Marketing execs say how to use social media

Hotel marketing directors pick up new ideas by listening

CEOs and top travel executives increasingly see unrivalled guest experiences rather than price as key to success. At a recent international hospitality industry conference in New York, many explained how their companies were using social media to expand this idea. This means that listening to guests through social media is vital, especially in the luxury sector where, according to research by Four Seasons Hotels, 40% of guests ignore a hotel if there are no online customer reviews for it.
Flo Lugli, executive VP marketing, Wyndham Hotel Group: “If our hotels participate in no other type of social media activity, they must manage all reviews and ratings. [There is] a direct correlation between online reputation and profitability.”
Alan Fuerstman, CEO, Montage Hotels and Resorts: “[Guests] expect us to be listening closely to online feedback, and we are.”
Paul Whetsell, CEO of Loews Hotels: “Always talk with guests to stay in tune with their needs. It takes attentiveness and lots of hard work. But it can [help to create] products guests didn’t know they needed. […] You can pick up trends and consumer behaviour patterns from outside the industry that are applicable for hospitality.”
Elizabeth Pizzinato, senior vice president of marketing, Four Seasons: “Hotel companies must think of themselves as content, media, and publishing companies.”
[pictured: Crowne Plaza Beijing Parkview Wuzhou; courtesy IHG]