knowledge in working directly with customers or behind the scenes to ensure positive guest experiences. It used to be that guest experiences were shared with family and friends in person. Thanks to social media, an individual can now share their experiences with hundreds of people in their network—with just a quick click of a mouse—which has the potential to have a tremendous impact. You’ve probably noticed already how social media can quickly spread positive or negative reviews from guests as well as how social media and hospitality are linked together as hospitality businesses use social media to improve their visibility.
According to research from BrightLocal (PDF)
, people are reading fewer reviews, but trusting the opinions of other customers at a higher level. Because of this, those working in the hospitality industry doing hotel marketing or restaurant social media marketing strategies should understand how social media could be used to ensure a positive guest experience.
Start listening to hospitality social media
The first and most important step for social media marketing use in the hospitality industry is identifying social networks where people are talking about your employer and closely monitoring the conversations. These sites should include Facebook, Twitter, TripAdvisor and Yelp, but additional research might show that other channels should also be monitored. Listening to what has already been said by customers will give your employer a good idea of the organization’s reputation and give you a clear snapshot of strengths, as well as areas for improvement.
Extend customer service to social media
If during social media listening it is found that people are mentioning that they recently used your employer\’s services or plan on doing so in the future, this could be acknowledged with “thank you” or “we look forward to seeing you.” This is a quick way to engage with customers and personalizes their experience.
Offer apologies if needed
Not every customer will have a stellar experience, but the way a negative experience is handled can speak a thousand words. If a customer or guest shares via social media that they were unhappy with their experience or post a negative review; it is important for your employer to respond as soon as possible with an apology. If possible, it is also a good idea for them to offer a gesture to make up for their dissatisfaction, like a discount for their next visit.
as part of your social media strategy Share positive feedback
People don’t only share negative experiences, but positive ones as well. Reposting or highlighting posts where customers or guests speak well about your employer and their experience is always a good idea. As shown in the survey by BrightLocal, reviews can have a big impact and sharing those positive recommendations can help manage your employer’s reputation.
Social media can be a huge asset and tool for those working in hospitality management and, if used correctly, can help improve and enrich guest experience. Understanding how social media impacts the industry will help you in providing quality customer service and will impress any future employer.