Let’s face it, social media marketing is a necessity in the tourism industry. Image heavy content with engaging posts about travelling is what drives our billion dollar industry. So why would you not put your best foot forward when it comes to such a priceless tool that ultimately drives ADR and strengthens guest retention?
Too many times I have seen boutique hoteliers make the mistake of relegating their social media marketing to a line-staff employee who is also committed to the Desk. Let me clearly state this – that is the WRONG way to go. Why, you ask?
Defeats your guest services – Doubling as the social media marketing specialist takes focus away from the main reason line-staff are there in the first place – to provide superior guest service. Guest services and social media marketing are completely different tasks, even I would find it challenging to juggle the two in a given day. Let’s face it: if your staff is not focusing on the guests, all the marketing efforts in the world will not make a difference.
Spreads your resources thin – Like I stated above, social media and guest services are two completely different tasks, in-depth tasks at that. So why give your line-staff so much ground to cover? You know the old adage – spread yourself too thin and everything comes toppling down. Don’t let that happen to your operations. This is where you need to silo out tasks for a more focused approach.
Defeats employee retention – It’s great to see line-staff get the opportunity to manage the hotel’s social media marketing. However, they will always want to move up (which is a good thing!), and they usually want to get into sales & marketing – often seen as the most cushiest jobs in hospitality. Unfortunately, once an associate is at the helm of your social media marketing, they tend to leverage that little time they were in the position and go on to other opportunities. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for leveraging accomplishments to move up. But from an employee retention standpoint, it’s not desirable.
Unobjective views of your goals – Line-staff don’t tend to have the most objective views about what content needs to be posted to achieve certain goals. Tenure in hospitality and understanding your hotel from a high-level overview AND at a more granular level can only aid in the best content for that property, for that day, at that post time. Social media is not about posting random “#MotivationMonday” quotes and pictures of the lobby (though, can be a part of it), it’s about strategy and providing content that your targeted audience WANTS to see.
Inexperience in the psychology of your audience – Speaking of strategy, social media marketing takes experience such as what I mentioned above, and it takes a certain level business acumen. You have an audience: guests and brand champions, that come from all walks of life. It takes an experienced person to understand the psychology behind that and be able to speak to all audiences in a tone that suits your hotel brand.
Outsourcing your hotel’s social media initiatives allows for a more fine-tuned and sophisticated marketing tool. It’s best to divide-and-conquer by getting a specialist to manage your valued social media marketing and allowing your line-staff to do what they do best: guest services.