Social networks are now so well established, that there are now a core 'top 5' social networks which are most popular which doesn't change from year-to-year.
The top 5 in order are Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Google+, and Instagram.
Global Digital Statistics
Social Media Usage
How much time are we spending on social media?
Social Media Revolution
Why is mobile important?
Mobile usage is skyrocketing with the decreasing cost of devices and increasing availability of affordable data connections.
Based on current trends mobile will help to push internet penetration beyond 50% of the world’s population during mid to late 2016.
Unique mobile users exceeded 50% of the world’s population in September 2015, and the current year-on-year growth rate of more than 5% suggests we’ll see roughly 200 million new mobile users over the next 12 months.
With increase of ease-of-use and mobile platform availability for the internet, mobile eCommerce is quickly approaching the percentage of activity as PC.
On The Horizon...
Tweet-to-call: Say a customer reaches out via Twitter with a tricky problem. This technology enables a company to Tweet back with a custom link that works only for that particular customer. Clicking on the link leads to a special phone number that connects directly with a service rep, who can handle the issue. Once the conversation has ended, the phone number is deactivated.
Snapchat is also stepping into the realm of social commerce. Trials have already taken place allowing Snapchat users to purchase retail items they have seen in a “snap”. This is still in development heading towards 2016. Most likely, this will expand into other departments of eCommerce.
As developments continue in social commerce and more data is available to analyze, it has become clear that integration with other marketing strategies is a key component to progress.
Measuring roi On Social Media
Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest are busy developing buy-type buttons and promotions to help marketers track sales directly to the platform. Pinterest is already gaining traction as an ad platform with its rollout of promoted pin native ads. Provable ROI for social media will mean more budget attributed to it. Networks design these buy buttons to reduce the steps it takes for website visitors to buy items from the store.
In 2014, total social commerce sales that could be tracked to social networks hit $3.30 billion, up 26% from 2013’s $2.62 billion, which is quite a leap. The study also revealed that overall traffic to retailer websites originating from social networks ticked up 7%. Social commerce sales are projected to represent 5% of all online retail in 2015 at $15 billion dollars.
Other ways to Measure Social media roi...
By deciding which metrics are important to your business, measuring them, and then checking your results against your goals you can begin to create a value to engagement.
There are some universal gains that all brands hope to achieve from marketing themselves on social media, including the following
“You may never know what results come from your actions. But if you do nothing, there will be no result." - Ghandi
Social Media Success
The Axiom Hotel has experienced excellent success in the social media field. Furthermore, this is very impressive, considering the hotel has not even opened yet. Kokua Hospitality has maintained a strategic campaign to initiate engagement and inquisitive excitement for the opening of this technologically focused hotel by interacting with followers. This has included sharing the exciting things to come, asking guests what they would like to see, sharing local events and activities, and much more regarding the property. Since the implementation of social media coverage for Axiom Hotel we have gained 5,837 "Likes" on Facebook (more than any property we manage), 139 Twitter "Followers", and 152 Instagram "Followers".
Another property managed by Chartres Lodging Group and Kokua Hospitality with similar success is Hyatt Place Waikiki Beach. Hyatt Place maintains a strong social media presence with 4,561 "Likes" on Facebook, 1,074 Twitter "Followers", and 516 Instagram "Followers". Guest interaction and experience sharing has highly contributed to this property's success on social media outlets.
What's Working for other properties?
The Westin St. Francis Union Square in San Francisco has an extremely successful social media campaign. Establishing most of their social media outlets in 2009-2010, Westin St. Francis boasts 65,322 Facebook "Likes", 2,308 Twitter "Followers", and 1,144 Instagram "Followers". The good news for The Axiom Hotel is that their campaign is very similar to ours, which allows us great prospects for the future. One aspect that has worked very well for them is their promotion of being a pet friendly hotel. The same has worked well for The Galleria Park Hotel; one of The Axiom Hotel's Comp Set hotels. We plan on adding, highlighting, and reinforcing this in The Axiom Hotel's social media strategy in anticipation of the same excellent results. Another one of The Axiom's Comp Set hotels, Hotel G, offers a virtual room tour on their social media outlets. This would be an excellent feature for all of our properties to add.
The Do's and Don'ts of social Media
1. Be Innovative: Keep up with the latest trends in social media while also keeping your eyes on the horizon for what is up and coming so you can be one of the first to utilize it.
