Pulsar wins its first client in Mauritius – the benefits of social media listening in the travel sector

As a Mauritian myself, I’m really happy to share that Pulsar has signed its first client in Mauritius: Veranda Leisure and Hospitality (VLH).

[Veranda Point Aux Biches resort, Mauritius]

VLH are setting the gold standard of social customer service and engagement in Mauritius, demonstrating a true passion for what their customers think and feel. Their resort consists of beautiful hotels, a cosmetic and spa brand, a championship golf course, an amazing beach club, a chateau-restaurant from the 19th century – and 50 luxurious managed villas. Although it is just a little island, social media is exploding in Mauritius: you are able to book a flight via Facebook or communicate with a resort via Twitter. Resorts such as VLH are increasing their presence on YouTube and using blogs for online promotion.
But company-created content is only half the story. Consumers broadcast their positive or negative opinion freely on social media and other travel websites such as Trip Advisor. This information is instantly available to the public, whether positive or negative, or even true or false. And this kind of peer-to-peer feedback is no longer the preserve of just techies, as it may have been 10 years ago. Internet & social media usage is now high enough that all types of consumers use social media to express their opinions, give advice – or just listen in and follow advice from other people.

This means that people who have stayed at the resort now influence the decisions of potential future visitors. With social media exploding, the necessity to differentiate your brand, resort, product or service has never been more vital. It is therefore time for you to increase participation in social network related incentives.

Communication with your clients and prospects is essential. Companies are able to put out information via their website but this method remains a ‘one way communication’ system, unresponsive to prospective customers’ real interests, questions and priorities. But by using social channels such as Facebook and Twitter, brands are able to start a conversation with their customers, listening as much as talking, and assisting as much as selling. All this can help grow brand awareness, consideration and propensity to purchase.
 
How can resorts & hotels use social media monitoring in a structured way, to reap maximum benefit from this wealth of information?

1. Social Listening 

Social media should not be considered as websites where you promote your products, but as a way to start communication with potential and existing clients.

Our social intelligence tool Pulsar TRAC enables you to keep a close eye on discussion taking place around your resorts and your customer service. Through Pulsar you can track review sites and monitor this critical channel alongside Twitter,  Facebook, news and blogs. Pulsar TRAC allows you to keep an eye on social media discussion 24/7 in real time, meaning you can be confident that you are on top of everything that is being mentioned about your resort.

2. Appropriate Response

The second part of communication is of course to respond back. Social media listening can inspire a response in two ways – reactive, and proactive.

Reactive messages reply to content created by customers and other people mentioning your resort – so you might thank them for sharing a beautiful photograph, or respond to any questions or customer service issues.

But social listening can inspire proactive, original messages too – the Facebook status updates, blog posts and tweets a brand or resort may put out. By using Pulsar TRAC, you would be able to identify the main topics of discussion around your resort and create content that responds to it – for example, if all your customers comment on the resort’s amazing seafood, that suggests something to highlight in your digital content calendar.

3. Measuring key performance indicators  

Once you have created your content, you will want to monitor how much impact you are getting. The best KPIs are often simple. For example, a resort may want to focus on visibility (Pulsar’s metric for the scope of audience reached) to assess their overall impact across both social media and news & PR activity. What topics drive the most visibility, and what sources deliver it most effectively for your resort? In this way, insights built off KPIs can provide crucial fine-tuning and direction for social media content strategy.

For more advanced social media users, Pulsar TRAC can also offer performance analytics through content tracking. This feature  enables you to track the spread of any digital content (video, advert, website) on the social web. This lets you see and understand how it is shared across networks in real-time and who your influencers are – the people you may want to build closer relationships with in future.

4.Competitor Tracking

While monitoring your own-brand activity is the first step, savvy companies realise that they can make the most out of social by listening to their competitors as well. This could mean keeping an eye on which types of online promotions work best, or seeing how customers are responding to their pricing and any special offers.

Pulsar TRAC enables you to market your content smartly through understanding which type of content is driving positive or negative sentiment and understand how impactful people are about a specific topic and within special social networks.

5. Aspirations and dreams

Social media monitoring can go a long way beyond simply the quantitative. Instagram and Pinterest are used by consumers to daydream about their fantasy lifestyles and share beautiful, aspirational pictures. Travel and resort brands should want to be a part of this too – it’s all creating awareness (and potentially back links, good for SEO).

While many of these people may not be able to afford a purchase at present, this kind of awareness can inform a longer term pipeline of honeymoons, special once-in-a-lifetime trips, or recommendations to people who can afford it (their parents!)

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So that’s our five-part process for how resorts & hotels can use social media listening to take their digital marketing up a level, from individual responses to real customer and category insight.
If you would like to find out how Pulsar could help your resort monitor its presence on the social web, get in touch with Treesha: treesha.pandoo@pulsarplatform.com and the Pulsar team on 0207 8746577 / at info@pulsarplatform.com.