Why Hotels and Destinations Need to Be Listening on Instagram and Twitter

Blue beach

Jenny Force Jenny Force, VP of Marketing

If you’re in the hospitality/travel industry, social listening and more widely speaking – social intelligence – is a must-do activity for 2016. When I say hospitality and travel, I’m speaking about any organization operating in the tourism spectrum, including hotels, tourist attractions (theme parks, gardens/natural areas), visitors and convention boards, and more. Basically, if you consider yourself a place where tourists would visit while on business/leisure travel, listen up! 🙂

In my ad-hoc research, talking to marketing managers around the country in name-brand and non-chain hotels and tourist attractions, social media is something they’re managing in a passive manner. In some cases, they rely upon agencies and sometimes, desk staff or a marketing specialist to man social media channels.

Aren’t convinced yet? Let’s run through a few more reasons why social and visual listening are super important:

Travelers are inherent sharers

Who doesn’t like to share their ‘current status’ while on vacation on a beach or looking at a breathtaking mountain view? For travelers, regardless of age, sharing that “toes in the beach/toes in the pool” or “I’m on a boat!” is part of the *reason* they’re on vacation – and by sharing their images across social channels, they draw comments (and sometimes jealousy) from their audiences.

And for tourism properties, all of this visitor-created content (also called user-generated content) can be a bevy of earned media that you can use in a variety of ways. In the most basic of terms, you should be “listening” for images that are geotagged with your business’ location and comment back to your visitors when they post.

Additionally, you can re-gram the best photos to speak through the lens of your customers’ experiences. If the images are favorable, this is the best outbound marketing your location could distribute. Images that are shared via social are instant endorsements for your property, brand, and the customer experience to be had there!

To find the best images on Instagram (geotagged and non-geotagged), consider using a tool such as Sysomos Gaze. Our listening and monitoring tool can filter on geotagged images and can even hone in on locations, such as your hotel or destination address, to yield images shared on Instagram and Twitter.

Gaze Geo Filters

Correct wrongs you never even knew about

Sometimes, images shared to social show what’s not going right. Unfortunately, too often, when a negative experience is had, hotel staff isn’t made aware of it and the customer never returns.

Whether it’s a dirty room that should have been cleaned or a hair found in a drink delivered by room service, these issues are reported on Instagram and Twitter and should be addressed. Luckily, if your organization is set up to quickly right the wrong, a potentially negative experience can morph itself into positive customer service situation.

Listening is easier (and cheaper) than you would expect

What does it take to set up listening on Instagram and other social channels? Well, first you need the right tools. Sure, you can use free tools, like an iPhone and an Instagram account, but when things get busy, these free options can become too time consuming because they don’t scale.

For images shared to Instagram and Twitter, consider Sysomos Gaze. For broader listening capabilities, like Tumblr, blogs, Twitter (text), and more, it’s worth taking a look at Sysomos Heartbeat. Very simple to use, it can help you monitor chosen keywords across social platforms on an ongoing basis with reporting, alerts, and more.

Sysomos: Social intelligence backed by people who care

One competitive advantage our customers have is that each of our solutions is backed by humans who actually care about your success. Each account is assigned a social media specialist who gets to know your business and will prescribe solutions specific to your situation.

Do yourself a favor and request a demo today. 🙂

Image credit: Flickr user hesselkus-pr)

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