Here is the piece by Adam Kirby on Social Media tips for Hotels, followed by my FIVE POINTS -
Quick Social Media Tips For Hotels
April 1, 2010
In this month’s issue of HOTELS, I take a look at how a few hotels are doing social media marketing well despite relatively small budgets and staffs. Here are a few easy things hotels can do to keep a responsible social media presence, even without a large commitment of time or money.
* Register your username on every site. Even if you do not plan on engaging on each site right away, controlling your name is simply good business. Any given site may soar or fizzle, but it is crucial to own your brand identity, just in case.
* Empower your employees and get out of their way. Passionate line staff can sell the hotel as convincingly as any marketing professional, and if they are allowed to be themselves, that authenticity will shine through.
* Focus more on quality of followers than quantity. A dozen influential fans who become brand advocates can be more valuable than a thousand passive followers. Cultivate relationships and they will pay off down the road.
* Develop a story about your hotel. Give followers a theme to latch onto that sets your property apart from the competition, then incorporate it into your social media interactions. Be memorable.
* Collect content from colleagues. Regardless of who is actually in charge of the social media effort, they should involve their coworkers by gathering useful information to tweet or post. “These types of outlets need to be constantly fed with information, and it’s not always packages and offers,” says Suzanne Wenz, who oversees social media for The Fairmont Copley Plaza, Boston. “Sometimes it’s just stuff like, ‘What’s the bartender mixing up in the bar.’ Sometimes I’ll touch base with the concierges and find out what’s going on in town.”
* Make it fun. Social media is a seriously important part of today’s marketing landscape, but that does not mean it should be serious. Be light-even a little edgy, if it suits your brand-and your fans will actually look forward to your postings, rather than merely skimming over them.
Do you have some more quick tips to share?
L Aruna Dhir commented:
My two cents -
1. Use all kinds of social media, exhaustively but judiciously dove-tailing it back to your brand image and philosophy. That is to say, go hammer and tongs on all that is available - LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Blogs, Youtube......
2. Use photos and videos well - the old dictum of a picture being worth thousand words still stands. Plus it helps profile your brand.
3. Invite group membership, fan bases, user participation with contests, comments, award-winning entries etc. etc.
4. Have internal contests as part of your employee communication strategy and get the little known brand ambassadors to participate on the blog, Group page etc. Highly morale boosting.
5. Study the competition(s), benchmark and innovate your own set of social media marketing strategies.