Ignoring social media

Although it may be a hard concept to grasp, social media is the new channel and that’s not just for the accommodation industry. You may be wondering what I mean by this? Well, let me ask you this, when you go away for the weekend what is one of the first things you do? Tell your friends and family! How do we do that? Social media, it can be a check in on Facebook or a picture on Instagram or even a private message back home… The important thing to understand here is that most of us are using social media as a communication tool.

Therefore, social media is a POWERFUL tool!

So, what can you do as an accommodation provider?

 Use it to your advantage, post photos, videos and comments; engage your customers as much as you can!

 Be where your customers are. What do I mean by this? For example, if you run a backpackers resort where are you’re customer’s predominately going to communicate? FACEBOOK therefore, be on Facebook, talk to them in their preferred channel.

 Respond to bad reviews, the worst mistake that can be made is deleting or ignoring bad comments and reviews. Its simple, respond to the comment or review of the angry or dissatisfied customer and fix the problem, make the customer happy, encourage them to come back.

Thinking your brand is just a logo or name?

This may seem like a silly thing to say but actually its 100% accurate! Your logo does not represent your brand; it’s only the pretty picture out the front. The perception of your business is what represents your brand. What does this mean? The things you do and messages you send to your customers are what make up your brand. Sure your logo should remain consistent but so should your branding messages. An example of an organisation that’s logo has remained consistent Coca-Cola, Everybody knows them for their red sign.

Losing site of your competitors

Your competition is not just other accommodation providers or hotels, it is anything your perspective customers choose to go to or do as well as visiting your hotel or service.

Look around at the wider market; be aware of your competition put yourself in your competitor’s shoes.

Refusing to change

Change isn’t easy however, it often accompanies success. Now I’m not saying change the logo or colour scheme of your band if you aren’t generating the projected sales/revenue. Change simple things such as:

 Marketing efforts

 Personalising customers stays

 Make a customers stay memorable

 Going above and beyond with the customer

What most accommodation providers do not realise;  the simple things are what stick.  A small gesture can go a long way or even make a persons day. This can be something as simple as walking the customer to their room after check-in or even carrying their bags.

So what am I saying in all of this? If your customers are unhappy change the way you do things, change your offers, give small gestures… I think you get the point change is GOOD! 

Not listening to your audience

Did you know that your audience is the most useful piece of information an accommodation provider can have. Listening to your audience can be the key to successful online ratings and reviews, its amazing the information and perspectives we can gain by listening to our audience. It will give you a very accurate perspective of where your brand sits in the market, all you have to do then as an accommodation provider is relate that to where you think you sit and do the comparison.

Not involving your staff in the brand

This step is probably the most simple of them all. Talk to your staff about branding in the organisation. Firstly, they could have good ideas to put forward and help the organisation out and secondly they aren’t mind readers… Communication is the key to success!!

Not being consistent

Once you roll out your branding its essential that it remains consistent across the board, all the Staff portrays the same messages, all channels including social media are spreading consistent messages about your business. A good way to ensure this type of consistency happens is to set up guidelines that are readily available to staff.

Not knowing your strengths

It is physically impossible for a hotel to cater to everyone’s needs, although it would be nice to be able to, we simply can’t. Therefore, what I’m suggesting is to know what you offer, know your strengths, what your good at, focus on it and promote it! It’s really that simple.