Hotels now log on to social media
With social media playing a larger role in hospitality, speaks to various hoteliers to gain insight into how social media marketing techniques are boosting footfalls in hotels and helping build better relations with guests in India…
is a no brainer to see that social media is here to stay for good. The hospitality industry cannot discount the buzz of social marketing. How hotels decide to address it and what technologies they would invest time and money into should be a thought out plan – much like the approach to any good marketing initiative to increase footfalls. Thus, the hotel industry is now increasingly looking at leveraging social media as a way to engage with customers and increase affinity and loyalty.
Hospitality business has embraced effective social media marketing techniques to boost their customer service, enhance brand reputation and develop strong professional relationships.
Says Anuradha Kumar, Director Sales and Marketing, Hyatt Regency Delhi, “We are seeing a major growth in social media uptake in India. Hyatt has a strong market presence worldwide and social media marketing enables us to sustain and further our brand recognition in the Indian markets.”
Social network is seen as a way to enhance the consumer’s experience. “An online concierge can do it all for you – from generating reservations and making travel plans to shop for a lastminute gift. Having a concierge on your side is like having a full-time assistant ready and waiting for your next command. Although we do not have a virtual social concierge facility, we do have an E- Concierge option in place, which helps us a lot and is much appreciated by our guests,” Kumar opines.
According to her, Hyatt Regency Delhi is the only hotel in Delhi to offer online restaurant reservations, which it introduced in January 2012. The tool is available on every restaurant page on the Hyatt.com website and there has been a 50% monthly growth in online reservations from this channel alone.
Online reputation management has become the frontrunner for any hotel’s PR policy. It is not a question of whether hotels use social media but how effectively these networks are being utilised to improve brand recognition, loyalty and bookings. Apart from gaining customer loyalty, boosting conversations and building online reputation, one of the key reasons that hotels now maintain a consistent social media presence is for online bookings. This is where social medium and the hotel websites play a pivotal role. Feels Kriti Budhia, ADOS e-commerce, Accor India, “Social media has come up in a big way and although there are obvious benefits on engaging through this medi- um, there are a certain few things also that need to be taken care of before going overboard. We are looking at social media very seriously as a platform to engage with our customers and also potential customers and drive loyalty. For the same, we do a lot of work with TripAdvisor, Facebook, etc.” Regarding the increase in business via this medium, she argues, “A consistent social media presence has helped Accor India see an upward trajectory when it comes to the contribution of online bookings. The focus for Accor India will remain on increasing our engagement with the customers, in order to ensure they are captivated and get the information they want from the medium.” The French hospitality chain is actively involved in taking note of what is driving online purchase through research to understand what best can be offered to the customer, she adds.