Social media usage by brands can help engage consumers, whilst social media usage by consumers can both help and hinder a brand. Rui Barros explores the issue in this TV show.
Social media usage by brands and consumers
It's tremendous, it's tremendous. In fact, I was just talking about it on the panel. I mean, you know, 10 years ago, 15 years ago, 20 years ago it was a very different world. You know our consumers' buying behaviours have changed significantly in that, you know, back then, you know, there wasn't a whole lot of social media, there wasn't a whole lot of, you know, our buying decisions were being driven by other influences that are different than they are today. Today, they're influenced by what other people are saying about your product, about your service. And so, you know, that's playing a huge role in our overall business whereas before you kind of relied on word of mouth. But word of mouth is simply a phone call and maybe it was a small circle of friends, family, whatever it might be. And now you're talking about millions and millions of people. I mean, you post a review on Trip Advisor or whatever it may be and you've got millions of people reading all about your hotel. And so, you know, that piece of the equation has been critical. I mean, it really has evolved our business in a way that it's become critical to be able to manage our online reputation. It starts with delivering service and providing a clean room and the technology that they're, you know, all of that stuff.
But it goes beyond that because if you do have a bad experience and it's posted online, it can have a really damaging effect on your overall business. And so we put a lot of emphasis on that. Wyndham, in particular, over the last few years has been investing quite a bit in e-commerce in general. One component is reviews and managing that online reputation and we struck a partnership with Trip Advisor to actually incorporate those reviews into our own brand websites so we're giving the consumers what they're looking for. They don't necessarily have to leave our brand website to go shop on Trip Advisor where they can book a variety of different types of hotels and different channels. We try to keep them with us and importantly as we rolled that out, we said to our franchisees, our operators, “You have to manage your online reputation.” So we provided them some tools to be able to do that. So it aggregates all of that information, they're able to respond and deal with any issues they may have. So technology, I mean, that's what's changed for us. It will continue to change so we need to keep our eye on it but, you know, generally, you know most of the business that we're seeing in terms of growth is coming from the online channels so we need to be ahead of that.
The Hospitality Channel will continue to follow discussions around social media usage.