Social Media for Hospitality – How to Manage Your Reputation Online

Posted by on Dec 8, 2016 in Blog, Social Media Tips | 0 comments

Social Media for Hospitality – How to Manage Your Reputation Online

Have you been to a bar, restaurant, or a hotel recently? Have you been tempted to jump onto Facebook or Twitter and share your experience with your friends?

I can guess that a good 80% of you probably have. I recently completed a research project on how susceptible the hospitality sector is to social media. And the results were very interesting. Customers are posting their experiences, good or bad, more and more often, with a profound effect.

In this blog, we will explore why this industry should be mindful of social media and offer some handy tips on how to manage it.

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Social Media for Hospitality

It’s a phrase you’ve probably heard or seen many times in restaurants, bars or hotels. It’s a way of getting customers to share their experience with their friends and family, but also give their feedback on their experience. Feedback on social media for the hospitality industry is particularly important as it works in three ways.

First, customers share their experiences so are therefore seen publicly. Genuine, authentic opinions are visible to pretty much anyone. Other potential customers can read these and make an informed decision on whether to use a restaurant or hotel. However, some customers like to bend the truth.

Second, it gives credibility. A restaurant with numerous 5-star Facebook reviews may have as much credibility as a restaurant featured in Nottingham’s Top 10 eateries guide.

Finally, it builds a reputation. Once a hotel or restaurant has improved their credibility through good customer reviews, they have a reputation. And it is vital that they maintain this reputation.

For hotels, restaurants, and bars alike, managing your reputation is particularly important. Take a leaf from Rudy’s Neapolitan Pizza’s book, in Manchester.

Are YOU Nottingham’s Best Hotelier?

Let’s take a look at two different scenarios.

Take these two real examples from TripAdvisor:

Social Media for Hospitality

Social Media for Hospitality

Can you see the difference between the positive and negative experience?

Whether it’s positive or negative, your customers will share their experiences.  You need to consider how your customers position you, opposed to how you position yourself. And again, be mindful of those rascals who will go out of their way to write the worst possible review.

A positive reputation can take months to build. It’s worth the effort though, as it will reinforce your market position. But a single bad review can destroy your business’s reputation in a matter of hours. So maintaining your reputation can be a tricky task. You should have coverage on a number of social media platforms – especially the popular ones like TripAdvisor – and manage any feedback you receive.

Be bold and try things, like Morton’s Hackensack in Newark:

Social Media for Hospitality

Social Media for Hospitality

Social Media For Hospitality – 6 Tips For Managing Your Reputation Online

Be proactive AND reactive – Seek to engage with both potential and existing customers, and respond to those who have engaged with you. Like this Ellie Goulding fan-page who indirectly mentioned a hotel in Nottingham. They have nearly 43,000 followers!

Social Media for HospitalityBe human – So many businesses make the mistake of being very robotic on social media. People like to talk to people, so treat them like people!

Know your target audience and make sure they know you – Tell them you will engage with them on specific channels.

Respond quickly – You may find it hard to respond quickly, but speed is key. Especially if it’s something bad. These things can snowball, and within hours you could be facing a crisis.

Don’t blur boundaries – You need to maintain some formality, because ultimately you are representing your business. Make sure you are aware of the tone of voice and the boundaries of interaction.

Embrace new platforms and technologies – Even if your business isn’t on certain platforms, customers will be. Don’t be afraid to try them.

We hope these tips give you some idea of how you can be more effective on social media. And these tips aren’t just for the hospitality sector! Any customer-facing business can use social media to manage their reputation.

Whether you’re running a hotel, a bar, a restaurant, or a different business entirely, get in touch if you want to find out more how you can manage your reputation on social media.

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