Social Media Coaching explained
Social Media is a tool that will help Hotels bringing the experience to customers in new ways. Direct Sales is a major turnoff with this tool. The key with Social Media is to provide your Hotels customers with a Story Board where they are able to visualize themselves being part of the plot.
The role of the Social Media Coach is to choose strategy, designs, and creative aspects that meet the goals of the Hotel. And the Social Media Coach will assist in executing the strategy, and make adjustments when needed.
The Social Media Coach will apply strategies that support long and short term business goals.
1. Social Media is NOT FREE
Most Social Media channels today is FREE to join. This is very similar to a Hotels Loyalty Program. Most Hotel Loyalty programs today is FREE to join. But to earn points customers is in most cases required to take some form of action. Most commonly customers earn loyalty points when either a business or pleasure transaction with a Hotel is completed. And in most cases the loyalty membership is within a given Hotel Chain. To exchange points for a Hotel service or product customers is required to have the qualified amount for the service available.
Social Media is no different, once there comes a transaction in play certain requirements need to be in place. To succeed with Social Media your Hotel is required to implement a Social Media Strategy. And this process require time, commitment and focus.
2. Social Media is HYPE
I will say there is no reason to Jump or freak out because your Hotel not have a Social Media presence yet.
No doubt there is a lot of noise on Social Media today, and YES some of the information that comes through there is overly hyped up. And some days it can be a task in itself just filtering through all the noise.
The good thing is that there is many tools available today that easily let us filter through this noise. Listening is a skill that reputable Social Media Coaches today should both have themselves, and also be part of their coaching program.
We are passed the Social Media Tipping point, so take time to learn how to embrace it in ways that protect the integrity of your Hotel. And learn how to steer away from the Hype.
3. Social Media is too Time Consuming
If Social Media consume too much of your Time then this is caused by:
- No Social Media Strategy
- Too complex Social Media Strategy
- You are not following the Social Media Strategy
A good Social Media Coach will assist your Hotel with implementing proper Content Management Strategies.
Social Media for Hotels function as a outbound tool where you will be required to respond properly to concerns and positive information. The key for a Social Media Coach is to help your Hotel identify a balance that don’t take away time from other required tasks.
4. Social Media makes us Vulnerable
Accounts has been hacked, employees has spread info that damaged the brand, customers has posted incorrect information etc.
Security and Integrity is still among the Core values for Hotels. Social Media has not changed this fact.
Proper response is a strategy. No response is missed opportunities.
This is where a good Social Media Coach really comes in play. Part of your Hotels Outbound Strategy is to build a Social Media Tribe that you can collaborate with. This Tribe will consist of loyal fans that will assist your Hotel with responding to concerns and positive information. Today my Social Media Tribes is my most valuable and trusted advocates.
And I am part of some brands Social Media Tribes. They will come to me and ask if I will tweet a specific promotion, or if a customer has a question they ask me for my feedback.
This type of Social Media Tribe is build up on trust and your Social Media Coach will assist you in setting proper ground rules.
Outsourcing this type of information might appear a bit scary, and in some case maybe a little crazy. I am going to be totally honest here this was something I personally did not support for a long period.
My change of heart comes as a result of all the requests I received over the years. And I have partnered with services that allowed me to see the values of this transition.
5. Social Media equals NO ROI
Customer likes, shares and comment on your Social Media Content. But there is no conversion into bookings from Social Media.
How do your Hotel measure ROI for billboards and road signs? I will assume to figure out this info you have to either ask the customers, get them to respond to a survey or ask this question through a focus group.
Social Media is a bit more complex. If I share a compelling story about your Hotel on Twitter there is no kind of mechanics put in place that will lead to an automatic booking for your Hotel. What I initiated was part of what we call earned media. Earned Media (or Free Media) comes through your Hotel Social Media Tribe. People in my Network consider me a trusted source.
In a trusted relationship through your Social Media Tribe there will also be initiated several forms of advises, tips and referrals.
6. Social Media is NOT Measurable
If you are looking to measure bottom line results like RevPar, ADR or Occupancy then follow the traditional ways to track these results. No reason to reinvent the wheel.
