It seems that Web 2.0 technologies are here to stay – but how should hoteliers react to this new technology. This is the subject of a new monthly column called “Hotelier 3.0”. In the first instalment, columnist Ioannis S. Pantelidis, senior lecturer in Hospitality at University of Brighton, sets out his vision and urges hoteliers not to panic!
“Thou Shall NOT forget to engage with Web 2.0” – this appears to be the message from every self-proclaimed online marketing guru from one side of the Atlantic to the other. But you must remember that they make money by convincing you their services are needed. And if you were not convinced, they remind you of a few of the applications, websites or e-solutions you ought to be utilising:
Myscape, Facebook, Google Alerts, Tripadvisor, Twitter, Myspace, Google trends, HotcatUk, IoH Community, Paper.li, Blog, Microblogs, LinkedIn, Youtube Channel, Space Live, Expedia reviews, Google analytics … the list goes on and on.
So do you understand the implications of using or not using any of the above? And if you do use them, do you stop and ponder why you do so? Is it because you get the feeling that everyone does so or is it because social media marketing really does wonders for your business?
Web 2.0 Technologies: Tread Carefully
I am not arguing that Web 2.0 is a fad and that you should not care, but I am also suggesting that I see numerous hoteliers jumping onto a “Panic Bandwagon” and hire the first kid that happens to come by their way and tells them they are the greatest Web 2.0 Guru in the country – and they can prove it because they have 5,700 friends on Facebook!
Remember using Web 2.0 for yourself and utilising it for a competitive business advantage are two very different things.
Of course you should be considering protecting your hotel online brand and yes, you should be making the most of the opportunities to increase online and offline sales, but shouldn’t you be measuring your return on investment from Web 2.0 activity in the same way you would measure the return on investment when utilising traditional media?
Before you even answer that, let me take you a step back. Consider a hotel that offers a 5-star service at check-in but delivers a noisy room with dirty linen. How would you like that as a customer? We know that this is not attractive to customers, yet we see examples of hoteliers who suddenly care very much about their hotel Web 2.0 presence – yet, at best, their hotel web 1.0 provision can be described as problematic.
Hotelier 3.0: A Unique Vision
There are plenty of columns or blogs that explore Web 2.0 but very few that focus on the Hotel Sector and even fewer that take the middle ground approach. By that I mean keeping a clear mind and being neither over optimistic about the opportunities but not too pessimistic about the possibilities of Web 2.0 solutions in managing your hotel brand online and increasing online and offline sales.
My intention is that “Hotelier 3.0” will be a column that keeps you informed and helps you keep a clear mind. The name was chosen to remind us the speed with which we see change in our consumer expectations and that Web 2.0 is fast becoming the past.
So we will keep an eye both to the past and an eye to the future so that, whilst each month we focus on new innovations and research that could help your business, we compare the impacts to historical evidence and research.
Having said that, let’s not forget that the best judge of what is good for your property is your own judgement – assuming you are considering your consumer’s and employee’s feedback. We must always remember that what works for one hotelier does not necessarily work for another. And the same can be said for your customers: there are those that love using Web 2.0 applications, but there are also those that hate it.
By Ioannis S. Pantelidis
About Ioannis S. Pantelidis: Ioannis is a senior lecturer in Hospitality and Culinary Arts at the University of Brighton and is co-author of the best selling book, Food and Beverage Management. His PhD topic focuses on the personality of the hospitality consumer and technology acceptance. He has published and presented papers in numerous international conferences and established academic journals such as the Cornell Hospitality Quarterly.
- One Comment
Could you please be kind in giving information on Web 2.0; because when I was reading the article I could not figure out what is it about.
Thank you for your comprehension.