Hawaii Hospitality - September/October 2013 - (Page 14)

Social Media in the Hospitality Industry PRISCILLA PÉREZ BILLIG P eople connecting with others and sharing the stories and sharing the stories d h i t ries i of Hawaii—that’s hospitality. This simple concept of sharing is also at the heart of the social media. media Over the recent years, conversation has moved beyond the question of whether a hotel, restaurant or special event should invest in social media, choosing from platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google, Pinterest, YouTube, LinkedIn, RSS, Blogs and Email. Instead, the question has evolved into, How can we do this better? While only about eight years old, social media’s evolution comes from the fundamental human need to communicate. We can now create, share and use information in digital form, in real time, and with a global reach. The global reach is especially important to Hawaii’s hospitality industry, as the Islands are a remote destination vying for local and international tourism dollars … and screen time. “Social media has become the key driver of decision making,” says Toby Tamaye, owner of AT Marketing and whose recent Spam Jam went viral as the first Hawaii event to trend worldwide on Twitter. “While the execution of a transaction happens on websites, the sales part is relying on social media,” he says. (Left) Outrigger Waikiki staff take a dry dip in the newly completed pool and (right) Facebook social media interaction during the pool's renovation. 14 Hawaii Hospitality ■ September/October 2013 More than business website, it is now social media More than a busine web iness b potential clients with the most current platforms that provide poten even and relevant information eve before they board a plane to Hawaii. According to Gwen Woltz, co-founder of Wahine Media and president of the Social Media Hawaii Club, social media is the epitome of word-of-mouth marketing. So a business has the opportunity to join such referral conversations and have an advantage above competitors. “Reputation management is extremely valuable, in my opinion,” Woltz says. “It contributes to the bottom line. Repeat customers and referrals drive business, so why not go where that is happening?” As one of the world’s top visitor destinations, Hawaii’s economy depends on its more than $11-billion-a-year tourism industry. And, the latest travel indicators inform us that the Asian market is exploding again, spurring a new trend by the hospitality industry to reach out to highly receptive foreign clientele—not only in Chinese, Korean and Japanese languages—but also with a sensitivity to those cultures. The best advertisement for a hotel or restaurant is the experience shared with their friends. ~ Toby Tamaye of AT Marketing

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Hawaii Hospitality - September/October 2013

Garden Isle's Ohana
Social Media
Visitor Sector Renovations
Featured Department: Housekeeping
New Restaurants
HLHF Expo Recap
Clean Talk with Rose
Talk Story with George Szigeti
Association News/News Brief

Hawaii Hospitality - September/October 2013