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SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING CHEAT SHEETS 4 key use cases & how to measure them


SOCIAL MEDIA FOR BRAND BUILDING Through the Lens of the Travel & Hospitality Industry

Social media platforms are great opportunities for brands and companies to build brand awareness and share messaging with a wide network of fans and potential customers. Brand building through social can take many forms, but you’ll know it when you see it: whether it’s a funny tweet showing the brand’s sense of humor or a Facebook post giving a behind-the-scenes look at company initiatives, brands use social platforms to show who they are and what they stand for.

Which of the biggest travel & hospitality brands are doing this?

• Southwest

• Hilton Hotels

• JetBlue

• Four Seasons

• United Airlines

• W Hotels

• Virgin Atlantic/Virgin America

• Holiday Inn

• Delta

• Ritz-Carlton

• American Airlines

• ...and many more!

How they do it:

United Airlines: To further its position as an airline with excellent customer service, United uses social to share what makes its customer service reps tick.

Delta Airlines: Trying out one of the more uncharted social media platforms, Delta shares imagery and inspiration with its Google+ fans by highlighting the “Always Travel, Never Stop Learning” tagline that’s part of it’s larger brand strategy. Delta’s fans are passing the message along, too!

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Marriott: Marriott uses Pinterest to cultivate consumer perception that the brand is honeymoon and romantic-travel friendly. Shareable sandy beach photos tend to get re-Pinned frequently on Pinterest, increasing the chances for Marriott’s message to reach more consumers in a viral way.

Westin Hotels & Resorts: In this example, Westin links out to third-party brand validation by celebrating a recent recognition in Travel & Leisure magazine—a chance for the brand to recognize a well-performing hotel in its network AND show that industry experts have a high opinion of the brand.

Best Practices for Social Brand Building: • Always consider your brand’s positioning and

Instagram, YouTube, Vine, etc. and let consumers

messaging (information you’re probably already

take a peek into your world! Sharing photos and

familiar with as a part of the marketing team) when

albums on Facebook is also a great way to spur

creating content for social channels. Stay on brand!

engagement and widen your brand’s reach.

• Not every post needs to be promotional in order to

• Don’t just talk: listen! Pay attention to the way

build brand awareness—­sometimes a great photo

consumers chat about your brand online to tailor

or behind-the-scenes interview can convey your

your message to each audience as necessary. Your

position just as well.

fans on Google+ may talk about you differently than

• Visual platforms are great places for brands to shine. Try building a brand presence on Pinterest,

those who follow your boards on Pinterest, and listening will help you reach them more effectively.

Find real-time insights to support your social media brand building efforts

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• Sentiment for conversations about your brand

KEY PERFORMANCE INDICATORS

• Presence of related positioning words and phrases in your brand’s conversation map • Growth over time in fans, followers, Likes, etc. • Shares, RTs, +1s, Pins: are people actively sharing the messages you put out? • Geographic and demographic breakdowns of your followers: do they match up with your targets?

Watch out for:

Getting too promotional: while it’s ok to share sales and campaigns your company is working on, be sure to use other types of content as well to build your brand. Include items that aren’t promotional, but rather establish your brand’s position as a resource for your industry online. Know the difference between brand building and selling. Attracting the wrong audience: it’s easy to get off-track creating content that’s designed to “go viral”, but pay attention to whether the right people (your target customers) are sharing it. If you’re a luxury hotel brand whose posts are only getting a reaction from teens, consider tweaking your content to appeal more to your target demographic: wealthier, older individuals.

Find real-time insights to support your social media brand building efforts

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SOCIAL MEDIA FOR CRISIS MANAGEMENT Through the Lens of the Travel & Hospitality Industry

When a crisis about your brand pops up, whether it starts on social media or is simply being discussed there, it’s important to handle the issue gracefully, and in a timely manner. A quick and well thought-out response on social platforms can make the difference between a tiny blip on your brand’s radar and a major impact on brand health—AND sales. Social media is an important channel to monitor and manage during a crisis, and watch out—it moves fast!

Which of the biggest travel & hospitality brands are doing this?

