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<p>Social media can connect you with customers in a unique way.<br />Image courtesy of digitalart at<span>&nbsp;</span></p>

Using Social Media to Connect with (and Communicate with) Your Customers
Mar 25, 13 | 12:07 am

By Debbie Allen
Besides using social media as a strategy for building a positive image and solid business reputation, it is also a great way to really connect with customers before, during, and after their travel experience. Facebook, Twitter, and other social media networks are enormously popular with virtually every age group.
Using these platforms as a way to communicate with customers and potential customers alike is not only strategic; it is absolutely necessary. Including social media networking as a marketing strategy is a powerful branding technique. This kind of connection helps create a true sense of bond with customers that other forms of communication lack.

Social media can connect you with customers in a unique way.
Image courtesy of digitalart at
The Value of Social Media
As the hospitality industry uses social media as a marketing strategy, it gains multiple benefits. Not only are relationships and bonds with customers strengthened, there is also an increased brand awareness of services, increase in sales, and improvements in customer service.
In addition, customers become better educated and informed about the industry. This is beneficial for everyone.
It should be remembered that social media is an involved platform. Customers become engaged in the content. This adds to the brand awareness, and it also means the platform becomes a place hotel officials can monitor brand reputation.
Getting Personal with Facebook
Even a quick visit to Facebook will provide the visitor with a feel for the fact that Facebook is "personal." That is, the people that spend a lot of time there enjoy sharing and viewing photographs and graphics. They also like to learn tidbits of information about their online friends.
The personal touch of Facebook is a perfect fit with the hospitality industry. Facebook is a great place to share images of everything from new hotels and renovations to employees, amenities, and views from hotel balconies and surrounding scenery.
Tweeting to Build Trust
Twitter is a different sort of platform. It uses a short message format that allows users to leave brief tweets or to actually engage in conversations. In order to build a relationship with customers on Twitter, it is important to spend time contributing meaningful content.
Never add a tweet that is just a link to the business website. Instead, the tweet should contribute to a conversation or offer useful information. Adding links to informative articles and interesting sites at the end of a tweet is always a nice touch.
The idea is to treat the community as friends, not just as people you want to sell something to. Your goal is building trust and building lasting relationships.

Use social media platforms to build relationships with customers.
Image courtesy of franky242 at
Concierge via Internet
Many hotels now provide high-tech concierge services accessible via Twitter and Facebook. Customer service agents are on-call around the clock to ensure that questions get answered in a timely manner. This helps guarantee customer satisfaction.
When a question is asked or a complaint is made, customer service representatives can immediately begin working to provide an answer or to resolve the problem.
In addition, some hotel chains have created destination-specific concierge videos that are shown on the hotel’s website and on YouTube. The reality is, keeping up in today’s market means using high-tech strategies. Social media marketing is a trend that isn’t likely to end.
About the Author
Debbie Allen, founder of, is a professional writer and blogger who specializes in topics such as online marketing strategies. 


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