6th September 2017

How to engage with your customers effectively through Social Media

How to engage with your customers effectively through Social Media

With the use of social media within business increasing, we have better access to learn more about our audience and customers through sites such as TripAdvisor, Booking.com and Facebook. Companies that use social media to identify and neutralize issues as they occur, rather than learning from them, are failing to fully capitalise on the valuable information Social Media provides.

Research carried out on nearly 4,000 Best Western properties showed that hotels that don’t respond to reviews left on social media sites lost ground to their competitors and saw a decline in the Net Promoter Score, whereas the hotels who do respond not only saw an increase in the NPS but also competed with a 4.9 increase in TripAdvisor points compared to their competitors as well as a 6% increase in occupancy.

From this research; 4 ways to engage with customers successfully on Social Media, was drawn up.

Drive action to local level

Consumers tend to take to social media to engage with businesses on a local level; taking pictures, tagging places they have visited or properties they have stayed at. A great way to build creditability of the business is to give full access to the social media pages to any manager, to engage with customers. Mangers are in a position to effectively respond and take action on any issues raised in reviews and about the business.

Establish clear response guidelines

With the access of social media available to multiple employees it is essential to ensure responses are efficient and consistent and therefore creating guidelines that employees can refer to when responding. However make sure guidelines are not too strict as responses should never come across scripted or choreographed.

All employee should have an understanding of how conveying genuine concern toward issues raised and aware of when it becomes better to take the conversation offline.

Focus on the feedback that matters

Not every post requires a response and therefore you should evaluate which posts are worth spending time responding to.

Best Western Hotels are required to respond within 2 days to TripAdvisor reviews that are a 1 or 2 on a 5 point scale.

Also identifying which posts are of priority to respond to; for example any feedback that is getting a lot of attention such as a tweet being retweeted lots, or a Facebook post that is being shared or has lot of likes, should be of high priority.

But a genuine ‘Thank You’ should be made to those guest who have made the effort to offer helpful praise and comments.

Identify weaknesses and opportunities

A strong social media program will use the finding it acquires while calming immediate concerns to prevent similar problems arising.

When guests enthuse about aspects of their stay you should take advantage of this insight to improve the business by proactively exploring ways to make those aspects a standard part of the customer experience.

88% of customers will trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendations. As companies develop the habit of listening to and responding to their customers in a very public and intimate way, accountability and problem-solving become increasingly hard-wired into an organisation’s daily rhythm and will eventually improve a business outcome.


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