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Opportunities and Challenges in Use of Social Media

publication date: Mar 21, 2011
author/source: Cornell Hospitality Research, Jane Henion
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Cornell Hospitality Research Summit Catalogues Opportunities and Challenges in Use of Social Media

March 08, 2011   Contact:  Jane Henion, 607.255.9780, jmh222@cornell.edu

Cornell Hospitality Research Summit Catalogues Opportunities and Challenges in Use of Social Media
Ithaca, NY, March 8, 2011 - It's hard to think of an industry that is a better fit for social media, whether it's Facebook or Flickr, YouTube or Twitter. But at the same time, no industry runs greater risk from poorly considered tactics or inappropriate social media strategies. As documented in a new set of proceedings, presenters at the Cornell Hospitality Research Summit (CHRS) documented the hospitality industry's current use of social media, and outlined the remarkable potential for future social media platforms. Held in October 2010, CHRS brought 225 industry leaders and researchers to the Cornell School of Hotel Administration to examine and analyze current industry issues, with a goal of moving forward in research and practice. The proceedings are found in "Social Media and the Hospitality Industry: Holding the Tiger by the Tail," available at no charge from the Center for Hospitality Research (CHR) at http://www.hotelschool.cornell.edu/research/chr/pubs/roundtableproceedings

Most hospitality operators have recognized the marketing potential represented by social media, including greater contact with customers and the opportunity to develop a loyal following. However, the explosion of social media creates the risk that the hospitality industry could be left behind by advancing technology, as operators spend their time and money on outdated channels. To avoid that possibility, CHRS presenters explained their current use of social media, including specific apps for each brand, interactions on Facebook and Twitter, embedded YouTube videos, and extended, personal conversations about the company and brand. Oddly, some hotel chains are barely represented at all on social media, while others are conducting a full-court press using all possible channels.

Several presenters covered the great potential advantage that social media offer by allowing creation of sets of advanced analytics of customer preferences, current and future products, and societal trends. These analytics are possible because guests are so willing to share information about their likes and dislikes. By using appropriate analytic methods, hoteliers can get a sense of what guests want generally and how they react to the hotel specifically. Most important right now is the development of mobile apps, since travelers expect to use their mobile devices to book rooms or other travel services on the spot. A comprehensive strategy of customer engagement will employ all social media.

The CHRS was made possible by the following sponsors: Avaya, Charlie's Grilled Subs, Hotel Business, HotelExecutive.com, HotelMarketing.com, HotelNewsNow.com (HNN), Hsyndicate.com, and J.D. Power and Associates.

                                                 *SAVE THE DATE for the next CHRS: October 3-5, 2012*

Thanks to the support of the CHR partners listed below, all publications posted on the center's website are available free of charge, at www.chr.cornell.edu.

About The Center for Hospitality Research
A unit of the Cornell School of Hotel Administration, The Center for Hospitality Research (CHR) sponsors research designed to improve practices in the hospitality industry. Under the lead of the center's 81 corporate affiliates, experienced scholars work closely with business executives to discover new insights into strategic, managerial and operating practices. The center also publishes the award-winning hospitality journal, the Cornell Hospitality Quarterly. To learn more about the center and its projects, visit www.chr.cornell.edu.

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