A common question for larger hotel groups is whether to have a single brand Facebook page or a Facebook page for each individual hotel.
There are advantages and disadvantages to both but if you decide to go for the option of having a page for each hotel there are ways you can ensure a consistent and high-quality brand experience.
1. Be clear on what you are using social media to achieve within the business
For example, is it for brand marketing, local promotions, customer service, market research? This may vary between hotels and between the main brand social spaces. For example, local hotels may use their Facebook pages to offer restaurant promotions to non-residential guests.
2. Ensure the local team has the skills to deliver
First define the skills a community manager in individual hotels needs to have, then conduct regular skills audits of the team to understand what skills they have and where they need support to perform their jobs well.
3. Work as a team
Have regular meetings with community managers from your individual hotels. As it is likely your hotels will be spread out geographically, regular face-to-face meetings won’t be possible. Set up a private online community space where the community managers from every hotel can meet and discuss issues. Someone from the brand team should act as the community manager for this group.
4. Encourage positive contributions
These private communities can fail if members just show off, are unhelpful or go completely off topic. But rather than set strict rules or delete posts, take a positive approach – regularly demonstrate the kind of approach you want in the team community by highlighting and commenting on positive contributions.
5. Share best practice with team members
Support the team by providing insight and research such as competitor and customer insight which can help members do their jobs better. Encourage team members to share their successful experiences in the team community space.
Collate the insights from each hotel Facebook page into a report and share with all parties every month. Highlight learnings to support the team moving forward. Ensure you have a the brand team have admin access to all Facebook pages.
6. Solve problems together
Encourage team members to share their challenges and problems with the private group. As the community manager you need to actively help solve their problems.
Initially staff may be reluctant to do this, but as the community matures, members will come forward with potential solutions. If they don’t you should try to find people who can help.
It is important to build a trusting atmosphere so people feel comfortable talking about issues.
7. Encourage localism within a brand context
Customers often choose a particular hotel within a hotel group because of the individual experience it offers – you can provide a seamless experience by reflecting these attributes in the hotel’s Facebook page. Are they all designed the same or are they individual – do you have a consistent logo or individual logos?
Empower community managers from individual hotels to act in their own way, but within a brand framework. It is important to be clear on your brand framework – what is the overall narrative – and how does this work with individual hotel brand narratives?
8. Develop processes which are agile and can adapt quickly
There is little point in creating complex brand guidelines or process manual if when something proves not to work it takes months to change – you may have missed an opportunity.
You will need a way of documenting activity, but this should be kept simple. Focus mainly on simple principles on which team members can act rather that pre-defined rules. Empower your staff to act – but hold them responsible for what they do.
9. Always focus on your customer
Break down the silos between hotels and departments to ensure they work together putting the customer at the heart of all activity.
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