Big Data and Consumer Experience-Netflix

Netflix is a good example of a company that benefits from leveraging on Big Data and enhances the consumer experience with their product, in this case, the streaming service. For this assignment, I will focus on how they used Big Data to select one of their original series, House of Cards. I will also discuss how they use Big Data to enhance the consumer experience by learning from their behavior while using the product, including pausing, rewinding, abandonment, as well as replaying scenes. In my opinion, they are leveraging on Big Data in as successful way in order to create and personalized and meaningful experience to the consumer. They have been able to make consumers like me think that when I log to my account, the experience will be a really close reflection of my interests.

Before giving the green light for House of Cards, Netflix already know they would have an audience for that show. They were so positive about this that they didn’t ask for the pilot first, which is usually what happens; they went straight to the 13 episodes. How could they be so sure? Based on the data they obtained through their subscribers they knew that many of them watched The Social Network, a movie produced by the show’s producer, David Fincher. Secondly, the British version of the House of Cards was well watched. Finally, subscribers who watched that version of the show had also watched movies with Kevin Spacey or directed by Fincher. I don’t have to say that the show proved to be a success in terms of viewership and the increased number of Netflix subscribers. In this case, they were able to establish this based on Big Data obtained from their own customers. I have to add that they must have also figured out that people love political drama shows. Based on data too, they decided to produce not one, but 10 versions of the trailer, each targeted to different audiences, according to their viewing behavior. By doing so, they were able to talk to viewers based on what they knew they like, so they could draw the series to their attention.

Netflix also uses Big Data to enhance consumer experience. I’m a subscriber and heavy user of the Netflix streaming service. I now wonder I must be driving them crazy. A month ago, I just started to watch Mad Men and immediately got hooked with the show. However, since I watch it on weekdays at night, I tend to only watch 2 episodes before falling asleep with the TV on. Because each time one episodes finishes another one begins automatically, I wonder if as soon as Netflix notices that the next day I watch the shows again, they get that I fall asleep based on the time of they day I usually watch and its relationship with the pattern. They also know that I hit pause at 10:00pm to take my dogs out and then continue to watch the show. The reality is that these patterns give them a lot of information about my usage.

Netflix also uses Big Data collected from their subscribers to give recommendations. According to How Netflix Uses Analytics, they also put tags to shows, like according to level of violence, theme, gender roles, and very specific information, such as the professional career of the main character. They make meaningful usage of this data because it tells them what people like to watch. Since the whole point of this service is to maintain people interested in finding content, they use this data to determine how they can do that. It is no coincidence that I don’t usually have to search for shows using the “search” feature because Netflix effectively predicts what I would like to watch next. Now that I mention this search button, I wonder all the possible information they could obtain from people who use it.

In my promotional products business, I use data from Google Analytics and Facebook Insights. The first one provides information about visits to my website, including audience, interests, behavior, and technology, among others. In terms of behavior, there is the possibility to see which users are new and which are returning visitors. This is extremely valuable because that should give me an idea about whether or not my website design is attractive, if it’s user friendly, and if content is relevant. I do have to make some assumptions, but I can establish trends using this data so I can make changes, if necessary. How do you use Big Data?

Cracker Barrel’s Decision to Pull Duck Dynasty Merchandise

On December 2013, GQ released an interview with Duck Dynasty’s Phil Robertson, in which he made some serious and potentially offensive expressions about homosexuality. Many groups, including the Human Rights Campaign and GLADD, criticized these expressions, as well as other people who echoed this indignation on social media. Other results from these remarks include A&E’s, the network that broadcasts the show, decision to suspend him. Another business partner of Duck Commander (the name of the merchandise brand), Cracker Barrel Old Country Store, decided to pull some of Duck Dynasty products out of the shelves at their stores. 24 hours after making that decision, they put the products back on the shelves. I would say both decisions were made using data analysis, including listening to people’s comments and evaluating them using quantitative, qualitative data, as well as context and sentiment analysis. For this discussion, I will concentrate on Cracker Barrel’s decision and evaluation process.

