I’m in a big city for a conference.
My original hotel plans for my last night in this city fell through – a local college football game drove up prices in my preferred area to insane levels that I would not pay.
There is another hotel available not too far away. It is reasonably priced. Reviews look pretty good. I book a room there for a Friday night.
I love the hotel. I love the location. The staff is cheery and friendly.
I love my room so much that before unpacking, I set my suitcase aside in the entryway, turn on all the lights for a better presentation, and take photos. Even the Do Not Disturb door hangar gets a photo, because it is unique and funny.
My room’s balcony has a nice view; the next morning at sunrise, I roll out of bed and get out there to take a photo of the tranquil scene.
I paid for the room myself – about US$200 with a AAA rate, one of my standard tips for traveling like a pro. The local tourism board has no idea that I’m in town. This wasn’t a freebie press trip or influencer gig.
I post about the hotel to a couple of different social media channels, simply because the place is awesome and I want people to know about it, and taking care to include photos and tag the hotel so they’ll see my positive mentions of their lovely property.
No response from the hotel’s social media accounts, except for a Like of my photo tweets on Twitter two days later.
No friendly greeting in response like, “Hey, so glad you’re in town and enjoying our hotel; thanks for your business.”
And this happens all the time. This is unfortunately the norm in my travels, not the exception.
So much effort is expended to bring people to town – to get them to book a room and spend money – only to ignore them when they actually visit.
I try to be understanding. I know people are busy, but this lack of attention to basic online communications is pathetic in this day and age.
It happens with hotels. It happens with tourism partner restaurants, attractions, and merchants. It happens with organizations whose entire reason for existence is destination marketing and making visitors feel welcomed.
I don’t want a response because I work in the tourism industry, or because I’m fortunate enough to have a few followers on social media.
I want a response because I am a guest and that is the hotel’s JOB – to be hospitable to guests. They should be especially hospitable to guests who, without any quid pro quo or handouts, are enthusiastically telling friends and family positive things about the property.
Too many otherwise smart people still do not seem to understand that social media is a powerful way to connect and communicate – publicly – with visitors, guests, and customers.
Ignoring social mentions is like turning your back on your front desk, or ignoring your business phone when it is ringing.
The silence is deafening. Your visitors and customers (and their social networks) notice it.
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