Our focus this week in the course was on reputation management. Social media gives brands the ability to have direct engagement to their consumers. As the world of social media marketing has progressed we have seen the downside of such immediate interaction. As we have discussed previously, traditional media add the advantage of being able to hide criticism of their brand with relative ease. One of the greatest challenges for people in social media is that criticisms for companies are readily seen by the world. A negative tweet, poor review, and angry Facebook post can sometimes mean devastation for a company. As professionals in social media, we should never assume a brand is without faults. Instances of bad PR will inevitably happen in our field. While we should try our best to prevent such moments, we need to be prepared for how we should respond when they do occur.
I think the issues surrounding this are best described in a quote I loved from this week’s lecture.
“Your online identity is determined not only by what you post, but also by what others post about you—whether it is a mention in a blog post, a photo tag, or a reply to a public status update.” ~Google
When it comes to social media, people believe in a brands outside perception. Company identity can shift in public perception at the drop of a hat. One great way for myself, and others in my field, to be prepared is to look at real life examples. With this in mind, for this week’s blog assignment I was asked to create a personal response to reviews left for hotels on TripAdvisor.com. Hotels and the hospitality industry in general, are highly dependent on good customer reviews. Timely response for post of these post are a must Whether customer comments are positive or negative, I would recommend responding as quickly as possible. Using what I have learned from this week, I will base my responses around this. I want to preference that this is a “Sample Post” that is to be used for academic purposes solely.
Round One: Hyatt Regency in Orlando, Florida
We are so glad that your enjoyed your stay at The Hyatt Regency in Orlando, Florida. Here at the Hyatt we pride ourselves in making our customers feel at home. Hearing that your family was able to relax under our care makes everything we do worth well. We do apologize for the debris you found momentarily in our pool. We take great care in keeping all three of our tropical-style swimming pools clean on a daily basis. Florida is known as the Sunshine State, but tropical storms are sometimes unavoidable. The Spa is a perfect place to hide away for a day. Next time you visit I recommend our Orlando Spa Getaway Package! Every parent deserves some me time and at the Hyatt you will get just that. We would love to see your again!
Round Two: The Hilton Fort Lauderdale Marina
I apologize for the inconveniences you experienced during your stay at our hotel. I want you to know that Hilton seeks to provide the utmost of care and hospitality to our guests. If you could please send us a message with more information about your stay, we will try our best to sort out this situation. Everyone at the Hilton is here to listen to our guests. I also hope that you had a blast at your ten-year reunion! I have mine coming up next year as well.
For the positive response, I was able to highlight more details about The Hyatt Regency. I noticed that the customer enjoyed the spa and pointed out that the hotel offers a spa package that would fit her needs perfectly. Responses like this turn regular customers into loyal brand customers. The negative response, as you would guess, was a bit more tricky. In class, I learned that going into detail about the issues in an online forum is not the best response. As a result, I kept my comment short and brief. I suggested the customer reach out to us in private, so that we can address any issues they had. I wanted them to know that The Hilton was listening and taking note of their complaints. At the end I thought it was best to redirect the comment on a positive note by mentioning their ten-year reunion. Speaking to customers on a personal level, can help alleviate any tension they may have felt previously.
Whether the response is negative or positive, engaging with your customers online shows that you care about their voice. Whatever brand you are representing customer opinions shape how your business is run. Brand Identity is shaped and remolded by the court of public opinion. The best way to manage your brand’s perception is staying on top of customer comments. These comments are seen by millions of people. Showing that you are listening and engaging with your audience shows that your brand cares. Brands that care, are brands that stay relevant in today’s market place.