Many hospitality and travel companies have jumped on the Social networking bandwagon there is no question about it, however, there is a question as to whether or not they are doing it well. I think that the fair share of companies have simply reacted to social networking and have created a number of profiles in order to be current, rather than embrace it and use social networking to its full potential. However, I also feel that a large number have actually been proactive, meaning they have a plan in place for effective social networking, and are not necessarily flying by the seat of their pants.
One particular hospitality company that I feel is doing a phenomenal job with social networking is Whistler Blackcomb. Social networking is about connecting like minded people and despite being a ski resort, Whistler Blackcomb is also very popular for a number of other things. They utilize social networking through their various different divisions and virtual communities to connect fans. They created a page on their website called the “The Movement” which features all of their virtual communities, blogs, videos and images. It is a one stop shop for all of their social networks. Not only are they involved in several virtual communities, they are capitalizing on all the opportunities these communities provide. They are active and engaging in conversations with their guests.
As a consumer, and member of virtual communities this is exactly what I would look for from a social media perspective. It is clear, concise and cohesive not to mention entertaining and very attractive. Whistler Blackcomb also uses social networking to connect people in “real life”. They regularly hold “tweetups” for their fans and followers. They invite individuals to Whistler Blackcomb, have games and contests and trivia questions and allow all of these individuals with their shared interests and hobbies to connect with one another. It is such a fantastic way to engage your guests and personalize the experience.
They also have Facebook and Twitter accounts for their restaurants, bike park and ski and snowboard lessons, allowing individuals to narrow down a specific area of the resort the interested in to connect with others. Not to mention, the fact that they consistently engage in conversation with their guests, they answer questions, respond to posts, and provide recommendations. Whistler Blackcomb’s social networking is top-notch and first-rate in the hospitality industry. I mean really, do you know another resort that networks as well as they do, because I sure don’t!