Within the last ten to fifteen years, new media channels have exploded into the daily lives of the hospitality consumer. There are now dozens upon dozens of new ways in which we can communicate with our customers, not just market to them.
It’s no longer that you as the hospitality marketer come up with a brand, come up with a way in which to symbolize or communicate that brand, choose media channels, and send that message out to our target customers. That’s a very linear approach, or presentation-based marketing communications. With new media, in particular social media, the nature of that communication has really evolved, and it’s now something where the consumer has much greater control over that message and of the brand itself. We call this consumer-generated influence or consumer-generated media.
In other words, marketing communications now is much more circular. You have to think not only about how you can influence the consumers’ perceptions of your brand, but also how they’ll influence others by interacting with your brand in their own social channels. Will they tag their location while on your property? Will they mention what a great time, what a beautiful lobby, what great food, etc. while they are there? Upload photos of your property to their friends? This is where the opportunity for dialogue between the brand and your customers comes alive.
Responding to Twitter, Facebook, TripAdvisor posts and the like gives you an opportunity to directly communicate your brand to your customers as well as learn more about how they perceive your brand and what they expect from it.