Cracker Barrel made two decisions in 24 hours or less probably based on listening to people’s responses and evaluating the possible outcomes there would be for them, as merchants of Duck Commander. In order to decide to pull out the merchandise, they listened to how people responded to Robertson’s anti-gay comments, how they felt, if they were seen as positive or negative, if attitudes were neutral. They also looked at how A&E responded, and decided that the possible offensive impact on some of their customers by keeping that merchandise weighed more than by pulling it out of the shelves. They also evaluated how this decision might impact the brand’s image in relation to how it looks by distancing from anything that has to do with anti-gay comments. However, they were bombarded by messages on Twitter, email, and phone calls, including threats to boycott Cracker Barrel. They were not able to anticipate the impact of their first decision on their customers. This is why, the day after, they reversed that decision and said: “You told us we made a mistake. And, you weren’t shy about it. You wrote, you called; you took to social media to express your thoughts and feelings. You flat out told us we were wrong. We listened.” Here are some of the messages on Twitter:

In my opinion, taking two opposite decisions with two different possible impacts on customers doesn’t look like a responsible thing a company can do, if they want to show some consistency. They were able to admit a mistake, but they could have taken the time to listen before making that first decision. While we talk about listening to our customers, my question is, does Cracker Barrel make decisions based on listening what customers think about issues involving prejudice and controversial issues or they stand by their corporate policy regarding these issues? Do they respond as their customers respond? I think in this case, they evidently waited for their own customers to start talking and this is why they changed their opinion. When they noticed that the first decision could damage Cracker Barrel in the long run, they had to step back. This could have been avoided by taking the time to listen better.

AT&T’s It Can Wait Campaign

AT&T’s “It Can Wait” is an example of a well-structured public relations campaign (which won The Public Relations Society Best of Silver Anvil Award in 2014) and a nice attempt by the company to create awareness about the danger of texting and driving, particularly among teens. It definitely boosts the company’s corporate image and positions it as a responsible corporate citizen. No doubt. According to It Can Wait Overview, the results of the campaign so far also reflect that it has been successful in terms of impressions, app downloads, pledges, page views, reach, and media integration. However, it has failed to translate those results to reducing the number of people who actually decide to quit texting while driving. In other words, AT&T has not been able to convince people to take action, which in this case means not texting while driving. According to the results presented on the article AT&T’s anti-texting campaign: lots of impressions, zero sucess, conversions have been little or none.

According to Beyond the like: What comes next in social measurement, there are other factors that brands should consider measuring, other than likes and shares. These factors are more specifically related to driving people to take action outside social platforms. Even though AT&T’s efforts for this campaign go beyond social media, the results are still not there. The number of pledges, app downloads, and impressions is not enough. The other problem is that, in measuring these results, AT&T seems to be more worried about the brand’s perception and imagery rather than on what is really important. The survey they did on Twitter clearly shows this. In my opinion, they are presenting these results to show this campaign is a success story. What they have not done, in my opinion, is implementing ROI stories in which people engage, not only by liking, sharing or commenting, but taking action.

Let’s take, for example, the one they are doing right now with Demi Lovato. There is a contest right now on the website in which users upload a photo of them doing a pose, dance or any other thing that might motivate their friends to use #X to let them know they are about to drive and cannot respond. Next, they say how they use #X. Once they submit they have a chance to meet Demi Lovato backstage. Sounds like an incentive, but again, does it really stimulate them to stop? They can measure how many entries they receive, how many people visit the website, but can they rest assured that those contestants actually will not text and drive? No.

 

 

One of my recommendations would be to integrate a calendar to their Drive Mode app, which automatically updates when the customer uses it everyday. Then AT&T can offer incentives to people who use it for more than one month, 3 months and so forth. Here, they can make sure they don’t cheat because everything is updated automatically. Some of the rewards would be in the form of discount on the bill, accessories, or free upgrades after using for 12 months. Another idea is to link information from this app to social media accounts so customers can share this information with their friends. Once their friends see that others are actually taking action, they might be motivated. In order for this to work, this app should also be available for Iphone!

Finally, in order to capitalize on the fact that a large number of respondents said they can stop texting and driving if someone in the car asks them to do so, AT&T can run a contest in which users submit Vine videos showing how the driver turned off his or her phone when he or she was driving others to a party. On a final note, the Marketing department needs to be in touch with other departments, such as Research or Operations to optimize the app and define other types of technology that might help have better results.

