In a recent blog post, “Social Media 101 for independent hoteliers,” we provided tips for operators who’ve decided to take the leap of faith into the world of social media. Getting started will take effort and may be a bit nerve-racking, but the potential for establishing an engaged online community and reaping benefits like increased reservations is too good to ignore any longer. But as with any new adventure, independent hoteliers are likely to encounter a few bumps along the digital road.
Just like in daily hotel operations, online mistakes are inevitable, so the key for independent hoteliers is to fix them quickly when they do occur. Additionally, avoiding certain social media pitfalls will help ensure the online experience is enjoyable. A common misstep for those who are new to using social media for their hotel is treating their business profiles the same as their personal pages. The reality is that professional and personal social media accounts should be treated very differently, but, unfortunately, some operators learn this the hard way.
A great example of the difference between professional and personal social media is the frequency of when you login and participate online. All independent hoteliers have days (maybe too often) when there’s more to get accomplished than hours in the day, so logging into personal social media accounts drops to the bottom of the priority list. Going a few days without checking Facebook or Twitter is totally fine in your personal life, but this a huge mistake when managing a hotel’s accounts.
The gift and curse of social media is that everything happens fast, so taking several days to respond to a complaint or inquiry is a surefire way to agitate members of your online community. People communicate with businesses via social media because it’s direct, public and the likelihood of getting a quick response is very high. However, when a company doesn’t hold up their end of the deal, consumers simply move on to another business who will gladly accept their patronage and dollars.
Social media is a great tool for independent hoteliers to engage with past and potential guests, but this has to be done consistently. By checking your accounts at least twice daily, you’ll be able to quickly capitalize on opportunities that come your way, as well as avoid any issues that can erupt from being unresponsive.
Learn more about avoiding common social media missteps in our report, “Three Social Media Mistakes to Avoid at your independent hotel.” Click here to download your free copy today.