Marketing professionals are realizing the immense power of using social media. It is a potent marketing tool when used correctly because it eliminates a lot of layers that separate the marketer from its target audience. The immediacy and intimacy of social media is a natural fit for the hotel industry because it is a service-oriented industry and benefits from the close relationships social media marketing establishes with its audience.
One great example of how social media is being used by a hotel is the Marriott. The prestigious hotel chain knows that it needs to incorporate social media marketing to its online efforts and has done this quite admirably by adding various social media options in its website when it was overhauled. It now provides links to various social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter, Flickr and Youtube. The site has also established a blog and a handy link resource that point to various business and operational aspects of Marriott International.
The Intercontinental, on the other hand, takes a completely different approach to social networking and social marketing. The popular hotel chain has leveraged its Concierge teams to share their knowledge with guests who are staying in the various Intercontinental hotels all over the world.
The Mandarin Oriental is also using a stronger media presence to help its guests get good tourist information. One great thing it has done is to supplement the knowledge of guests who are in Hong Kong for the Chinese New Year by offering interesting facts and historical information related to this auspicious Chinese holiday.
The Four Seasons chain is also maximizing its use of social media to bring its message across and also build brand loyalty. The hotel chain is actively building its Facebook and Twitter following to help spread its message. It has also started dabbling in location-based services like Foursquare and Gowalla, vaulting ahead of the competition because the company has subtly acknowledged that location-based services will be the next big thing.
At the Montage Hotels and Resorts, the company takes the opinions and comments of its clients very seriously. They monitor their various social media sites for the comments of their clients – even their plans for their trips. The information is then used in making the Chain’s products and services better and also spur new innovations within.
In fact, social media marketing is also being utilized by hospitality industry online service providers. According to Michelle Powell from Cheaphotels.org, social networks are being used by travelers to find out the best deals and if they find great deals, they also help in spreading the information. This is a big help for businesses like Cheaphotels.org because the marketing is done from within the community that benefits from the business and are the most likely to use it.