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Hotel Staff as Brand Ambassadors – How to Do it Right

If you aren’t already doing so…it’s time to embrace social media for your lodging property – but how should you jump into the social media realm?  Create a plan and get your team involved, motivating positive engagement every step of the way.

Here’s a look at what you should consider when seeking to augment your property’s social media efforts through staff engagement.

Create a Positively Positioned Social Media Policy

When it comes to social media, the lines between personal and business communications are often blurred as people typically don’t have separate work and personal social media accounts.  Developing a social media policy for your property can help hotel staff think about what they are doing before they hit “post.”

Since the goal is to turn your employees into brand ambassadors for your property, your social media plan should be positioned in a positive way that communicates the property’s social media goals while also encouraging your team members to share all the things they love about the hotel in the social realm.

Here are some tips for creating a social media policy:

  1. Highlight the best practices for representing your brand

  2. Provide responses to frequently asked questions

  3. Offer some topics of conversation to help your property’s brand ambassadors get the ball rolling (in-house training is also an effective initiative)

  4. Include acceptable use of logos and property photos in order to protect the company’s intellectual property while engaging in conversations via social networks

  5. List “off-limit” subjects such as religion, political issues, controversial topics, curse words, and negative comments about competitors

You don’t want your team to feel that they are being restricted when implementing a social media policy.  Rather, by giving your staff some basic guidelines you can create an environment that invites and even rewards positive sharing.

Some additional tips and hints

If you want employees to feel comfortable and excited about promoting your property through social media while further avoiding potential misuse of social networks…show them how to do it right. Holding social media training workshops can be an invaluable way to help employees engage others through social media.  You should communicate why social media is important to the property’s overall goals, including how staff participation is vital to the program’s success. Training may also address responses to common guest questions and issues, as well as the appropriate procedure for addressing guest concerns or complaints on social networks.

To start, every team member should be aware of where your property is participating in social media and they should know your social media handles – the URLs to access the property’s page on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube channel, etc. Your staff should be made aware of any hotel promotions, sweepstakes or contests so they too can help get the word out.  These examples of social media training topics as well as increasing the internal communication efforts related to your hotel’s social media presence will lay the foundation to helping your staff get on board with your efforts.

As social media continues to become even more essential as part of the marketing mix of hotels, encourage your public relations and/or marketing team to create some social media policy guidelines and help staff members with some effective training on how they can positively participate to meet the goals of your social media program, while offering information and even incentives to help them become and remain engaged.   With the positive approach that invites sharing in the right way with some basic guidelines, your team members are sure to remain actively engaged in promoting your property as brand ambassadors in the social realm.

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