Silly Uses of Social Media in the Travel Industry

In the July issue of Travel+Leisure magazine, there is section on social media.  I gave it a read because I’m trying to figure out what role Facebook and the like have in the world of travel.  I have connected to Hilton and Hyatt on FB and have participated in a couple of promotions but it all seems a bit forced to me – as if these hotel chains are just trying to think of reasons to be there because they feel like they have to be there.

It turns out I might be right.  The winner of “Best Use of A Social Media Platform” for an individual hotel was the Ritz-Carlton in Naples, FL.  Their brainchild?  They asked “How do you like your coffee?” on their Facebook page and then keep track of responses in case a “fan” ends up booking a stay.

I cannot imagine how much effort has to go into tracking this for the simple sake of saving a waitress the time and effort of asking “Would you like cream for your coffee?”  And, if they have a “fan” stay but somehow fail to realize they have their coffee preference on file, they have now given the customer a reason to be disappointed over an expectation that they created for no reason.  This is simply silly.

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