4 Ways to Make the Most of the Connection Economy

The term ‘connection economy’ is a fairly modern phrase, being used to describe the fact that people are now looking for connections with brands on a more personal level rather than just receiving services and/or goods from them.  With the advancement in social media, gone are the simple transactions of give and take and instead we are opened up to a whole new world of possibilities with customers and clients wanting to reach out and interact with brands as well as utilising what those brands can offer.  For the hospitality industry, this can have huge implications and if you take advantage and do things the right way then you could see a potential boost to your business.

1. Use Social Media Effectively

This is perhaps the main cause of the connection economy and it provides even the smallest of hotels with the opportunity to connect with their customers on a more personalised level.  But to use social media effectively you have to understand who your target market is, the people you are trying to reach, and the ways that they would choose to engage with various social media platforms.  Having a digital hotel marketing plan in place is therefore vital if you want your use of social media to pay off.

2. Respond to Reviews

Ask any number of guests at your hotel and you will find a large percentage admit they look at third party review sites before confirming an accommodation booking.  These sites and the independent reviews which people choose to leave can be a real tool in enabling you to connect with guests.  Even if the review is less than positive, make a response and address how you would seek to improve a guest’s experience if they were to make a return visit.

3. Engage the Local Community

This is especially key for smaller businesses but can work with larger brands as well; the connection economy is all about being seen as a ‘real’ and ‘down to earth’ brand and not some obsolete multi-million pound brand who don’t care about the people staying in their hotel.  By being a part of the local community, whether this is through working and donating to local causes, attending local events or supporting local business groups, this can all work to your advantage in boosting your presence and potentially, your bookings.

4. Keep it Simple

The whole concept of connection economy is about giving rather than receiving, about the human-centred side of business and this doesn’t need to be a complicated system in the slightest.  It can be as straightforward as watching for tweets from potential or current guests and responding to them personally; this economy is about making people feel valued and important, and making those connections with them on a personal level.  The outcome of this is that people are more likely to return to an establishment which made them feel as though they were the most important guest, it will make the tell friends and family and others online about the great experience they had, and if you have each and every guest out there doing some PR for you, then that can only be a good thing.

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