Here are a few suggestions for handling social media ambush with the grace and aplomb of a consummate hotelier.
- Monitor review sites and social networks closely. Even if you aren't active on them many of your guests likely are.
- Respond quickly to all feedback, positive or negative.
- If comments are negative, attempt to take it offline.
- When responding to negative reviews and commentary, always thank, apologize, explain, invite back and follow-up. No excuses, and no bribes.
- If guests are still on property, don't let them leave until you've won them over. Convert twerrorists into twadvocates, so to speak.
- If comments are offensive, abusive or repetitive, you have the option of ignoring them. Tweets have the shelf life of tuna sushi in the desert sun; Facebook wall posts can be deleted. Sanitize, but don't censor.
- A social media policy and guidelines will help minimize risks and prepare you to act swiftly to minimize fallout.
- The more helpful and engaged employees are with guests the more likely guests will be to bring issues to their attention before logging on to Facebook.
- Fight negative with positive by rallying supporters and focusing on generating favorable feedback.