A brand ambassador is like a celebrity spokesperson, except they’re not silver screen superstars—they’re your wonderful, loyal guests. Having guests who recommend your services to their friends or coworkers can generate a huge pool of prospects for your business—74% of respondents in a Google survey said that word-of-mouth recommendations were a key influence on their purchasing decisions.
There are a few measures you can take to amplify a guest’s goodwill, which will help turn them into a brand ambassador for your hotel.
Create Shareable Content
Provide helpful, valuable information that your guests or readers can’t wait to share with their communities. This could be in the form of a blog post, newsletter, YouTube video or social media post. The information should position you as an expert in the hospitality business as well as keep your brand top of mind for readers.
Articles that provide tips for hotel guests or recommendations for booking and planning trips can be easily shared on Twitter and Facebook. This content should be light and fun in order to encourage reposts and clicks. Make hashtags and social media accounts visible so that guests can tag you in posts, driving more traffic to your sites.
If you’re targeting other businesses to hold conferences at your location, you’ll want to tweak this strategy. Create case studies of businesses who have used your hotel to improve their bottom line, or publish a white paper on how using the right hotel can bring down costs of an annual corporate retreat.
Stand Out From the Competition
To set your property apart from competitors, come up with a competitive differentiator. For example, you can highlight your environmental sustainability values or your unique approach to customer service. Or you can focus on something more specific, such as a smooth check-in/check-out system or an acclaimed on-site restaurant.
If you’ve already identified your target audience, use that intelligence to decide which offerings will resonate most with them. Beyond services, consider aligning your corporate outreach dollars with causes that your guests support. Use your email newsletter or social media accounts to promote your feature and explain how it directly relates to your guests.
Ask for Testimonials
If you make it easy for people to share their feedback with you, they’ll be more likely to review and rave about your hotel. Include room for testimonials, quotes or open feedback in your post-stay surveys. Add a check box asking if you can use their comments on your website. Pick the ones that support your values or differentiators and feature them on all your channels.
Develop a Referral Program
A time-tested method of building word-of-mouth is by rewarding your customers for their referrals; according to 78% of B2C businesses, referrals are the most preferred approach to lead generation. In your booking surveys and your post-stay surveys, ask guests who you can thank for their referral. It may be Google or a site like Booking.com, but it might also be a friend or relative. In return for their referrals, enter guests in a draw or allow them to earn points toward hotel perks. Post signs describing this program in your lobby or mention it in your hotel portfolio.
In summary, if you treat your guests well and make it clear that that they’re important to you, many will be happy to recommend your hotel at a backyard barbecue or around the water cooler. Your job is to take their endorsements to the next level, ensuring you capitalize on their positivity and share it as widely as you can.
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