In the hotel industry, guest experience is key. With an increasing number of guest starting to share their experiences on social media, either good or bad, hotels recognize the user-generated content as opportunities to leverage for lead generation, marketing, and guest engagement. The last few years social media has changed massively. Nowadays social media is a place where people interact, create and share. A big advantage of advertising through social media is that you can reach so many people. If one of your friends “likes” a hotel’s Facebook page, it’s like a personal recommendation that comes to you from a trusted source. And best of all, this very effective type of advertising costs a business almost nothing. (Peelen & Beltman, 2013)
Customer intimacy, one of the keys to success according to Treacy&Wiersema, is very important for the hotel chain. Customer intimacy involves moving beyond independent transactions to deep, long-term customer relationships, by better understanding, anticipating, and fulfilling stated and latent customer needs. (Forbes, 2015)
Customer intimacy can be created through social media. Social media offers great possibilities to get closer to the customer and to upgrade and personalize the customer service of hotels. Almost every hotel already has various social platforms such as Facebook and Twitter. The hotels can get customer intimacy by for example responding within an hour. This way you show your customers you care and are there to help them. A customer is not going to wait a week to get a response on social media. Another example of customer intimacy is to have assistance in different languages on social media accounts, so you can reach a larger target group. If we talk about customer intimacy, it is important to surprise the customers. Give them the kind of personal touches that get remembered. A hotel can do this by answering in a nice way to make customers feel appreciated. The use of win actions is also a way to create a bond with the customers. The most popular win action is “like, share and win”, this way customers share your page which also leads to more followers and likes. By posting blogs hotels can also build a relationship with their customers and make their social media account better.
Hotels that use Social Media to allow their customers to interact and share have a higher level of customer loyalty, repeat business and public perception. (Peelen & Beltman, 2013)
Peelen, E., & Beltman, R. (2013). Customer Relationship Management. United Kingdom: Pearon Education Limited.]