2. Measure Your Success: Set clear definable goals and dates to evaluate effectiveness of current strategies. Find creative ways of measuring ROI.
5. Have A Strong Brand Representative: Don't allow just anyone to manage your brand image on social media. While it may be considerate of others to help you manage social media, any and all managers/moderators must have a clearly defined image of your brand that you are representing. They must also understand the objectives and future direction the brand is striving for.
4. Customize Your Information and Posts: Keep in mind the audience you are presenting your information to. As we saw in previous data, different demographics tend to frequent certain social media outlets more often than others. Example: Facebook VS Instagram.
3. Keep Calm During A Crisis: Don't allow a negative review, comment, or post from a guest, patron, or employee to create a meltdown. Thank the reviewer. Address the issues. Highlight the positives. Give them the respect to respond in a more complete and thoughtful manner.
The Do's and Don'ts of social Media
6. Make It Searchable: Make sure you are taking advantage of SEO (Search Engine Optimization) on your social media outlets just as much as your websites. If it's searchable, people will find it.
7. Diversify Your Media: In today's digital age nobody wants to stare at plain old boring text... Diversify your media with images, videos, and interactive platforms that allow the consumer to feel like they are participating in an experience with your brand.
9. Interaction Is Key: Finding the correct balance of self promotion and intriguing content that inspires action can be very instrumental in using social media appropriately. Take some time to comment or interact with your current clients and prospective clients to show that you’re there, and you care about what they are saying. A simple tactic is to ask questions that inspire a response.
8. Save Time By Re-purposing Content: While you never want to post the same exact message/content across all of your social media platforms; find creative ways to re-purpose your content for future use.
10. Engage With Constructive Material: Always ask yourself “does anyone care about this except me?” and you’ll really find out whether or not your social media posts are effective. Make sure you're sharing information that your audience cares about.
The Do's and Don'ts of social Media
1. DO NOT LINK ACCOUNTS: Stay away from linking accounts! Nobody wants to read the same post you wrote on all of their social media outlets. This can also create continuity issues. Example: Facebook to Twitter. Variety is key!
2. Don't Beg/Be Needy: Being needy can be extremely unappealing for your brand image. Do your best not to ask people to "please follow, add, or like" your page. There are creative ways of doing this while disguising the request. Example: Facebook algorithm.
3. Avoid Poor Grammar/Spelling: Poor grammar and spelling can create a negative perspective of your brand image. Always check your work before presentation!
4. Don't Go Overboard With Hashtags: While hashtags can help spread your content out and identify it with similar topics, nobody likes to read a post riddled with an extravagant amount of hashtags.
5. Don't Ignore Your Audience: Punctuality and attentiveness are one of the most important aspects of customer service and maintaining a positive brand image. Always respond to your audience in a timely manner. Never simply delete a request or comment because you don't feel like addressing an issue.
The Do's and Don'ts of social Media
6. Don't Argue With Your Audience: Once something is online it is difficult for it ever to be removed; especially if it is screenshot. Avoid arguing with guests over disputes. Instead find the most effective way to generate a resolution to the problem.
7. Don't Spread Your Brand Too Thin: Avoid creating more social media accounts than you can manage. There are countless options for social media available. Find the outlets that are most effective for your brand and focus on them. You don't want extra social media outlets that are void of information/posts.
8. Don't Forget About Your Audience: Every interaction with your audience should be treated like a professional business relationship. Responding once without follow up can have a negative impact on image.
9. Don't Use Automated "Robotic" Responses: Automated responses can be convenient at times, but are very negative in an interactive world. How many times have you been annoyed when receiving an automated response on the phone or internet. People want personal interaction.
10. Don't Get Comfortable: Never assume you are ahead of the game on your social media platforms. The second you get comfortable is when you begin to fall behind. Always be searching for the next best thing and creative ways to generate interaction with your audience.
By continuing to implement these strategies, we can gain key information on our competitors, therefore improving our market intelligence. This kind of intel will allow us to make strategic business decisions in order to stay ahead of our competition.
Another benefit of social media focus, is the increase of website traffic and search ranking. The more media shares that we receive, the higher our search ranking will be. This will lead to further CDBE (Customers Delivered to Booking Engine), which is extremely important for ROI.
Staying on top of the latest trends, developments, and platforms will allow us to continue to diligently drive the assets we manage and thrive as an organization.