Hotels and Social Media: Agency or DIY?

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Renee Radia
Renee Radia
May 9, 2012
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If you manage or are in a position of power at a hotel, it is probably up to you to decide how to manage your hotel’s social media channels. In all reality, it takes a lot more time and effort than you probably think. To do it right takes constant monitoring, updating, responding, tweeting, posting, tagging…the list goes on! To take that on all while running an entire property would be quite a feat. Hiring an agency or marketing team to flourish your social media presence is a viable option, along with doing it yourself, but neither is without its pros and cons.

Hire outsideThe best reason to outsource or hire an agency to run your social media channels is that you will have more time to take care of other important concerns. You’ll be hiring experts (presumably), so you also won’t have to spend time learning about and reading up on the latest and best digital strategies. If you are lucky enough to have a team of individuals working on your account, that’s even better – you’ll get double, triple, even quadruple, the brain power. With an agency, chances are you will get more ideas, more hands, more combined experience, and probably more savvy people than you would otherwise. A potential negative to hiring an outside marketing team is that there could be a disconnect between your property and the company. You need to be sure that the Point of Contact at the property is available and responsive to the social media team in case any specific questions arise. That person also should update the agency when there is something special going on at the property so the team can properly publicize it.

Do it yourselfHandling your hotel’s social media accounts in-house is the other option. If you need to update your fans and followers with information quickly, it’s probable that you will be able to disseminate that information faster since you might have to go through multiple people to get to the right person at an agency. However, it’s much easier for someone working at a hotel to not be as well-versed in the appropriate social media tactics. There’s also the opportunity cost to keep in mind – what is not getting done while that employee is updating Facebook or writing tweets? At some hotels, it might be possible to hire someone specifically to run the social media accounts. But is that really cost-effective? Hiring an agency in most cases is cheaper than hiring a full-time employee.

Whether hiring an agency or doing it yourself, it is clear that hotels need to implement a consistent social media plan in order to keep up with the industry. The possibilities and opportunities are endless on the Internet, and you’ll keep your guests happy too!

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