Intro / Context
The social media has an enormous impact on the hotel industry and will continue to grow, looking at the participation and members of users. The development of the technology from mobile communication with smart phones helped to attract an enormous number of people and the way they communicate to each other through the social media. All this has an effect on the consumer’s behaviour and the interaction between suppliers and consumers. The importance of feedbacks from customers can have a huge impact on the reputation scale from a hotel.
Results / Analysis and discussion
The development in the mobile communication in case of thesmartphones has lead to the so called “short format reviews” (Hotel Business Review, 2012) which are written and read by the customers. It has
become that easy for a customer to write or to post a little note on a social media like twitter or Facebook while waiting for a meal in a restaurant or being upset by the quality from the hotel r
oom for example. The consumers can write feedbacks at any time and almost everywhere. When a person writes a negative review about your service, it can have a huge impact on your business when this person has a large following on his social media.
Manny companies are using their own customer profiling program in order to create profiles about its users. While counting the number of clicks per visitor or measuring the time a user stays on the website, allows the companies to do a specific market segmentation in order to operate and interact in a way the consumer wants to.
Companies and especially the hotel industry that combines both the online and offline feedback will have a better data collection in order to set their goals. This helps to make improvements in their weaknesses, changes or adaptions. It is important to be aware of the fact that feedbacks from anonymous are generally unbiased source and relyabel.
The hotel manager can also use the technology to measure the quality, service of employees, the hotel itself and the brand performance while evaluating the comments, reviews complaints etc. The numbers of feedback, short reviews or posts are maybe not an opportunity to attract the individual, but it can be used to identify some further trends and to act regarding the needs shown and communicated through the customers. This is where you can show your quality and be distinguished from other competitors.
Advantages of online reviews (list from Hotel Business Review, 2012)
- Guest can respond in a way that is easy for them
- They can do provide feedback whenever they want (often via mobile)
- They can talk about whatever impressed or annoyed and can share opinions more frequently
- For hotels that do a good job of providing an excellent guest experience, reviews posted online can act as powerful sales messages
The big trend towards Hotel reputations goes in the direction of reviews shown in different social media. Our knowledge as a consumer has increased by making better decision because of the visibility of the data’s. “Hotels have to be creative in the future to find a way to ask the customer to share their experience online through reviews. You have to create a USP which lead the customer to talk about to share their experience with the entire world.” (Hotel Business Review, 2012)
The interaction with customers via social media helps a hotel to identify the product or service that fits the market needs of customers. It helps to build up loyalty while using the feedback / reviews to guide their operations and decisions in the entire organisation.
“Social media and reputation management must move from a marketing tactic to an operational function” (Hotel Business Review, 2012)
It does not matter how you use these trends in your own hotel or organisation as long as you realize that every hotel around the globe are taking steps to leverage the growing importance of the social media. The social media can be used to improve performance through any organisation. Invest in the technology available which offers you the ability to take advantage of the opportunity which leads to maximize the return on investment.
Author: François Zimmermann
Friedlander, R.J. (2012).Social Media & Review Management Trends for Hotels in 2012. Retrieved November, 11.2012 from http://hotelexecutive.com/business_review/2899/social-media-review-management-trends-for-hotels-in-2012
Michelle, C. (2012). Hotels & Social Media: trends, obstacles and 2012.Retrieved November, 11.2012 from http://www.avvio.com/news/hotels-and-social-media-trends-obstacles-and-2012.html
Colourbox (2012). Stock image of ‘Illustration of the thumb up symbol, which is composed of words on social media themes. Retrieved November, 11.2012 from http://www.colourbox.com/image/illustration-of-the-thumb-up-symbol-which-is-composed-of-image-3376264