• American Airlines • Delta • Southwest • Virgin Atlantic • ...and many more!

How they do it:

Southwest Air responds to angry influencers like director Kevin Smith, who tweeted about being ejected from a Southwest Air flight, with a quick follow up, apologies, and explaining what the brand had planned to resolve the issue. Bonus points to Southwest for escalating the issue to their VP of Customer Relations and communicating their response both to Smith directly AND to the general public with this tweet!

Virgin Atlantic offered a free, last-minute charter flight from London to New York to accommodate passengers who’d been stranded for days around the Christmas holiday, promoting the flight via Twitter and Facebook. Combating negative chatter about previous cancelled flights and gaining a lot of positive impressions in the process, Virgin handled the crisis gracefully and came out with a win. Find real-time insights to support your brand during a crisis

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Best Practices for Social Crisis Management:

• Respond quickly and acknowledge the discussion—ignoring it will only let the situation get out of hand, making it that much harder to manage later. • If the crisis was initiated by a social media-specific slip-up, take steps to correct the mistake, apologize, and remove the offending post after explaining the actions you’re taking. Don’t try to pull the wool over consumers’ eyes, but don’t leave your brand exposed to any more criticism (and screenshots) than is absolutely necessary. • If another department or employee deserves the blame for the crisis, don’t throw them under the bus! Get the story as quickly as possible, and work with your Communications or PR team to come up with language you can use to guide the conversation on social platforms. • Have a plan! The best way to resolve a crisis quickly and efficiently is to plan ahead so everyone on the team knows what to do if something does happen.

• Sentiment recovery for conversations about your brand—how quickly does the

KEY PERFORMANCE INDICATORS

sentiment around your brand return to normal levels after a crisis? • Percentage of your brand’s conversation map or word cloud related to the crisis— is this decreasing to a manageable level? • Engagement on crisis-resolution posts: comments, shares, Likes, RTs, +1s, etc.

Watch out for:

•T  rolls: some people will create meaningful conversation about the issue, but others will jump on the trash-talking bandwagon just for fun. Don’t waste your time trying to engage the trolls! •S  hifting the blame or just plain making it up: when in doubt, check in with your company’s Communications/PR team before offering any explanation of what caused the problem. Don’t play the blame game. •F  ollow-up: once you’ve addressed an issue, don’t just let it lie. Keep following the conversation about the crisis and comments on your brand posts across social channels—many will need additional response, so be vigilant about addressing concerns and criticisms.

Find real-time insights to support your brand during a crisis

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SOCIAL MEDIA FOR CUSTOMER SERVICE Through the Lens of the Travel & Hospitality Industry

Social networks are where many people go to share feedback on their experiences and ask for help from brands when they have a problem. The traditional principles of customer service apply here, but instead of handling them over the phone, you’ll be responding to tweets, commenting on Yelp reviews, and often escalating the issue to email or another medium to fully resolve it.

Which of the biggest travel & hospitality brands are doing this?

• American Airlines

• Hilton

• JetBlue

• Holiday Inn

• US Airways

• Marriott

• United

• Westin

• Virgin Atlantic

• Radisson • Intercontinental Hotels Group • ...and more!

How they do it:

American Airlines: American Airlines answers customer complaints from their primary Twitter handle, opting to take the conversation quickly to DM in order to resolve issues away from the eyes of their many followers.

JetBlue: JetBlue even opts to respond to complaints that aren’t a direct request for help. Following this angry tweet, they used their primary Twitter handle to acknowledge the issue, apologize, and offer extra help via telephone where necessary. Find real-time insights to make your social responses even more effective

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Hilton Hotels even has a dedicated support handle on Twitter! Rather than addressing customer complaints on the same page they use to share new marketing initiatives and respond to fan comments, they’ve opted to sound the customer service side of their social into a separate account, making sure complaints to both @hiltonhotels and @hiltonhelp get addressed. Typically after a tweet or DM, the customer service reps at Hilton try to take the conversation offline to phone, email, or route it directly to the hotel in question.

