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The Future of Hotel Technology | Part III: Social Media

Aug 11, 2012 11:00:14 PM

By Dan Lulich, Chief Technology Officer, Eleven Wireless

The Social Media Revolution

There is no doubt about it – in less than a decade, social media has drastically changed the world we live in. From Facebook and Twitter, to Yelp to Pinterest – there are an abundance of different social media platforms that are transforming the way we live and how we do business on a daily basis. And this has definitely impacted the hospitality industry.

Back in the day (as in just 6 or 7 years ago) when you checked in to a hotel you were often shown to the concierge desk and told to look to them for guidance on local information. From which restaurants to check out, all the way to booking you sightseeing tours, these concierges were one of the main ways that hotels connected with their guests during their stay. But now, guests can pull up their Yelp app and see what locals really say about local restaurants, or book show tickets themselves using the promo code they found on Twitter.

So how are hotels responding to this? By using social media to engage with their guests before they even arrive! Check it out for yourself, log on to Facebook or Twitter and you will see that the major brands such as Starwood and Marriott have created accounts, and are actively using these platforms to share corporate news and promotions. Individual properties of major brands have also created accounts to connect even deeper with their customers. They are actively using social media to talk to their guests; sharing nightly specials, seasonal menus, chef biographies, directions, photos, and much more with just one click.

Case in Point: The Beverly Wilshire

The Beverly Wilshire Hotel is a great example of this. Check out this recent tweet from the world-renowned hotel:

@BeverlyWilshire: Our #BWSpa Tip: Argan oil is an all-natural oil that is full of antioxidants and has incredible benefits for the skin! ow.ly/cRtW2

The Beverly Wilshire Hotel is using Twitter to educate their customers about a new product, but also letting them know that their spa is the place to find this. To take it one step further, not only does their hotel have its own handle, but also their spa has its own hashtag. Once a guest sees this, they can search the hashtag and engage in conversation with others talking about the Beverly Wilshire Spa.

Why it Matters

Social media is powerful. If you have a guest in your hotel that has a bad experience and they take to Facebook, Twitter, or Yelp to rant about it – it could possibly impact your business. Which is why it is so important to stay on top of and monitor social media sites. But more importantly, you should focus on giving your guests the best overall experience ever. While forging a deeper connection with guests before they even arrive using social media platforms is a great way to get the ball rolling, you must also deliver once guests arrive. An online guest engagement platform – like Eleven – is a great way to round out your overall strategy.

How do you use social media to connect with your guests?