Why your front office team should be having conversations with your guests on facebook too!

As Social Media is continually evolving, from first-hand experience I know the difficulties that hotels face just to keep up with the ever-changing times.  When a new social channel launches, the whole buzz is about how every hotel should get on it a bit like on this video here:-

As much as the social media landscape is evolving it is clear though that there are two leaders, Twitter and Facebook. However when placed side by side, one dwarfs the other.   Where Twitter has 302 million monthly active users, Facebook has a mind-boggling 1.44 billion monthly active users.  So most hotels in Europe can say quite safely that the majority of their guests use Facebook.  With that in mind, their recent announcement should grab the attention of a few Hotel Managers ears.

Page responsiveness to messaging

Facebook has for some time been working on improving customer service  features for their business pages, most recently with the introduction of “Saved Replies,” a feature that allows administrators to quickly respond to incoming enquiries with canned (pre-written) replies. Now, admins will be able to tout just how fast they do answer their customers’ questions, as a number of Facebook users report seeing a “response rate” feature. The addition will show a Page’s responsiveness info to Page admins, and if the rate is high, it will also be displayed to Page visitors via an icon below the cover photo.  So in a nutshell, if your Hotel is great at responding to guest queries and questions, your future guests are going to know about it!

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Not all Facebook Pages appear to have this feature yet, which typically indicates either a staged rollout or a test. The feature has been spotted before, but Facebook recently published official documentation detailing how the feature works, which signals this is more than a test and is here to stay.  The feature is only available to those Pages that have allowed people to contact the Page.    When a Page has a high response rate, this information is displayed publicly to visitors alongside a green messages icon right below the Cover photo on the left-hand side of the screen.

You have to meet two specific metrics over the past seven days: you have responded to 90 percent of their messages, with a median response time of 5 minutes for all replies sent.

Though this is a relatively small move by Facebook, it comes at time though when they are trying to make its social networking platform more appealing to businesses with the recent launch of their call to action buttons and connectivity to Shopify.

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So how can hotels respond within 5 minutes?

A lot of hotels ask me this question and my response is always, “Social Media is not a tool just for your marketing department, it is a conversation that everyone at the Hotel can join in on”.  Where do you receive normally your guest questions and comments? At your reception, so why change that with Facebook?  Who can talk about a picture of a menu or a question on how a particular plate is prepared? A chef. How different is it to leaving the kitchen to speak to a guest?  Hotels have to be more proactive and remember social media is an ongoing conversation that when a guest is at your Hotel or Resort is having with you all.  Hospitality is a 24-hour industry so unless you want to have a 24 hour, 7 days a week, non-stop marketing department that knows every last detail about your hotel, you are going to have to come up with a better solution, especially when the majority of your guests are right now having conversations on Facebook forget, and let’s not forget, guests leave reviews on facebook too

Used in the right way, you can make your hotel team feel included with your social media marketing strategy.   I have implemented this successfully in hotels and I have seen first hand the benefits not only in an increase in staff morale but also a visible increase in direct online revenue.  There are so many ways on how your staff can create content for you as well as offer insight into the hotel for guests that are planning to stay with you thus providing a unique and pleasurable experience that all hotels & resorts strive to offer their guests.

Hotelient understands that Social Media is not just about posting lovely photos or great stay offers, it is so much more. We can advise and implement for your hotel to get ahead in Social Media without breaking into a sweat and start a new type of conversation with your guests whilst improving your bottom line and staff morale.  Email us for further information info@hotelient.net

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