Project Runway’s #InstaRunway Challenge

 

Each week, the contestants of Project Runway participate in one challenge, which is usually themed, like the Red Carpet Glam in which they had to design a dress for Heidy Klum to wear at the Creative Arts Emmy Awards. Now the show is giving viewers the opportunity to become ““fashion ambassadors” by posting a selfie inspired on a particular challenge on Instagram, using the hashtag #InstaRunway. Each week, Tim Gunn will select his favorite photo, which will be featured on-air during an episode of Project Runway. This means a chance for viewers to share what is their appreciation of fashion for a chance to be on television! We normally see the contestants and judges dictating fashion and what fashion is; this is a great way of engaging viewers by giving them the opportunity to do that too!

Hashtags are very effective for creating and categorizing conversations. In this case, I think the show is looking for active participation in something directly related to the theme of the show. This campaign is not asking viewers to cast their votes; it’s asking them to demonstrate their perception of fashion, particularly related to the challenge on the show. This example would need an ROI story to measure both qualitative and quantitative results. Examples of qualitative data would include, in my opinion, how up-to-date are viewers with fashion, and if they know about fashion trends. Also, by taking a look at these photos, the show can determine if the aesthetic profile is in line with the viewer profile in terms of age and weight, men or women.

In terms of quantitative, they can measure if the ratings of the show increase because those who participate must watch the show to find out the winning look, number of posts (which will let them know how motivated people are to participate). They can also find out which themes draw higher participation, which will help determine the theme selection for the show. Finally, because the photos are uploaded to the  contest website, they can determine if traffic to the website increased, as a result of the contest.

One of the issues I have detected is that people are posting non-related photos using the hashtag. Why? Because they know Tim Gunn is watching! These people, some who seem to work in the fashion industry, are maybe aspiring to be spotted by him so they can be contestants of the show, for instance or for any other purpose. I think this distracts the attention from the main idea of the contest. After a couple of weeks, they would have to evaluate the total amount of entries and what percentage is relevant to the contest to determine if maybe some people want to use it for other purposes.

Another issue (that may be related to the first one) is if the hashtag has been used before for other purposes not related to the show. Looking at the Instagram page, I found some posts that are 24-weeks old, clearly not representing the current strategy. If this is a hashtag people have been using for other purposes and long before this story, they can consider changing the hashtag. In my opinion, these are the issues that may arise, all of them having a direct effect on measuring results.

IMC: University of Florida’s Masters Degree in Science with a Major in Entrepreneurship

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The University of Florida’s Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation (CEI), a program offered by the Warrington College of Business Administration, provides students with valuable tools to help them develop and sustain entrepreneurial skills in their professional lives. Through workshops, speakers, degrees, and special programs, students are encouraged to explore business opportunities in different areas, including start-up, social, and corporate. Some of the programs offered by CEI are the following:

  • Master of Science with a Major in Entrepreneurship (MSE): A one-year degree program that exposes students to both theoretical information and practical application of business and entrepreneurial practices. It is one of the first programs of its kind. After students complete this program, they are ready launch a venture on their own.
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Global Entrepreneurship Study Program- Ireland (part of the MSE degree)

 

  • Veterans Entrepreneurship Program (VEP): A 3-phase program aimed at disabled veterans looking to start a new business or increase the profits of an existing business. The program is free of cost for participants and sponsors and private donors absorb the costs.
  • Entrepreneurship and Empowerment in South Africa: Open to both graduate and undergraduate students, this six-week long program provides participants with the opportunity to help disadvantaged entrepreneurs in South Africa. Students will work as consultants with two small businesses, while having the opportunity to immerse in a different culture and exchange ideas.

For the purpose of this discussion, I selected the Master of Science with a Major in Entrepreneurship (MSE) and give some recommendations in order for them to increase enrollment to the program using a well-structured integrated marketing communications (IMC) campaign.

Target audience:

  • Men and women who hold a bachelor’s degree (all undergraduate majors) from an accredited institution with a 3.0 GPA or higher in the last 60 credits of course work. This part of the target market includes professionals already working full-time, but looking for opportunities to “be their own boss,” as well as those who just recently graduated.
  • Students from all Florida universities who are about to finish their bachelor’s are a key part of the target market. We acknowledge that there are big opportunities within University of Florida current students.
  • Residents near the Gainesville area will be part of our primary target market.
  • Secondary target market will be comprised of other Florida areas, as well those living out-of-state.
  • Both of these groups have an interest in developing skills and understanding of how an idea or product can be used to create a successful business or to help an existing organization want to grow.
  • Members of the Academic Common Market, which may receive in-state tuition if their home state doesn’t offer an MSE program, which is why they are also part of our target.

