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Social Media Advocacy is not an overnight process, it takes time to set up, build and engage, but it is worth the effort as not only does it increase your reach and brand recognition, but it encourages stronger ties and growth with your employees, and makes social media work for your hotel.
You need community engagement to reach potential customers, but advocacy of your brand should start with you and your staff.
How To Develop a Social Advocacy Program for Your Hotel Brand
Once you’ve decided to create an
Advocacy Program for Social Media
Marketing, it’s important that you
understand what you need, and the
best ways to implement it.
How to Develop a Social
Advocacy Program for
Your Hotel Brand
1. Decide on your goals.
What is it that you want to achieve? Are
you trying to raise your brand
awareness? Recruit new skilled workers?
Increase lead generation and sales? If
you try to do everything at once, you will
send out a mixed message and dilute the
impact. You need to decide on what has
priority, and aim to achieve your desired
goals one at a time.
2. Choose What You Will Measure and
Look at what you’ve chosen to achieve,
and decide what data you will be
collecting to measure your success or
failure with the project. Once you’ve
decided this, you must determine what
software is best capable of recording it
and set up the parameters accordingly.
3. Brainstorm and Establish Guidelines
This is an opportunity to sit down with your
employees and discuss your hotel with
them – find out how they see it, and
develop the ‘voice’ you want to use to
generate additional outside interest in your
content. Some of your staff may not be
social media savvy, and this is your
opportunity to provide them with training
It is important that you provide firm
guidelines for expected behaviour – if you
want your employees to share your posts,
then allowing them to do so in the working
day is a good idea, but they must realise
that this is not permission to waste time.
They should be gently reminded that this is
a formal exercise - not playtime.
4. Decide on What Social Media
Platforms You Intend to Use.
There are a huge number of social media
platforms to choose from, and it’s
important that you concentrate your
efforts where you are going to get the
best results. This may mean that you
have a stronger presence on some
platforms than others, but it will entirely
depend on your target demographic. If
your potential audience aren’t using a
particular social media platform, and it
looks like there is no engagement from
any of your competitors there either,
then you need to decide if it’s worth
expending your energy on it.
5. Allow your Employees to Choose the
Roles they are Best Suited For
There are a number of different roles within
a social advocacy program, and some of
your staff may be better suited for
particular ones. Some may not feel
comfortable engaging in comments, but
are happy to share or ‘like’, others may
enjoy engaging in conversation and leading
them to the posts or offering customer
service advice. It is important to work with
your employees to ensure that they are
placed in the optimal position to garner the
6. Monitor Your Team
This is not a program that you can just
start and let run – it needs to be
monitored, not just for the analytics, but to
ensure that your employees are sharing
appropriate content, and that your brand
is being enhanced by their contributions.
Having regular meetings with your team
will allow you to address any issues (which
may help negate any discontent that
employees may feel), praise those who are
doing well, and encourage those who
aren’t – it gives you the opportunity to
evaluate your team, and swap roles,
should it be required.
It may be effective to offer your team an
incentive – creating friendly competition
can increase your employee’s drive and
motivation, and in turn garner better
It is unlikely that the program will work
flawlessly first time – and even if it
works well, monitoring the team and
the results will allow you to make
changes where necessary. Just
because a plan and guidelines were put
in place to start with, doesn’t mean
that they have to be rigidly adhered to
– having a flexible attitude and quick
responses well allow you to engage
with current trends and keep your
hotel brand in the public
Social Media Advocacy is not an overnight
process, it takes time to set up, build and
engage, but it is worth the effort as not only
does it increase your reach and brand
recognition, but it encourages stronger
ties and growth with your employees, and
makes social media work for your hotel.