Skift Take

Hotels from Des Moines to Dubai are figuring out how to boost their branding, attract new customers, and help current ones on social media. Looking to hospitality leaders should give brands and properties with markets of all sizes ideas on how to engage with guests.

Las Vegas hotels have it relatively easy when it comes to keeping active on social media. Compared to hotels located in smaller quieter cities, properties on the strip have an endless supply of events, concerts, and restaurants to promote.

Plus the hotels are consistently between 80 and 90 percent full with guests that, for the most part, have a mobile device in hand.

What might surprise some hoteliers and social media strategists is that individual Las Vegas properties are also outperforming global hotel brands online.

Keeping Current, Popular, and Active

Five hotels including the Cosmopolitan, MGM Grand, and Aria Las Vegas have more Twitter followers than global hotel brands like Hilton, Hyatt and Starwood.

Hyatt trumps all the Las Vegas properties in terms of Facebook “Likes,” but individual properties like Palms Casino and Mandalay Bay have hundreds of more Instagram followers than the major hotel groups.

The following chart outlines the following and activity of six Las Vegas Hotels and three global hotel groups across 4 social networks.

Hotels Twitter Followers Total Tweets in Two-Week Period Facebook Likes Facebook Wall Activity (Past 14 Days) YouTube Views Instagram Followers
The Cosmopolitan 214,708 391 179,804 41 1,310,147 3,530
MGM Grand Hotel 149,183 183 554,510 45 940,312 1,661
Aria Las Vegas 123,255 46 642,738 36 1,101,208 2,182
Mandalay Bay Resort 105,484 53 297,096 36 162,663 3,543
Caesars Palace 105,396 70 333,985 47 1,033,377 504
Hilton Hotels 105,146 177 1,120,309 73 1,120,309 2,391
Starwood 98,208 124 87,294 11 1,3678 1,564
Palms Casino Resort 88,062 43 174,520 37 2,471,793 4,106
Hyatt Hotels 31,367 118 292,387 39 3,206,093 2,286

Each hotel group and property has strengths on certain channels and no single brand dominates the others on every platform.

In general, the global hotel groups were the most active on Twitter where they answer questions about all of their properties and share company-wide news. They are well-liked and active on Facebook — arguably the best channel for evergreen news.

Despite these strengths, the individual properties still top at least two of the global chains on each platform. The focused accounts are able to give more details and respond to followers’ specific questions quickly.

They especially excel at newer platforms like Instagram where they post pictures of events, behind-the-scenes operations, and guests.

Juggling Social Media Accounts

Each social platform serves a different purpose for hotel properties and brands. Twitter might be great for customer service, but Instagram is better for creativity and inspiring customers’ future visits.

Skift reached out to Dan Harbison, head of new media for Caesars Entertainment, to hear how one brand juggles its online presence:

“You can do your best to keep your message consistent across multiple platforms, but to really activate your various communities you need to have some tailoring done around the nuances of its channel.

“Twitter has been great for real-time information sharing and conversation around an event. For example, the event announcing Britney Spears residency at Planet Hollywood. We were live-tweeting as that event was happening in real-time with photos and video. You wouldn’t be publishing out a “play-by-play” account of the event on Facebook.

“We view Facebook as being a place that you can preview and recap events well and engage in some more “evergreen” type of content. It is our largest audience and one that continues to be an anchor of our social strategy.

Instagram and Vine have been something that we are very bullish on. The ability to tell your story, to really capture great moments, is much more impactful through photography and video. Our events, hotels, restaurants come to life through those two mediums and we look at activating more on them in the future.

“We continue to keep our eye on other platforms like Pinterest and Tumblr and craft ideas and strategies in activating them. We also don’t want to activate a channel and not continue to maintain that relationship. So where we may not be on all networks, we are working on getting on as many as we can maintain and ensure a satisfying experience for our audience.”

Customer Service

Individual properties and global brands are also helping guests with very specific problems. Ninety-six percent of Hyatt’s tweets in the past two weeks have been retweets and replies to customers and more than fifty percent of tweets on six of the surveyed accounts are actively engaging with customers.

Hotels Retweets and Replies in Two-Week Period (%)
Hyatt Hotels 96.4
Starwood 76.6
The Cosmopolitan 73.9
Caesars Palace 61.4
MGM Grand Hotel 57.4
Mandalay Bay Resort 41.5
Hilton Hotels 41.2
Palms Casino Resort 20.9
Aria Las Vegas 19.6

A hotel’s follower count has no impact on its ability to quickly and efficiently respond to guests. Of the nine accounts, Hyatt has the lowest number of Twitter followers but the highest response rate.

Below, Harbison explains how social media also adds an extra element of urgency to Caesars’ customer service strategy:

“In the past, the only way we would know if someone was having a problem is if they came up to the front desk or called on the phone to our service desk. Nowadays they are letting you know if they’re having an issue, and letting potentially millions of other people know as well.

“Social has also upped the game for expectations from customers on when you will get back to their problem or issue. This is something we are working on improving as the longer you let a problem linger, the worse it can become.”

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Tags: facebook, las vegas, twitter

Photo credit: This conference attendee wants to find out what's happening at Caesars Palace after the meetings are finished. PlaceIt by Breezi

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