SWOT analysis:

Strengths:

  • The MSE at the University of Florida was the recipient of the 2013 National Model Award for Graduate Entrepreneurship Program by the United States Association for Small Business and Entrepreneurship; the program was also the recipient of the 2012 Excellence in Specialty Entrepreneurship Education Award, given by the Global Consortium of Entrepreneurship Centers.
  • The program includes experiential learning programs like GatorNest, in which students collaborate with area startups and the Mentoring Program, which provides students a relationship with more experienced or more knowledgeable person to guide them in specific areas. This gives the program a practical dimension, rather than only focusing on theory.
  • The program can be completed in just one year.
  • The MSE program is one of the nation’s premier graduate entrepreneurship experiences.
  • CEI sponsors local professional organizations in Gainesville, like GAIN.

 In terms of IMC strength…

  • Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube accounts, as well as a blog, email marketing account, and a website have been already created for the CEI program and part of the communication strategy includes promoting the MSE program.

Opportunities:

  • According to the Entrepreneur Resource Center, “the Gainesville region has a thriving entrepreneurial ecosystem that provides the tools necessary for the growth of all businesses in any stage of development.” The fact that MSE is on-campus at a university in Gainesville represents an opportunity because it means having presence where that system is located. This represents more networking opportunities, among others.
  • Local events, such as monthly luncheons by GAIN represent opportunities to promote the program, as well as partnerships with other colleges and universities to promote entrepreneurship. One example is San Fe College’s Center for Innovation and Economic Development.
  • CEI’s relationship with the Gainesville Chamber of Commerce may help promote the MSE degree in local events.
  • The Start-up Hour is another networking opportunity for people who might be interested in the MSE degree.
  • Two other schools in the area, University of North Florida and University of Central Florida don’t offer a full master’s degree in entrepreneurship. They offer Entrepreneurship MBA and certificates.

According to Integrated Marketing: What It Is and Why You Should Embrace It – Part 1, integrated marketing communications (IMC) is defined as: “an approach to brand communications where the different modes work together to create a seamless experience for the customer and are presented with a similar tone and style that reinforces the brand’s core message.” This is the part in which brands and companies establish relationships with their current and potential customers by sending messages and encouraging dialogue through media.

Through the implementation of a well-thought, well-balanced integrated marketing communications (IMC) strategy, UF’s Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation will be able to increase awareness and reach its enrollment objectives to the Master of Science with a Major in Entrepreneurship program. They already have some of the important components in place, including a website, blog, email campaign, Facebook, and Twitter accounts. The next step is to structure those channels and messages so that they are cohesive and consistent across all platforms. In my opinion, this consistency applies, not only to the tone, voice and content of messages, but also to the overall graphic design, including colors, fonts, and use of images, among others. The brand, product or service is right in the middle and all components around it should work together to create that pleasant experience.

 

How to use Facebook and email campaign analytics

*This post is for educational purposes

Company ABC is a company in the health industry located in the Central Florida Area. I just received the analytics of their Facebook page and email campaign for the period April 28, 2013- May 25, 2013. Here are my comments and insights about these analytics:

Facebook:

With Facebook Insights, I can see the overall performance of the company’s Facebook page. When I look at Facebook Insights, I first take a look at the overview tab, which gives me a snapshot of the most important areas of the page: likes, engagement, and reach. By taking a look at these three areas, I can determine if my fan size has grown, if my posts reached them and, most importantly, if my content is creating conversations, as well as social mentions.

These are the key questions I ask when evaluating Facebook Insights for any particular period. I have included some key insights and recommendations to each of the areas:

