So You’re A Social Media Manager on the Busiest Travel Day of the Year… Now What?

Travel brings out the worst in us all. Hate to say it but you know it’s true. Who hasn’t sent an irate Tweet directed at the airline after the flight’s been delayed for the third time? Who hasn’t publicly questioned a hotel’s cleanliness after finding some questionable stains on the duvet? We all need to blow off a little steam now and then but unfortunately, our Twitter or Facebook outrage is often unknowingly directed at a poor, defenseless social media manager. For those of us who have been on both sides, we know the frustration can easily become inconsolable. When it comes to appeasing already tired and hangry travelers, not much can be done– however, steps can be taken to mitigate the risks.

air canada twitter
Don’t respond to every single negative comment. 
It can be difficult to ignore negative sentiment, not all comments warrant a response. Some customers may be trying to make a joke. Some may only be looking for a fight. In some cases, a response may bring more attention to a non-issue from an internet troll. When searching for customers to reach out to, or if customers are contacting you with an issue, here are a few things to keep in mind: 

  • Is this something that can be easily remedied? Or is the customer expecting the impossible?
  • Does the negative comment seem too personal? (A vendetta, perhaps?)
  • Is the customer so irate that even a well-intentioned response could be taken the wrong way?

Be smart when choosing content to respond to. Some posts may get you into trouble, especially if the customer is already ready to rumble. For new social media managers, learning the distinction be difficult but it’ll come soon enough. One simple way to tell? If the complaint seems full of hyperbole, it may not be worth responding to.

delta twitter complaint
Don’t apologize.
This one requires going against every instinct you have. It may seem incredibly unnatural but apologizing may be one of the worst mistakes you can make for your brand. Apologies can be empty. Unless accompanied by action, the more your brand apologizes, the less meaning the word “sorry” will have. More so, keep in mind that the minute you admit fault on behalf of your brand, the customer will see that as a chance to demand a refund or otherwise– and though a free service here, a percentage off there can seem harmless, it can add up quickly and so some serious damage to your brand’s funds. 

Don’t get into a fight.
This one seems simple enough but… there is a reason it’s on this list. A few moments of weakness can leave a lasting impression on your brand. Let’s consider this Australian hotel that found itself in hot water after going at it with a hotel guest on Facebook. All we have to say to this one is yikes

Do stay transparent.
You may want to move the conversation to a more private area such as in the DMs but unless your dealing with sensitive information, you should keep the conversation out in the public. Other customers may have the same questions, so if they look at previous responses, you could save them (and yourself) some time. More importantly though, you’re showing customers that you care about their experience. That you take time out of your day to respond to customers and their concerns. 

Do keep it personable.
The best social media managers are able to keep a level head, stay logical, but also completely human. Who wants to get the feeling that their complaints are being taken care of by a robot? Not I! 

Kimpton Hotels Twitter

Do try to add some new tech to your social media management repertoire.
Social media is progressing and so are the tools to make it all easier. Geofencing is the new frontier in social media marketing so let’s talk about how staying hyper-local can be best for your hospitality brand. Get all the social media chatter from around your hotel, in the airport terminal, or… dare we say it… at your competitor’s place. What do you say? Try it now!

Geofenced Data Insights

Safe travels, everybody!

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