Being "Social" - A Case Study: @SohoGrandHotel

The Soho Grand is the sort of hotel you want to stay at:  stylish, friendly, nicely situated, very comfortable rooms, people who are very attentive to their guests.

They’re even on Twitter!

Herein lies the problem: being on Twitter, i.e., having a Twitter account, is not being social.  Having a Twitter account and paying attention to it and engaging those who engage you, is.

I had a very nice stay at the Soho Grand in NYC this weekend.  Had drinks and small dishes in their lounge late in the evening.  Enjoyed a very nice breakfast.

So what’s the problem?

I tweeted the Soho Grand before my arrival.


Not so fast.  This is a hotel, which, according to its Twitter account biography, is:

A New York boutique hotel offering luxury accommodations in the stylish, sophisticated SoHo neighborhood.


A “boutique hotel” offering “luxury accommodations.”

Wouldn’t it be fair to infer from this a high degree of personal attention?  I would think so.  

I'm not looking for a response within minutes, though some, like KLM airlines strive to achieve this.  I'm not even expecting a response within a few hours.  I'm talking about expecting to see a response within twenty-four hours at a hotel that touts "luxury" accommodations.  

I wouldn’t think it unreasonable to expect from a "luxury" "boutique" hotel, a response within twenty-four hours.  Am I being unreasonable?

Don’t get me wrong, I loved my stay at the Soho Grand.  I am just disappointed by their lack of truly being social.  Now, I appreciated the fact that they had people both outside and inside the entrance standing at the ready to offer their assistance to guests as they arrived and went about their business.  Couldn’t one or two of these very attentive and engaging people have also been tasked with listening to and engaging from the hotel’s social accounts – and being social to their arriving and arrived guests?

Expectations in social media have gotten more stringent.  I tweeted the Grand Hotel on a Saturday morning.  On the next day, Sunday evening I am writing this post.  Is it unfair of me to expect a response from a hotel’s Twitter account within twenty-four hours?  For a hotel that describes itself as a “boutique” hotel offering “luxury” accommodations, I don’t think my expectations are unfair. 

Being “social” actually requires being “social.”

  1. If you want to be “social” as a business, it requires an investment of resources.  Those resource may be readily available.  You are a “luxury” hotel that has people assigned to greet guests inside and outside the hotel?  Why not train them and task them with monitoring and engaging from your social media accounts?
  2. Customers expect branded social media accounts to actually be listening and engaging when they are engaged.
  3. If you are business, a weekend should not go by without you monitoring your social media accounts, especially if you are a business where weekends are among your busiest times of the week!
  4. It shouldn’t need to be said at this time, but, sadly, it does:  social media accounts are not for pushing content – they are for engaging customers and building relationships.
  5. Social is part of how you will be judged as a business, particularly if your business is in the hospitality industry.
I’d love to hear your thoughts, so please feel free to add a comment.

And, if we’re not already connected on Twitter, please join me there!  @GlenGilmore
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