Category Archives: Social Media

How To Build An Emotional Connection Through Social Media For Your Hotel

Guest blog post by Cierra Savatgy-King of Pigtail Media, relationship-based, social media marketing for the hospitality industry.

Made them feel quoteThere was a recurring topic at the Boutique Lifestyle Leadership Symposium a few weeks ago: the experience doesn’t begin when your guests walk in your hotel lobby, it starts digitally.

How does a hotel build an emotional experience through digital connections on a computer where you can’t hear, smell or feel? Just like any boutique hotelier can agree, the tiny details make a difference in how you can make someone feel. Let’s take that idea and think digitally about it:

Find “emotional connections” or “emotional touch-points” on the hotel property 
Hoteliers are the first to understand that guests connect with details of your hotel and that is what they remember. Make sure your social media marketing team is doing its due diligence and asking what your staff is witnessing everyday; what do most people talk about? What do most people notice when they walk in hotel doors? What do people chat about positivity on online travel agencies? These answers can be a great base for discovering what focus will bring an emotional connection over social media. 

lake austin spa - 2

This above photo (left) is a great example of how you can take a simple photo paired with a creative caption and ignite a memory of what your experience is like. The photo on the right is a great example of listening to what your guests are asking about during their experience and bringing it online to keep them connected.

Find your voice and tone
Before posting anything on social media, it’s imperative to determine your brand voice and tone the accounts will emit. Come to a conclusion (and build a plan) with your social media team that solidifies the voice and tone in every single post. Be sure that it is aligned with how your staff engages with the guests everyday.

It’s not always easy finding ways to portray a feeling in 140 characters or less. A great exercise is to hold a brainstorming session with your social media team where you group together a piece of content (something you want to post) and the emotion you want someone to experience. Then work together to determine the exact chosen phrasing you would use accomplish that. Capturing those examples for future reference and going through this exercise helps the entire team stay extremely focused on providing the experiences on social mediums.

Here’s an example of how the same type of content post (a Happy New Year post) coming from two different brands with very different targets, can make someone feel completely different just by the chosen phrasing.

Screen Shot 2013-11-04 at 2.58.56 PM

Responding to comments and questions
How does your staff manage negative comments in person? Are there certain processes set in place for specific questions to quickly be delivered to the manager able to answer? What about questions that are frequently asked, positive and negative?

You’ll want to have your social media team or individual sit down with your customer service management team to determine how to answer frequently asked questions and the appropriate way to answer them. It’s also imperative to build a process for those unique questions or situations so that the team managing your social media presence knows exactly who to contact to receive a perfect answer that stays brand centric. That efficient process can mean the difference between an unhappy customer going viral, to a customer who feels acknowledged.

Create photos and videos that showcase your hotel
There is no better way to transport someone through sight and sound. Showcasing your hotel through photos and videos that capture elements that bring “emotional connection” (See above) can invite people to envision the experience.

For example, if you’ve ever been to Jackson Hole, you know that a moose sighting is quite the experience. Guests frequently share photos on social media when a moose is seen out their window. The Rustic Inn (above) does a great job capturing this experience and bringing it online for those wishing to be there.

Whatever you share, always remember that you are making someone feel something: let it be the emotional connection that your hotel provides… and let social media be an arm that grabs them from afar. 

About the Author: Cierra Savatgy-King is founder of Pigtail Media, relationship-based, social media marketing for the hospitality industry, including hotels & boutique hotels, tourism & travel, dining, entertainment, and music. You can follower her on Twitter at @CierraJesperson.

Life and all it holds for us in this industry

I have been remiss in keeping up with this Blog.  No excuses, so here I/we are again to talk about life.

What brought me to talking about life was an email from one of my staff about the passing of a leader in travel and tourism who I have known since my first day working in the industry with Carlson Travel.

Michelle Morgan, CEO at Signature Travel, worked tirelessly over so many years in the industry and made a terrific number of contributions to travel agents and suppliers to travel and tourism.  I remember her brilliance at Carlson with fond memories.  She was always so creative and so committed to whatever project she was working on.

We always hope, through our careers, that someone will notice the good that we are doing and hope that we can achieve this recognition during our time alive on earth.   Personally, I know so many people in our industry who give of themselves, of their capital and of their heart to helping others.

I make it a goal to ensure they are not forgotten and are celebrated in some way during their lives.  If you know of someone who deserves to be celebrated, you may email me for recognition here or enter them into our AWARDS for Person of the Year, or Hotelier of the Year.  Here is the link:  http://boutiqueleadershipconference.com/about-us/awards

CHEERS TO YOUR LIFE!

Fran

Frances Kiradjian
Founder and Chairwoman
info@blla.org

Social Media Street

Travelling “socially”

Social Media Street

The impact of Social Media on the travel industry

With the influx of new apps, platforms & services being released daily, even luxury travel couldn’t outrun the reach of social media. It seems as if travel plans are now almost completely reliant on social channels. Travelers find inspiration on Pinterest, track down deals on Twitter, browse popular hotels on Facebook, and get dining tips on Foursquare. Social media has quickly become the go-to travel agent.

Mobile Me
Boosting social media’s prominence in travel is the fact you can easily access sites through mobile apps. When traveling, it’s imperative to have a mobile device, meaning everything you need to check-in, eat and book is right at your fingertips. For example, on your way into town, you can simply pull out your phone and browse on Foursquare where friends have had dinner. Filled with thousands of listings, pictures and reviews, this app provides you with an idea about a restaurant, lounge, coffee shop without having ever visited. The app Foodspotting is similar, as you can post a picture of a dish after checking-in. Craving shrimp scampi? Browse the app for appetizing matches in the area. Gauging the general consensus regarding a particular place can save you from bad service, overpaying and an unflattering meal.

Share, Ask, Comment
The biggest advantage of using social media while traveling is word-of-mouth. Suggestions and tips from friends is one of the best sources of travel guidance, and can be attained instantaneously. Either by posting a question, or inquiring directly, social media allows you to receive true feedback from friends who’ve had similar experiences. In addition to asking questions, browsing reviews and sentiment of certain properties/eateries is easily accessed on social platforms.

Can You Help Me?
Business are catching on and riding the social media wave as well. Nearly every restaurant, hotel and airline has a Facebook and Twitter profile. By following/becoming friends with company pages you can learn about news, special offerings and events. You can also engage and interact with them directly. For instance, if you’re unfamiliar with the area, simply tweet the hotel using their Twitter handle. In most cases, they will respond right away with suggestions. This is also a great way to mediate personal complaints, as these platforms are transparent, and quality customer service is paramount.

Social media is ever-present in this tech-savvy generation, and the travel industry is diligently following suit. On your next trip, don’t ignore the flurry of check-ins, tweets and comments, as they are extremely helpful during your expeditions through uncharted waters

man travelling