How do you keep up with what billions of people are saying on social media? Relax. Somebody is doing it for you. Local Measure, based in Sydney, Australia, calls itself “the leading customer intelligence platform in the tourism and hospitality sectors” and works with major companies like Accor, IHG, Virgin and Qantas.
“We monitor all social media public feedback,” said Jonathan Barouch, founder and CEO, “and can slice and dice it in many ways.” As one example, he said somebody might post on Twitter that the towels in their room are small and awful for a five-star hotel. “Even if you don’t mention the name of the hotel, we will figure it out and route it to the concierge. It’s an opportunity to fix the issue while the guest is still in the hotel. It’s a fast-forwarding of the service element. We get really interesting data about what people actually at the property are saying.”
Barouch’s favorite example: “A woman arrived at the Beverly Hills Hotel and took a selfie in the garage and posted it saying a visit to the hotel’s Polo Lounge had been on her bucket list. We notified the hotel and by the time she got to the table the executive chef had created a fruit platter especially for her with a sign in chocolate that said ‘Bucket List.’ She shared it with her 20,000 followers. It’s personalization of scale.”
Local Measure only monitors data in the public domain as consumers share their experiences. “We know which hotels they’re at based on the information they themselves provide. It’s day-to-day service recovery that surprises and delights. We can also secure the rights to content because lots of clients will use that content for marketing and other purposes.”
Of course, Local Measure can deliver Big Picture information as well. For instance, a recent sweep of the top subjects mentioned in social media posts for guests staying at 300 hotels on 3 continents saw these results: restaurants/meals (11,700 posts); drinks/the bar (6,400 posts) view from the room (4,000 posts); key room features/condition of the room (3,000 posts), the pool/swimming (2,800 posts.)
Surprisingly, hotel staff were mentioned only 800 times, arrival at the hotel just 500 times and the gym only 300+ times.
Food and beverage, said Barouch, “is more important than ever and we can use this feedback to shape the menu. We’ve seen examples of guests in five-star hotels taking KFC to their rooms and hotels might want to know that — maybe create some fun fried chicken dish.”
For now, Local Measure monitors Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and Foursquare — and Weibo in China — with others to come. Plans include going beyond social media to mine data around wifi. Data can be sliced and diced into: pre-and post-trip, mobile and many other categories.
Barouch concluded, “With social media an increasingly important channel for communicating guest preferences and recommendations, hoteliers would do well to focus on features that their guests are speaking most about — enhancing these features without sacrificing other parts of the guest experience which lead to overall guest satisfaction and loyalty.”
Whether you use a company like Local Measure or seek another route, staying on top of social media — macro and micro — is central to any contemporary marketing campaign.