An unapologetic look at Hospitality

Jack, you don’t know Twitter! (Why having one account for multiple hotels sucks)

June 24, 2011 · Leave a Comment

More and more I notice that hotels operators are trying to consolidate their social media effort by establishing a single account on social networks. It seems easier, if you have limited staff (or your resources are otherwise stretched) to house all your activity under one stream. Now your social media person/marketing wizard only has to manage a single account for all your hotels, motels, hostels, resorts… you name it! Seeing how these are all similar products you can use the one single account to promote multiple destinations and your social contacts now only have to friend/like/follow you once. What’s not to love?

It sure beats having to manage several Facebook, Twitter and what have you accounts, but the benefits are quickly outstripped by the drawbacks once you sit down to think about it. Let’s start with why people follow you to begin with.There is no doubt that all these social networks are great marketing tools, but that’s probably not the reason people connect with a hotel. Nobody wakes up in the morning thinking, “I wonder how much more spam I can amass.” More likely, the decision to friend you is much more personal, like…

  • I love that place and plan to go back there sometime
  • I travel to that city often and want to know what’s going on
  • I took my honeymoon there and want to keep the memory alive
  • I live here, I want to stay on top of the goings on in my city

Notice how all of them have a geographical component. While the Twitters, Orkuts, Linkedins and Facebooks of the world are of course networks spanning the globe, the truth is that people use them to build local (numbers 1, 2 and 4 above) and emotional (number 3) communities around themselves. Of course it’s easy to think we have a wonderful portfolio of products and that there is no reason people shouldn’t friend us on a social network but, unless you manage multiple properties in the same city none of the above reasons warrants following a corporate account.

That word, corporate is the downfall of the one-account strategy. People want to connect with human beings on a “personal” level, not with some desk-jockey wearing the company hat. I put that word, personal, in quotation marks because what that means is different for every individual. See where I am going with this? Personal, individual… Authentic.  Besides, that guy that lives in your city (see reason number 4 above) is never going to book a room with you anyway.

Another reason to not consolidate your accounts is purely technical. SEO! Say the twitter bio for your 13 hotels reads “A collection of luxury resorts in 5 exotic countries.” If I go on Google and type in “hotels Aruba”, am I going to find your Twitter account? Not very likely. You don’t have to be an SEO expert (which I am not) to understand that a search engine isn’t going to find a word that isn’t there. Much better would be a twitter bio for your single Aruba property that reads, “A luxurious resort hotel right on the white sandy beach of the gorgeous Aruba coast.” By the way, I am making this up as I go, I have no idea if the sand in Aruba is indeed white.

But wait there is more! Metrics! My fridge broke down the other day. The repair guy told me there was a charge going into the little gizmo that regulates the defrost cycle, but there wasn’t any juice going out. Luckily for him he had two measuring points. How many measuring point do you have? Say 10 percent of all your bookings start from Facebook and half of them end up booking a room in your Cozumel property. Why? With 13 properties in five countries, why does everyone (or at least a bunch) end up in Mexico? With just one Facebook page for all your (13) properties, you just can’t tell!

I love eating oysters at a boulevard cafe in Wollongong, New South Wales, Australia. While it’s only a 45 minute drive from my house, if I had a bit too much to drink, I might spend a night in your beach front hotel. I really don’t care that you have a special going on for your Amsterdam all-suite property. I grew up there, my sister still lives there, I can crash on her sofa! Stop spamming me! Wollongong, is there a Twitter account for that?

Categories: Hospitality · Search · Social
Tagged: , , , , ,

0 responses so far ↓

  • There are no comments yet...Kick things off by filling out the form below.

Leave a Comment