Hoteliers have been struggling to get a handle on the fast-moving social media universe. Whether it’s developing process for responding to guest issues, or even simply learning how to use Twitter, there are more and more options each day and it’s a struggle just to keep up.
A social media program is more than just responding to guest comments or sending out Twitter promotions. A comprehensive social media strategy has three components: strategy creation, monitoring and managing, and analysis. Much attention has been focused on the first two components, but hoteliers are just beginning to scratch the surface of the third. We will review the first two components, and then focus attention on the analysis stage to provide a deeper understanding of the options available to turn the data generated by your social media efforts into a strategic information asset.
The first stage is creating the social media strategy, which forms the foundation of the program. A good social media program is based on an online personality, which is not only compelling but also congruent with the brand personality. A channel management strategy dictates which channels to focus on and which messages to push through those channels. The goal of this phase is to establish a presence in the social media universe. Many companies employ an agency or consulting firm to help them through this stage, although this is not always necessary.