In 6 Tips for Doing Social Customer Service Right, we recommend using social listening tools (also known as social media listening tools or social media monitoring tools) to ensure you don’t miss any direct social media mentions and also to catch indirect mentions for providing excellent customer service. But what is a social listening tool, you ask? Don’t worry — no cold war technology or fancy 007 gadgetry is needed these days for eavesdropping. Here are the basics of social listening tools for those not in the know.
The What and Why of Social Listening
Social media listening, also known as social media monitoring, is used in order to find out who in Internetland is talking about your hotel — on blogs, review sites, news sites, social media and the like. Social listening tools provide you the opportunity to respond to those talking about you while collecting data that can be used for sales and marketing.
According to this article on multichannel customer service, companies who facilitate multiple communication channels have customers that spend 30 percent more than companies who only have one channel. While this article refers to direct communication such as phone, text, email and chat, social media also provides a platform for direct communication in the form of messages and comments. In this way, social listening leads to increased guest satisfaction based on increased customer service, leading to increased revenue (see also: 8 Ways to Improve Guest Satisfaction and Your Online Reputation and How Much Do Online Hotel Reviews Matter?).
How to Get Started with a Social Media Listening Tool
In order to activate a social media listening tool, you need to have a social media presence. But what comes first, the chicken or the egg, the social media presence or the social listening tool? If you don’t have any kind of presence at all, start with creating accounts with the big social media players such as Twitter, Facebook and Google+. From there, look into social media management platforms, such as Hootsuite, to manage all your accounts from one dashboard. When choosing a platform, ensure it has social listening capabilities and the ability to collect and monitor data and aggregate the results. This social listening article describes how your hotel can then use that data to help you create content for social media that is going to appeal to your guests. And here’s a hint: your guests want content that will help and interest them, not overtly sell to them.
Top Social Listening Tools
There are many social media listening tools out there, and various social media platforms have them incorporated, such as Facebook Insights. You might want to use a variety of tools in order to get a broader picture. There are numerous others, but Huffington Post has narrowed it down for your convenience: Google Alerts, Hootsuite, Icerocket, Social Mention and Topsy. These (mostly free!) tools allow you to enter your hotel’s name and receive results for who is talking about you across the Web. Remember to use common misspellings or variations of your hotel’s name.
Online Reputation Management
If all this makes your head spin, a hotel reputation management system might just be the a one-stop-shop answer for you, offering next-generation guest satisfaction by connecting you with guest review postings and social media platforms. WebRezPro interfaces with leading reputation management system Revinate to automate the process of requesting guest feedback via post-stay surveys and posting reviews online — allowing lodging operators to improve their property’s online reputation and drive new sales, with no extra effort at all!