The Importance of Social Listening in Reputation Management
Thursday 23rd August 2018
These days, when it comes to online reputation management, hotels need to do a lot more than respond to reviews on TripAdvisor. Social media has the power to make or break a brand’s reputation, and while tracking and monitoring social media metrics and brand mentions can give you a pretty good idea of how you’re seen by others, social listening is about going the extra mile and using this information to your advantage.
Here are three key ways that you can use social listening to help protect, and even promote, your brand online.
Discover what makes your audience tick
Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter provide us with all kinds of data about our posts, our fans, and our performance, so it’s important to use it to shape your strategy.
If there is a specific post that saw high engagement from your followers, try and find out why. Was it your tone of voice, the subject matter, or perhaps the fact that it was a video rather than a photo? By adapting your strategy and posting similar content that you know will appeal to your followers, you’ll create a more engaged fanbase who, in the future, may even become advocates for your brand.
If you’ve discovered that a high proportion of your followers have the same interests, then use this to your advantage and share similar content, or even create your own. Social listening doesn’t start and end with social media. Filter your insights into other areas of your marketing strategy such as blog posts and emails. If you think people will like what they see then go for it.
Another tip is to look at your competitors. Who are their followers? What are they talking about? By looking for opportunities to join the conversation, you can attract attention from the right people and gain more exposure.
Find out who’s talking about you
We all know the importance of responding to queries, comments, and reviews as quickly as possible. But what about those times when people are speaking about you but you’re not notified? If a user doesn’t tag your handle in a comment, or send you a direct message, you won’t receive a notification and so won’t be able to respond.
These days, simply monitoring your social media accounts isn’t enough. By adopting a proactive approach and ensuring you stay on top of searching for all hashtags and locations associated with your hotel, you can ensure both positive and negative comments are actioned as quickly as possible, and you may even come across opportunities to promote your brand.
For example, if a guest if going to post negative feedback, there’s a high chance they will do it while they are still at your property, and so resolving the situation there and then will help prevent them venting elsewhere or posting a more permanent review which could affect your Facebook or TripAdvisor rating.
People can be quick to complain, but it’s often less common for guests to take the time to say something positive about their stay. Any positive comments or reviews are great for your hotel’s brand image and have the potential to be used as testimonials in the future, so tracking these comments down and responding to the guest with a simple “thank you” message will show them that their opinion is valued.
Make use of other people’s content
These days, influencers are big business. Why? Because they promote products and services in a much more authentic way. However, even influencer posts are now being seen as less and less genuine, and when it comes to making a purchase decision, many people will now only put their trust in micro-influencers (who are personally invested in what they are endorsing).
You don’t need to go to great lengths to find people to help promote your hotel. In fact, there’s plenty of content already out there on social media that you can utilise on your own channels and, best of all, it won’t cost you a penny.
Images taken by guests will always appear more authentic than professional shots, and they also offer followers an almost ‘exclusive’ insight into what it’s like to stay at your hotel. More often than not, images will be posted because the guest is having a great time, and so using this to your advantage is a great way to showcase any positive endorsements of your brand.
Remember, guests may not always tag you in the photo or check in at your location, so when you are searching for user generated content, search for all hashtags and locations associated with your hotel. When it comes to utilising user generated content, always ask permission to use the image before you post it and credit the user in the description.
Most hoteliers are pretty good at monitoring social media channels and responding to any reviews or messages that come in. But if you take the time to actually listen to your followers, you can improve the guest experience, protect your hotel’s reputation, and even find new ways to promote your brand online.