July 24, 2013 by Colin Kelly
Subject: Social Media Training
Thanks for your time last week and I am pleased you are willing to consider a social media presence for your hotel in Torquay.
I’ve had a look at the TripAdvisor website as you suggested and agree it needs urgent attention.
The overall tone is negative and some serious issues have been raised by your guests: a rat in the dining room, a supporting wall in danger of collapse, a couple forced to spend the night in separate rooms, some suspicious looking kippers and even a death on the premises. On top of this, there are frequent mentions of the owner treating guests in a rude and aggressive manner.
Your current efforts to repair this damage to your reputation are not working. Indeed, it appears whoever is currently posting replies on your behalf has only a rudimentary grasp of the English language and an even more basic understanding of customer service.
I suggest you take direct control of the situation and tackle the problem head on, as follows:
- Improve the hotel. Your success on social media will be severely limited until you solve the problems people are complaining about. As long as these problems persist, a Facebook page or Twitter channel simply gives them another public platform to criticise you. So, train the staff in customer service, improve hygiene, get the Moose’s head on the wall and consider a course in anger management to help you improve your treatment of the guests.
- Launch a Twitter channel. I note your concern about ‘riff raff’ booking stays at your hotel. This is the problem with a local newspaper advert – you’ve no control over who sees it. Twitter allows you to conduct custom searches to identify a particular type of person who is already interested in coming to Torquay to stay in a hotel. You can then read everything else this person has Tweeted recently and establish their social class. Their biography might explicitly state what job they do, or you can figure it out based on what else they choose to share. You can then decide whether to engage with them or not and offer them accommodation.
- Use Linkedin for recruitment. It was obvious from my visit last week that various members of your team are less than committed. The waitress seemed more concerned about her sketch pad than delivering bowls of soup, and the lad from Barcelona appeared very much to follow his own agenda. While I can’t condone your threats of physical violence towards him I can understand what drives you towards this. Linkedin allows you to post job opportunities and select people with skills and experience you require. In these tough economic times you might be surprised at the quality of person available for work. It is also worth you being on Linkedin yourself in order to help grow your business. By connecting with other prominent business leaders, you could, for example, win more business from the tour bus sector, or establish your hotel as a conference venue. I realise it has been sometime since you updated your CV but I could help you brush things up a bit.
- Improve your website. Your existing Geocities site is looking dated and I’m sure we could deliver something much more contemporary for you.
I think this is probably more than enough to be going on with for now and you will likely have some concerns around the costs of any work I do for you. I’m delighted to say that there is some funding available for a training workshop which I’d be happy to run for you and your team. It’s a simple form to fill out and up to 50% funding can be secured.
Do let me know if you’d like to explore this further.
I have some availability in the next 2-3 weeks and would be delighted to get a date in the diary.
Head of Marketing and Training