A new study has found that hotel brands that engage with guests digitally are three times more likely to see them return to the property. The report also highlighted how guest loyalty will be 19 times greater if a hotelier responds to a guest social media post within 30 minutes.
While these takeaways are not a huge surprise, it reinforces how guests see a tremendous value in interacting with hotel brands. In today’s social media realm, the number of “likes” and “comments” serve as a validation for many people, and a response from a brand – or even a celebrity – is cause for celebration.
On the surface, this is a great thing for hotel brands. However, perhaps it’s time for hoteliers to take this idea of guest responsiveness to the next level. Rather than just offering a kind comment on an Instagram post of a guest enjoying the pool and other amenities, provide comments that have context to the guests wants and needs.
For example, arm yourself with data on the guests previous travel habits (i.e., did they enjoy the on-site restaurant, did they use the pool, etc), and offer a comment on another one of their travel-related posts. For example, if a guest puts up an Instagram post about a recent trip – not related to your property or area – provide a highly positive comment about how great that that trips looks, and that you “hope to see them at your property’s pool in the summer of 2018.”
Of course, there is a fine line when it comes to mining guest data and turning guests off. A comment about how you hope they will return to your property and enjoy another steak dinner could raise concerns about hotels knowing too much about a guest. “Wow, they tracked how I had a steak last time I stayed there … that’s a bit creepy – what else do they know?”
The most savvy hotel brands certainly understand this challenge. But, when done right, it is possible to further digitally engage with guests in ways that create long-term loyalty.