The Disruptors: Humanize to monetize

It’s 2015, which means it’s no longer enough to simply respond to guests who are trying to reach out to your brand via social media channels like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. And for the brands that are not yet responding — you’re not only behind, you’re now irresponsible. That scenario is equivalent to not answering the telephone when guests are calling your hotel property.

Hilton Worldwide is an example of a company who is using an innovative approach to humanize their brand via social media. In more than 110 markets globally, Hilton has implemented a proactive listening program on Twitter called Hilton Suggests.

When someone tweets a simple question seeking advice about one of those 110-plus markets, an unprompted responder from the Hilton Suggests team will reach out and answer the question — delivering value when where and how the traveler wants to receive it.

They find travelers tweeting for help about where to go, what to do and what to see in their hometowns, and offer advice that only a local could provide. It could range from where to get the best slice of pizza between meetings in New York City to what to do in eight hours in London or what jogging paths are best in Omaha.

The person responding is an expert because they’re a local in the market the traveler is inquiring about. The listening strategy and software queries have been set up accordingly for the Hilton Suggests team to respond to their specific local areas of expertise.

The key point is that the traveler (or guest) hasn’t mentioned Hilton in their correspondence. They haven’t even tagged Hilton. In fact, they may even be staying at a competitor’s property. The traveler is simply looking for help and Hilton proactively intercepts to offer a hand, looking for nothing in return other than to make a connection.

And we all know connections lead to relationships and those do in fact convert. This program is a great example of how being selfness sells.


Contributed by Amy Jo Martin, founder & CEO, Digital Royalty, Las Vegas