Best Practices for Social Customer Service:

•A  ddress complaints quickly: keep a relatively constant eye on mentions of your brand (both directly and indirectly addressed to you) across the social web. Use social media monitoring services that allow you to tag and assign issues to team members if more than one person handles the responses. •K  now your customers: look for context clues or find them in your CRM system before responding to ensure the best possible resolution. •R  espect the guest’s privacy and protect your brand: when it makes sense, take the conversation to DM, email, or phone to fully resolve the issue.

KEY PERFORMANCE INDICATORS

• Sentiment for conversations about your brand • Number of mentions of your brand vs. number of replies you made • Response time (ideally, this should be minutes or hours—NOT days!)

Watch out for:

•T  rolls: some people are online just to complain, and even fixing their problem won’t make them happy. Do your best to fix the issue or connect them with someone who can, but don’t stress out if they continue to blast your brand with insults—move on and focus your efforts on someone who’ll appreciate them! •T  he medium: Pay close attention to how and where you address someone’s complaint. It’s great to resolve an issue publicly, but consider whether they, or your PR team, would want every detail publicized on Twitter (just a RT away from infamy!). Know when it makes sense to escalate your response to DM, email, or a quick phone call and use public social posts to refer them there if you need to. •S  ocial influencers who complain: It can be alarming when someone with thousands or millions of followers says something negative about your brand, but use them to your advantage by doing a stellar job of resolving their problem. They’ll often reward your efforts with a public “thank you” or commendation, giving credit where credit’s due—and you’ll be the hero who helped turn a hater into a fan!

Find real-time insights to make your social responses even more effective

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SOCIAL MEDIA FOR REAL-TIME MARKETING Through the Lens of the Travel & Hospitality Industry

Real-time marketing is about recognizing an opportunity and responding to it. There are two types within social media: content-based and conversation-based. Content-based involves creating content—video, images, etc.—to interject into trending conversations. Conversation-based is essentially real-time engagement; it’s about listening and reacting to current conversations. Both types of real-time marketing revolve around delivering the right message, to the right audience, at the right time.

Which of the biggest travel & hospitality brands are doing this?

• Delta • Virgin Atlantic • Virgin Holidays • Southwest • American Airlines

How they do it:

Delta: Delta uses content-based real-time marketing to join trending conversations. The airline participated in the social chatter surrounding the birth of the royal baby by posting this image on Facebook and Twitter shortly after the birth was announced.

In July of 2013 the majority of the US was experiencing a massive heat wave and people took to social to complain. Delta took advantage of the hot topic and promoted a “cool down” getaway to Iceland.

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Virgin Atlantic: The airline traveled to several cities and utilized conversation-based real-time marketing by listening to its Twitter followers to find those who were having a rough day and surprised them with everything from cupcakes to coffee to free rides to work.

Virgin Holidays: Minutes after same-sex marriage became legal in the UK, Virgin Holidays utilized content-based real-time marketing by posting this image on Twitter—joining in on the conversation and promoting travel at the same time.

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Best Practices for Social Real-Time Marketing:

• Look for the best opportunities. Make sure there is a potential for your target audience to be present and participating. • Pick the right platforms. Identify where conversations relevant to your brand are taking place. • Aim to create content that reacts to the conversation around the event and not just the event itself. • Monitor social conversations around your brand, competitors and your industry to find opportunities to act. • Make sure your real-time content is branded—include your logo or anything that’s identifiable so the content is easily associated with your brand.

• Likes, Comments, +1s, Pins: are people

KEY PERFORMANCE INDICATORS

engaging with and talking about your real-time efforts? • Shares, RTs, repins: are you increasing your reach by creating sharable content? • Increased social following: are you gaining a new audience? Do people want to hear more from you?

Watch out for:

• Forcing It. Only choose opportunities that are relevant to your brand and your audience. • Missing the boat: Make sure the opportunity is still timely before you join in. • Going off brand. All content and conversations should align with your established brand position and voice. •H  itting the wrong tone. Monitor the conversation to ensure you know the overall sentiment so your content is appropriate for the situation and audience.

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