This article and corresponding research is focused on lodging establishments, but the concept is universal to business. The big question is often, can social media be a valid push or is it a pull activity? The answer is yes to both push and pull.
Pushing information out is, it seems, the most popular social media activity. We push information out to increase awareness of products and services. Linkages to resulting ADR and RevPAR (aka revenue to non-hotelier readers) are often scant, primarily due to the lack of strategy driving the pushing. This can be likened to talking but not being quiet enough to listen, or, even asking if the listener understood what you were saying. The sweetest sound to anyone is that of their own voice, so why should social media talk be any different?
Listening, and sometimes even asking the right questions via social media channels can help each of us (in ANY business) gain insight into what features and benefits entice potential customers and drive them to purchase. Using social media strategically as part of a comprehensive plan can increase sales to our current market AND help us to explore new markets.
The article, Impact on Social Media on Lodging Performance Research, from Chris Anderson, The Center for Hospitality Research, Cornell University provides insight into how to make this happen. Unsure how to create a strategic social media plan? A knowledgeable social media strategist can help.
Very much part of the same strategy is the application of reward programs. Voorhees, McCall, and Carroll, from the Center for Hospitality Research, Cornell University, address this issue with great information in their report, Assessing the Benefits of Reward Programs.
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