Get your staff trained in social media, digital strategy and PR: Speak to your marketing and PR people and see whether they feel that they fully understand today’s social and digital world. If you feel like helping them succeed, consider getting them a Diploma in Digital Marketing as a New Year’s gift (see www.dmime.com for details).
Foster “social media champions” in all departments: Every department in your hotel should have one or two social media champions – associates who know about the importance of social media and can provide updates of what’s happening in their areas to your social media team or agency. For example: We’ve all seen too many pictures of perfectly made-up bedrooms on hotels’ Facebook pages, let’s see some more pictures of the housekeeping pros who are tirelessly working behind the scenes for the comfort of your guests.
Sending out festive e-cards? Congratulations and thanks for saving paper, but please make them “social” by including a link to your hotel’s Facebook page, Twitter account, or even to your Chef’s Foodspotting page.
Pressed for time? Not enough resources? Focus on the key platforms. It’s better to do a few things well than many badly. In 2013, every hotel should have a presence on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Google+, and LinkedIn – don’t dabble in niche networks if you haven’t mastered the “Big 5” yet.
Connect with locally based “digital influencers”: Digital influencers are social media power users who have large and active networks on Facebook, Twitter, or other platforms. Many digital influencers write blogs and reviews regularly – knowing who digitally influences your hotel’s neighbourhood is as important as traditional PR. Google “The Real Geordie Armani”, “FooDiva”, or “I live in a frying pan” if you don’t believe me.