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Tips for Using Social Data to Snag Loyal Guests

The hospitality industry is in a very unique spot because customers and clients in this space tend to be very vocal and opinionated. Reviews, blog posts, Tweets, Foursquare check-ins, and Facebook posts are all a part of the tool-set that customers use today, and they use them quite often!
This means that there is an enormous amount of data and information that companies in the hospitality industry can leverage. This data is raw and unfiltered which makes it that much more valuable. Hotels on the Vegas Strip for example use social media monitoring tools to help them figure out room rate pricing or to decide if they are pumping too much of their hotel “scent” into the casino floor. Not only can companies leverage the data to better serve their customers but they can also leverage the data for competitive intelligence and can “steal” customers away from each other. 
Imagine monitoring the social media space for poor hotel experiences in your area and offering these patrons a discounted rate if they come to you instead. You can imagine that this is especially useful in a place like Las Vegas. In fact, several Las Vegas hotels leverage Klout scores to offer guests bonuses such as free upgrades when they stay at their establishments. There doesn’t need to be some sort of magic formula or complicated process around this but companies need to be monitoring and engaging with customers on social channels and must be willing to make changes and service customers based on the information that they receive.
There are many tools and platforms out there that companies can use to monitor the web, things like Google Alerts, Twitter Search, Google Search, Hootsuite, and Social Mention are “freemium” products (you can find more just by Googling “free social media monitoring tools”) and there are plenty of paid options available as well such as Radian 6, Brandwatch, Netvibes, Visible Technologies, and others (which typically make sense to purchase for larger brands as they offer plenty of additional features and capabilities). 
To help organizations understand what this process can look like, Chess Media Group created this process diagram:

The steps are as follows:
1.     Monitor the social space with a “listening tool”
2.     Get that information filtered into your CRM tools (such as Salesforce), many CRM solutions now offer this component and in the case of Salesforce and Radian 6 this stepis combined ever since their acquisition
3.     Once you get the input from social channels you will also have that customer’s existing CRM data such as transaction history and preferences, the feedback needs to be routed to the right person who can handle the feedback (whether it is a complaint about a service or a compliment about an individual)
4.     The person getting the feedback needs to decide both how to respond and whether the response will be sent to everyone (such as a public tweet) or to a specific person (such as a direct message or email)
5.     Every company has its set of business rules that it must follow in terms of tone, messaging, what channels to respond on, etc.
6.     Finally the response is given and captured by the CRM system and pushed back out to the community to close the loop.
Jacob Morgan is the principal of Chess Media Group, a management consulting and strategic advisory firm on collaboration. He is also the author of The Collaborative Organization and blogs at Social Business Advisor and can be found on Twitter @JacobM.

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