Sofitel Hotels on social media strategy: Be authentic, engaging, local

ATLANTA Accor’s Sofitel Luxury Hotels brand offers five tips for fellow hoteliers on developing a strong social media strategy. Sofitel’s plan focuses on driving targeted repeat customers to their social media sites on a daily basis.

1. Appoint a social media coordinator for each property. This person will be the eyes and ears for what is happening on the property level, including sharing specials at the spa or menu changes at the restaurant. He or she will coordinate with the sales, marketing, weddings, meetings and events and the concierge departments to deliver a comprehensive message covering the entire property.

2. Be authentic. Customers do not want to read updates that sound like a robot has written them. Sofitel is a unique upscale brand known for its stellar service and French style, so the social media updates stay true to the product.

3. Target your demographics. For Sofitel, targeting discerning travelers and gourmet diners remains a top priority.

4. Sprinkle in local events. Show off your concierge skills by becoming the local inside source for events, parties and festivals. Sofitel Los Angeles, for example, tweeted live from its recent Golden Globe Gifting Suite.

5. Engage with your audience; don’t just sell. The quickest way to lose a consumer is to bang them over the head with product information. Sofitel Washington DC, for example, asked its Facebook fans what D.C. tips they would like to receive; consumers responded that they wanted to hear more about museums, family travel, luxury dining and romantic tips for couples.

Within a year of implementing this strategy, Sofitel went from 1,000 “random” followers on Twitter to more than 28,000 “quality travelers,” as the brand describes them.