How to Respond to Owners and Guests on Social Media
What your resort needs to know about listening online and response time.
Consumers will take to social media for customer-support requests more so than other contact platforms this year, according to technology research company Gartner’s Gartner Predicts 2017: CRM Customer Service and Support. “The ability to communicate in real time with a brand is something more consumers are demanding, even on nights, weekends and holidays,” says Adrienne Callandrello, director of social media at RCI. Travel brands would do well to make it easy for owners and guests to reach out with questions and concerns over Facebook, Twitter and Instagram—and get a timely response.
To manage incoming messages on these social networks, create a listening-and-response process. Listening involves monitoring direct mentions of the brand on social media and checking in-boxes daily so that staff can respond promptly to owners’ concerns. Designate a staff member to address messages, and develop a response plan that describes the brand’s tone of voice and lists to whom the social monitor can pass questions in each department. “It’s important to have a social media response plan in place before anyone on your staff jumps into the pages to respond on behalf of the resort,” Callandrello says.
Although around-the-clock social media coverage isn’t necessary for every resort, having someone check social media during normal business hours is standard practice. “While you may not have the budget to hire a consultant or social media specialist, you might be able to share the responsibility with some of your staff to keep your pages active and monitored,” Callandrello says. She recommends responding within a two-hour window during business hours. “The faster your team can reply, the greater your chances of turning a detractor into an advocate,” Callandrello says.
Once a response plan is in place, display social media icons on all website pages and marketing materials as well as at check-in to let owners know they can contact management with questions via those platforms. Consider also placing a small card in each room with social media handles and hashtags. Not only do owners appreciate having a quick, simple way to ask questions, but this approach can also grow your brand’s social following so that you can reach owners 24/7.
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