It has become apparent in the last few months that there is a new trend within social media for hotels with some accommodation providers appearing in replies unannounced.
We will refer to this practice as creating unsolicited replies and mentions. This usually happens when a guest has advertised their happiness with a service, or in some cases, their displeasure. For those of us that understand digital marketing for hotels, this is undoubtedly poor practice.
Most hotels will develop strategies and plans, usually with a hotel marketing agency such as ourselves. This takes time, understanding and a thorough examination of your hotel’s brand, ideas and USPs. Together, offers can be created. Campaigns that require an immense amount of attention, creativity and hard work will fly the flag for your brand and your hotel’s brilliant offering. This is hotel marketing done correctly.
What’s the harm?
Sending unsolicited spam replies on social media not only dilutes your brand, but it negatively impacts the relationship you hoped to build with guests. It is said that first impressions count – would you want your first impression to be a scenario that is similar to interrupting a conversation, or walking unannounced into a shop and declaring that your price is cheaper, your offer is better? No, you wouldn’t.
Our advice to hotels that find themselves in this situation is clear; ignore the reply from the offending hotel. Focus on your own marketing. Promptly reply to all communication received from guests across all your social channels and you can get the first word in before a ‘competitor’ does.
You might wonder why we have put competitor in inverted commas – it’s surprising to learn that most of the hotels sending unsolicited replies and messages are usually located several counties or hours away! This proves that adopting this tactic is useless – they aren’t researching the hotels they are targeting, so guests will see the replies as a nuisance and inconvenience given the location. To be frank, it’s rather cheeky and highlights the fact that they need marketing advice.
What you can do…
If you respond, you are paying this poor practice attention and could end up in a tit-for-tat scenario. Don’t affect your brand’s reputation – rise above and focus on developing and strengthening your marketing strategies. You must be doing something right for other hotels to be trying to poach customers from your @replies, but there is always more than can be done to strengthen your standing.
From Twitter’s own rules page, tweets are classed as Spam when:
A large number of people have blocked you in response to high volumes of untargeted, unsolicited, or duplicative content or engagements from your account
You send large numbers of unsolicited replies or mentions.
Don’t degrade the social media experience for guests. Social media for hotels is a tool that can be utilised to engage with potential clients, guests and visitors – but only when done correctly.