Exploiting the Full Power of Social Media

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Social media is constantly evolving and softening the customer to the "business connection." Its effective use can help steer the hotel industry out of the current recession.

As more hotels adopt such social media conduits like Facebook and Twitter, customers will feel more intimately connected to the brand and services a hotel or chain can offer them. To hotel management, social media can be an invaluable tool in providing the first-hand feedback so necessary to service improvement.

Some guidelines and tips to fully exploit the power of social media.

Enroll your staff. Be ever vigilant in managing your hotel’s reputation online. Get your staff to monitor Facebook and Twitter, even with their own accounts. You'll need to train your staff to delineate discussion topics.

Invest in a pro. Social media remains a PR and marketing task that calls for professional expertise. Have a pro set things up and even provide some staff training. Starting off on the right foot will save you a lot of grief down the road.

Define goals and messages. Establish specific marketing and PR goals you hope to achieve with social media. Establish target messages that reflect your brand and services. Review and measure your efforts, and adjust if necessary.

Moderate. Stay focused and on topic. Use your brand and messaging goals as a guide. Conversations are fluid and can segue quickly into all sorts of unrelated areas. Some times complaints can go viral; in that case, you have to handle it with tact and skill.

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Alex A. Kecskes has written hundreds of published articles on health/fitness, "green" issues, TV/film entertainment, restaurant reviews and many other topics. As a former Andy/Belding/One Show ad agency copywriter, he also writes web content, ads, brochures, sales letters, mailers and scripts for national B2B and B2C clients.


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