We've only just begun and according to Pew Research, credibility of news has continuously fallen over the past 10 years.
There's been a shift in the public's trust from news institutions to social media – "circles of trust" which allow your friends into your life. Results show that if you are trustworthy and authentic in social media, you can build and keep a following.
In this burgeoning digital world where we need to make "connections" more than "impressions" – and more, if not most, of our guests are communicating with friends, family and colleagues online – social media channels are changing the way we do business and forever altering how we attract and retain a loyal base. Now, with the evolution of platforms such as LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Flickr and YouTube, we have the opportunity for unprecedented access to guests.
In these difficult economic times when many hotels are not able to service debt and face foreclosure, the most successful hotels will create brand advocates by using social marketing tools and channels to grab the attention of new visitors and keep in touch with their loyal client base. Social media is a must-have in any communications initiative to boost business and the bottom line.
Those who ignore social media stand to become irrelevant. The influence of social media is so significant that, according to the US Interactive Marketing Spend, 2009 to 2014 (Forrester), interactive marketing spend will near $55 billion and represent 21% of all marketing spending by 2014. Social media will comprise 3% to 6% of the interactive marketing spend.
And not surprisingly, interactive marketing will cannibalize traditional media! Here is just some of what can social media can do for you:
- Reinforce your message and help it go viral
- Embrace and project your brand's personality
- Allow for real-time, two-way communication
- Allow you to communicate at point-of-need
- Build business and generate ROI
Hesitant to try? Many organizations have still not jumped in to leverage the power of social media, engage and integrate it with the rest of their marketing initiatives. To start, every company or property needs social media guidelines in order to know what platforms to use and what the key messaging will be.
To guide you in this process, we hope the following compilation will give you ideas on how to break through the clutter and join the dialogue for entrée to a whole new base of potential influencers.
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