Banff’s Fox Hotel & Suites has seen a positive impact from a strong social reputation.
A positive reputation on social media can generate good returns for a hotel, said Cathy Geisler, reservations manager for Banff Lodging Company, which owns and operates nine hotels in the Canadian Rockies.
“Positive social engagement and high rankings on trip forums help yield higher rate and demand for properties that rank well,” she said. “We can get a better return, and when business is in a low cycle, hotels with low feedback take a bigger rate and occupancy hit than other hotels that perform better.”
While Banff Lodging Company does not do any quantitative analysis of social sentiment, the company does consolidate social feedback for review by the sales and operations team, including GMs, said Geisler. General managers also monitor social sites on a daily basis.
“We consider social media more in general terms to have a feel for what’s going on in the market and for what people are saying about our properties,” said Geisler.
Banff Lodging Company also uses social feedback for training purposes and product improvement. “That increases social sentiment, which makes us able to push rate and have a hotel sitting in a better spot based on the more favorable feedback,” Geisler said.
While monitoring social sites is important, hotel operators can also benefit from fundamental best practices for revenue management. “Revenue management is a daily task—it needs to be looked at consistently, not just once a week,” Geisler said. “We train all employees to be revenue managers. It’s a shared responsibility, so they’re sharing information about demand and trends, and asking the revenue manager questions if things look out of synch.
“Finally, don’t be afraid to be the rate setter in your competitive set,” Geisler added. “Be patient and wait for the rate that your product deserves.”