In addition to providing insight into consumer attitudes and preferences, social media data can help businesses adjust their pricing to better reflect their value, as determined by their online reputations. That’s the idea behind a new product for the hospitality industry from IDeaS Revenue Solutions, which has partnered with Revinate, a company that tracks hotel reputations, to incorporate social media data into their pricing recommendations for hotels.
The online reputation data will be integrated into IDeaS’ revenue management software, which helps hotel operators determine the best available rate for rooms. The system will allow them to adjust prices based on comparisons of their online reputations and those of their competitors.
IDeaS chief operating officer Sanjay Nagalia explained: “Reputation data is crucially important for today’s hoteliers, for improving guest experiences and communicating their value to guests worldwide. It’s only now that hotels can leverage this data further and utilize their online reputation for making pricing decisions, at the point of decision-making.”
A number of hospitality chains have already embraced social media as a customer relationship management tool, and many are offering discounts and perks to social media influencers. A new hotel booking and comparison Web site, Hotelied.com, is offering customers discounted rates based on how many online social connections they have; customers can get up to 50% off the normal rate.
There are also some novel social media applications, including custom social networks that connect hotel guests. Marriott has been experimenting with a social networking app called Six Degrees, that draws on profile information from LinkedIn to highlight connections between guests.
Behind the scenes, hotels are also employing enterprise social networks and platforms to improve service. For example, Newmarket’s HotSOS allows hoteliers to automate, track and optimize guest requests and the overall service experience, by coordinating hotel employees’ tasks via mobile devices.