by Christian Stegmaier
While much has been written about Twitter and its uses, the power of its application in the retail and hospitality sectors cannot be stressed enough. Twitter is many things, including: microblogger; messenger; marketing platform; and a gateway to further conversation via related website and blog.
One notable hospitality-related company actively using Twitter is Marriott International. A global icon, Marriott uses Twitter to promote its brand and corporate message, as well to monitor guest compliments and complaints. There is perhaps no other hospitality-related company, which uses Twitter as frequently and effectively as Marriott.
As has been written on this blog on multiple occasions, I am very interested in using social media such as Twitter to protect the brand. Within recent weeks, I have been an active user of various Twitter search tools such as search.twitter.com to see what folks are saying about our firm’s retail and hospitality clients, as well as non-clients in those sectors. My feeling is this: the better the goodwill and brand identity a company has, the better jurors may feel about the company in the future trial scenario. Twitter is a real time mechanism to measure what people think and feel about the companies they come in contact with. Folks aren’t shy to complain or compliment about the goods and services they buy. Twitter has proven to be a very good platform for this type of commentary.
As Twitter becomes used by greater numbers of people both in the United States and worldwide, retailers and hospitality-related companies will be well-served to designate a person or persons as the Twitter(s)-In-Charge. These people will be responsible for both the tweets that go out, but also to monitor Twitter to review (and possibly respond to) customer compliments, complaints, requests for assistance, ideas, etc. Having such personnel in place will enable retailers and hospitality-related companies to quickly respond to criticism or requests and capitalize on suggestions or ideas. Also, Twitter is the future. The quicker companies get organized and employ a sophisticated and thoughtful Twitter presence, the more “cutting edge” and competitive they will be perceived to be in their respective sectors.