The key to Social Media success is to know what to measure. And don’t try to measure things you really can’t measure.
Don’t read me wrong I focus on Traffic Volume and Conversion as much as anyone. And my overall principle is that Average Value Visitor Value > Average Cost per Click.
Social Media plays a major role in my biz strategies. And results is important to all of us as it should be. The moment results becomes unimportant I know my biz has become a hobby.
A Social Media Coach will help your Hotel identify important Social Media Key Performance Indicators (KPI).
7. Social Media will make your Hotel go Viral
Going Viral seems to be the Social Media Carrot that drives many brands today. Even though we see both positive and negative news go viral.
Let me be crystal clear going viral should not be part of your Social Media strategy. Content goes viral on Social Media when several elements is aligned. Often this content is very simple, but it touch the Customer Nerve in a way that make the experience stand out. If your content goes viral, you better be prepared!
Focus on building a Social Media Tribe that will like, share and comment on your Hotels content within a large network.
A Social Media Coach will help you keep your expectations at a realistic level, and more important a level that will benefit your Hotel.
8. Social Media a Customer Service Channel
Let me just start with throw out another fireball here. Social Media is NOT your Hotels Customer Service Channel! Not many Social Media Coaches that will share type of information with you. I’m not a traditional Social Media coach, and I will help take your Hotel to a new level. Are you ready? Does Hotel have what it takes to make a real difference for your Customer?
The real key is that Social Media is an Experience Channel. You are still required to respond to concerns, and serve your customers wants and needs.
You want to become a performer that execute all tasks small or large with the same enthusiasm.
Look at Zappos. The Social Media Customer has defined this brand as the ultimate Service Brand. The key to Zappos success is that Customer Service has become a unique part of the Customer Experience. They have built a unique relationship of trust with the Customer. Zappos Customers has a unique confidence that they can return their merchandises with no questions asked. This creates a unique value proposition for Zappos products.
9. Social Media is where customers are today
Social Media will not make hungry customer line up outside your Hotel. Go to the mall for a day and observe customer patterns. Hundreds of customers will pass by a large amount of stores every day. Why do so many customers pass a store that is right in front of their face? It is all habits and human behavior. The Mall has a defined role in our society today.
Take a look at old school Tupperware parties. Home parties is small group that function as similar to a Social Media Tribe. This Tribe becomes part of a bigger ecosystem. And peer-pressure becomes a recognized strategy.
Social Media takes this to a new level. Here the Tribe will bond on common values. These bonds are so strong that when A needs the world to know about his product or service everyone in his Social Media Tribe will share the info with their network.
Let say your Hotel was in my Social Media Tribe and have a Special Mother’s Day Brunch. Your Hotel will invite me to bring my mother, and ask if I would invite some of my friends to bring their mother to the Special Mother’s Day Brunch. The way a Social Media Tribe will work then is that I will not only invite my friends, but I will add a free bonus. Your Hotel then learns the real value of the Social Media Tribes Circle of Trust.
10. Social Media Dashboard
Social Media captures information shared in real time. And yes at times it can be really noisy, and sometimes difficult to filter out all the noise.
And there are hundreds of various tools that can guide you through the Social Media jungle. Of course it will be just insane to take advantage of every tool that is out there.
A Social Media Manager will identify the tools that will get the job done for you. Building a Social Media Dashboard that will listen and collect data for you is very important. You need data that assist you making an educated decision. If you craft a Tweet in response to a concern and hope for the best when you push send – you are in trouble.
The primary functions of your Social Media Dashboard should function of two core functions: Reputation Management and Relationship Marketing.
Social Media Coaching for your Hotel
Social Media is constantly evolving and changing. Staying on top off all this can be a daunting task for many Hotels.
Social Media is no magic wand, but with proper strategies in place magic can happen.
Please don’t buy into hypes just to learn that you got sucked into a meme.
Many Hotels fear the flip side of Social Media. This is one of the reasons why Reputation Management is so important.
Sometimes we will screw up and make mistakes. Social Media will not prevent this. I know I for sure is not perfect, and I have done my share of mistakes.