Upon entering their rooms, the guests in your party discover their favorite chocolates, DVDs, flowers or magazine on the bedside table. The is the level of personalized service that some luxury resorts are providing. How do they do it? They get to know new guests through social media.
For some time, luxury hotels and resorts have been trailblazers in using social media for reputation management and customer. Social media helps them keep abreast of feedback about their brand and guest experiences. Now, some luxury resorts are using social media to get to know future guests and cater to their needs.
Recently, John Tesh of Toronto's 98.1 FM CHFI radio station reported that St. Regis Bora Bora and other luxury resorts design and deliver customized experiences tailored to the preferences future guests communicate through social media.
Marion Gibert, Sales & Marketing Coordinator, the St. Regis Bora Bora Resort, confirmed that the resort adds new guests to their VIP list. To customize the guest experience, they send a special form to guests and also check in on social media to identify preferences.
“We then gather any information such as tastes, potential food restrictions, special occasion celebrations and so on. This allows us to personalize a guest's stay.”
Half Moon Resort in Jamaica has active social media campaigns on Twitter and Facebook. While they don't systematically monitor the social media accounts of future guests, social media has been instrumental in adding the element of surprise for future guests who "like" them on Facebook or follow them on Twitter.
Pre-Arrival Concierge Manager Merricka Dyer gave the following example:
"One client who followed us on Twitter tweeted he had a birthday coming up. It coincided with their stay with us. We surprised him with a birthday cake."
A similar approach can help event planners exceed the expectations of event attendees. People often tweet or post about what's important to them. Twitter and Facebook posts can provide important clues about the personal interests and tastes of conference and corporate event attendees.
Whether you are an event planner or you represent a luxury resort, the key is to collect social media coordinates as part of the booking process. When confirming registration or bookings, encourage future guests and meeting attendees to follow you on Twitter and "like" your Facebook company. Follow them back, create customized profiles based on what they share and proactively identify opportunities to dazzle them.
When luxury resorts and event planners uncover guest preferences, it's an opportunity to deliver an unexpected level of personalization they will never forget.
For more information about how hotels can use social media to build their brands and shape guest experiences, consult 3 Ways Hotels Can Engage Meeting Planners Through Social Media and 5 Indicators Your Hotel Social Media is ALL Wrong and Social Media Savvy: What 6 Hotels are Doing to Add Value to the Digital Experience.
Photo Credits: Luxury Corporate Events, Executive Oasis International