As an independent hotel software provider, our goal is to help hoteliers improve their operations and eliminate big, costly mistakes, like overbookings and accounting errors. But we also coach our hotel partners on avoiding small issues so they don’t become long-term headaches. Today, we’re looking at social media and effective ways to easily sidestep some far-too-common pitfalls.
Ever come across a company’s great-looking social media page, but realize it hasn’t been updated in six months? As a potential customer, it’s very disappointing. Unfortunately, this happens a lot with short-handed small businesses, like independent hotels, using social media. After the initial excitement wears off, operators realize that managing social media takes time and effort, so it steadily drops to the bottom of their To Do list. So with every passing week of inactivity, the number of missed sales opportunities grows – creating a problem that didn’t previously exist.
This is why using a content calendar is so important for independent hotel operators who want to use social media successfully. It keeps hoteliers organized and on-schedule so they can fully leverage the influence of social media to build relationships with travelers and grow their business. Click here to read our blog post about using a content calendar to keep your social media momentum.
Ignoring comments and complaints
Next to inconsistent posting, ignoring comments and complaints is the biggest mistake independent hoteliers make on social media. Like it or not, social media is a customer service channel for travelers. When they post comments or complains, they expect timely responses – generally within 24-48 hours. Positive comments can be handled with a quick like or “Thanks!”, but complaints are trickier and where mistakes are often made.
Rather than ignoring complaints, try to move conversations offline by apologizing, leaving your phone number and/or email address and asking the person to contact you to speak in greater detail. This shows the traveler, and other members of your online community, that you’re quick to respond and ready to find a solution. If this is unsuccessful, take the time to craft a well-written response and again ask the traveler to contact you directly. By addressing social media issues immediately, travelers learn that you take customer service seriously, both on-property and online.