Coming from a strong background in IT, customer service, and Hotel management; Are Morch provides a unique service for Hotels and Resorts to reach their customers on a whole new level, through Social Media. We got the opportunity to interview the social media veteran about his journey in hospitality industry and his productivity hacks as a hotel Blogger.
What inspired you to be a Social Media consultant?
I have worked and been interested in Social Media long before it became a buzzword that most businesses today rely on.
Back from the time where we used Bulletin Board System and Instant Messaging system to communicate with the world I have seen this as a great opportunity to build new relationships.
When Myspace, Facebook and Twitter came along it was clear that these channels opened a new world of communications that we just saw the surface of with Bulletin Board System and Instant Messaging.
From a personal perspective, I was used Instant Messaging very to meet old friends I lost connection with. At the time I lived in Norway and I was communicating with a longtime friend that had a friend that had moved to the US. He had met his wife on an online dating service. He introduced me to a college of his wife.
Together we built a relationship through Instant Messaging. 19 years later I am still happily married to this wonderful woman.
Working for Hotels here in the US I discovered that there was a need to go beyond traditional Hotel marketing to reach customers. And as Social Media kept evolving I among others learned that people, in general, were seeking more meaningful relationships with brands.
I started educating myself on the various Social Media channels and took some individual training related to several of the channels. And then I followed up with taking more advanced Social Media Management training.
I actually started out offering Social Media Management for Hotels. As part of the learning process, I also made some mistakes and missteps. But as everything in life, this is part of a learning process. And as a result of this, I learned that Social Media Consulting was a more effective and appropriate path for me to achieve my goals.
Today I collaborate and connect with services that allow me to provide offers that are fit for any Hotel.
What Social Media tools would you recommend to the hoteliers?
Today there is an abundance of quality Social Media tools available. Obviously, from a Hotel perspective, it is important to focus on tools that are dedicated towards Reputation Management.
But with this said, it is an absolute must today for Hotels to have the right skill sets on their team to take full advantage of any relevant tools.
And today we see many Hotels that lack the right knowledge and skillsets on their team. This is often where a Social Media Consultant comes into play.
For some Hotels, it might be more beneficial to outsource their Social Media to a quality Social Media Management team that specializes in delivering services for Hotels. And for other Hotels, it can beneficial to help with setting up the proper training for their team to acquire the relevant knowledge and skills.
Again, as mentioned I collaborate with services that specialize in Hotels. Identifying the right tools is not the challenge today. The challenge lays in the Hotels ability to take full advantage of the tools.
Social Media strategy how important is it for hoteliers?
I define my processes and offers as Social Media Frameworks for Hotels. Though the principles are very similar to a Social Media strategy.
It is essential that Hotels build a Framework that is designed to respond to any point of the travelers/customers journey.
On side of the Framework you have the Human State and on the other side the Content that will impact their state.
It is critical that Hotels have a Framework that understands each stage of the Human State and how they can design effective content campaigns that impact each state.
With Social Media customer today has a dedicated community of people they trust. Within this community, you find influencers that will impact the decision process.
Hotels have to understand Social Communities and who the real influencers are.
What type of content strategy does a hotel need?
I focus on a content Framework that is part of the customer journey. Content has to be put into context.
Daily I look at several Hotels Social Media feeds and I see a lot of content, but it is very hard to identify the context of the content.
Content needs to go through proven processes that help Hotels understand what type of content that triggers that most relevant customer states.
A content framework is containing these three segments;
These three segments will impact the follow states;
- Foundation => Cognitive
- Funnel => Affective
- Amplification => Behavior
The real benefits of Social Media Marketing are that removes the middlemen and provides Hotels with a golden opportunity to have direct and meaningful relationships with customers.
How can hotels grow to use social media?
This is the real key to a Social Media Framework for Hotels. Within each of the three segments, it is important to identify key performance indicators.
The essential drivers for real Social Media growth are;
- Build a meaningful relationship with customers and make them part of your community
- Surprise and delight and deliver value
- The primary focus should be on providing quality in each element of the Framework
- The Customer Experience is the story customers will share with their community
The number Likes, Followers, Connections and Friends don’t do you any good if you have no idea how to serve them. And for most Hotels today the average customers are more Social Media savvy than their team members.
As a Social Media Consultant, my mission is to help Hotels being proactive and build Social Media Frameworks that prepare them for tomorrows customers.
To learn more about Are Morch – Hotel Blogger and Social Media Consultant visit his blog at https://www.aremorch.com