The role of Community Managers in the Hospitality Industry

EHL Editorial Team | 29 Jan, 2016

Being a social media community manager is so much more than curating Facebook feeds and scouring industry blogs and magazines for brand mentions and share-worthy content.

Sure, with more than 800 million users on Facebook and Twitter alone, brands can no longer underestimate the marketing power behind the “like” button. Being a successful community manager is an art that extends beyond your brand’s social media feeds and blends public relations, customer service, and brand management into a dynamic, critical role.


WHAT IS A COMMUNITY MANAGER?

With more than 70 percent of consumers relying on peer reviews hosted on social media to help them decide which products and brands they will engage with, a community manager needs to harness the power of the real, human interaction your customers crave to build more meaningful brand relationships.

To do this, the role should include the following activities:

1. Being an active and valuable source of information to build trust in your brand.

2. Anticipating your customers’ needs and proactively engage with them.

3. Hinging on flawless customer service management.

The Starwoods hotels famous W brand have recently launched social media activities that encompasses all three with “The recruitment of e-insiders who not only know the local area like the back of their hand, but also proactively engage with guests as well as the local social media community. In their Doha W hotel , they also took customer service to a whole new level with the possibility to reserve a table in one of the restaurants via Twitter or even an overnight stay via hashtagging #BookWDoha.” shares with us Marika Beindorff, Digital Field Marketing Manager, Middle East, at Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide and EHL Alumni 2013.

WHY COMMUNITY MANAGEMENT MATTERS?

Social media is a powerful tool that increases a brand’s audience and reach. Your company might offer the best experience in the world or share the most engaging content on the web, but if no one knows about it, your brand can’t enjoy the benefits.

"It’s all about engagement! Nowadays Facebook and Twitter are often taken as a measure of popularity or legitimacy of a brand based on the number of likes or followers one has. But let’s be honest – if a company has 10K followers but only gets 1 Like per post or tweet, how does it help its online communication and presence? This is why emphasis should rather be put on engagement; measurable with comments & shares for example" continues Marika Beindorff.

The community manager therefore has the know-how and responsibility to engage into activities that allows the brand to be closer to its customers and build a meaningful relationship by staying relevant, personnal and available.


WHAT IT TAKES TO BE A COMMUNITY MANAGER?

To be a successful community manager, there are several tactical tasks you must master, such as creating engaging content, posting it to various social media pages, building an engaged social media audience, and tracking and monitoring post analytics to inform future decisions. An understanding of public relations and brand management are also important when crafting posts that will represent the brand and engage your audience. For that, a customer-centric mindset and strong storytelling talent will serve you well.

"It is about communities! That translate real human relationships over the web in a way that lets brands transcend the physical distance and time that separates them from their customers. One of my favorite examples is the popularity of "Instameets" in Dubai." concludes Marika Beindorff.

The hospitality industry offers fantastic conversation opportunities to develop communities that meet those goals.

It's time for you to join the conversation.

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