1. How was post engagement?

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  • This basically means if people clicked on a post, liked it, shared it, or commented about it. This, in my opinion, is a key aspect of social media management. It’s important to reach people, but when we look at the engagement levels can determine whether or not people are reacting to that message; whether or not the message had an impact big enough to talk about it with others. This conversation is what turns into social mentions and represents a potential for a company to establish relationships with their customers.
  • During a 7-day period, company ABC shows a 51% decrease in the “People are Talking About This” area. This means that the increased amount in reach did not generate enough conversation, meaning maybe the content of the posts wasn’t attractive to the audience. Maybe this can be attributed to the fact that the week before they posted sponsored ads, which generated more engagement? Different types of posts cause different reactions. Out of the 8 posts on the report, only 2 of them were link shares. The other 6 were status updates. ABC can consider posting photos with questions so that people participate. For example, post a photo of a vegetable and ask people how they use that item to cook at home. Another example to increase awareness would be to have people vote on ABC’s Facebook page on a charity that they think deserves a particular donation. Or maybe have people submit ideas about an ABC event at a local hospital. This can also be promoted on the newsletter, in order to direct people to the Facebook page.
  • The most viral post was also the one with the least reach. I want to make clear that reaching more people does not necessarily imply more engagement and more conversation. This post was also about National Cancer Survivors Day, which is a topic that many people care about or can identify with. Increasing the number of posts about this topic might be a good way to increase engagement. ABC can do something similar with National Diabetes Month, in which each day they post something related to diabetes, including videos from ABC’s YouTube page from celebrities who have diabetes.

2. Did the amount of likes and reach increased?

  • While the amount of likes is no guarantee of excellent performance and more engagement, an increase in the number of likes represents a bigger audience, especially after the changes that Facebook made this year, which brought organic reach down to 1-2%. What this means is that only that percentage of your fans will see the messages posted on your page.An increase in the number of likes should not be overlooked because “likes” represent your audience. According to Facebook Likes: How Important Are They to Your Business?, “by clicking Like, users are saying they are happy to see a business’s page content in their News Feed, potentially leading to more engagement.”During the period we are evaluating, organic reach was at 12%.  In a period of 7 days, ABC had an increase in the number of likes by .69%. Also, reach increased by almost 40%. What this means is that their audience grew and that the posts reached more page fans. Is this good? It depends….

 

3. Who is my my message reaching (audience)?

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  • Do demographics reflect my company’s target audience? It is important to know that while having more people in your page sounds fun, one of the most important criteria to consider is if you’re building an audience on social media that is in line with your company objectives and strategy. ABC is located in Central Florida. This is why we see that the highest amount of people liking their Facebook page living in Florida and speaking English, as well as Spanish. Because ABC is a company in the health industry and women seem to be more concerned with health, it makes sense to see that the majority of the audience in the Facebook page is women between ages 25-34. What does this mean? It means that messages should be of interest to this audience. For example, maybe a good idea would be to post about breast cancer screening tests or risk factors. The most important thing here is for ABC to keep in mind who they are speaking to. Likewise, there could also be a section on the newsletter devoted to breast cancer with a link to the Facebook page for more information. This also helps direct traffic to the Facebook page.

4. Paid or organic?

  • I also look at the strategy I need to use in order to increase reach. Because of the changes I discussed earlier, it is obvious that Facebook wants companies to invest in sponsored stories and other types of ads. After all, they need to make money…plus creating a Facebook page is free. Taking a look at the reach and frequency section in the analytics for ABC, we see that ABC had steady levels of viral reach during the period we are analyzing. What this represents is those who accessed a Page post through a story from their Facebook friends. This is the conversation ABC wants to create. This can be achieved through the use of creative, well-structured posts that include photos or videos. Since now organic reach is less, ABC should also contemplate investing in different types of ads, such as, page post ads (to increase engagement), page likes and event ads. This will help increase likes, as well as reach and engagement. Like I mentioned above, the content of the posts should be attractive enough for people to spread the word!

5. How do page visits look like?

 

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  • It is essential to know how many people are visiting the page, as well as how many accounts are accessing the page. Facebook Insights provides information about this. Page views represent how many times the page was visited on a particular day. Unique visitors represent how many accounts accessed the page. The important thing with unique visits is that it only counts it once. This means that someone may access the page more than once per day and this may only reflect in the page views. Why is this important? Because more page views means more people are engaging more with content, or at least find it relevant enough to go back and visit. As you can see on the table above, there are days in which ABC did not have page views or unique visitors. This may be due to the fact that there were no posts or no ads running or the fans did not find the content important. In order to keep momentum with a company’s audience, it is recommended to post everyday.
  • The posts calendar for one week could be promoted on the newsletter or Twitter page. Also, ABC can also por on Facebook photos of different events and them direct traffic to their Pinterest page so people can see more photos. The idea is to keep the audience in the loop. Higher number of page means means that visitors are coming back to the page or they find the content attractive enough to make them want to move to other areas of the page. This is why it is also important to post on other areas, other than the timeline. For example, if we are posting about National Diabetes month, there should also be an album of photos related to that.
  • Facebook Insights also includes information about external referrers, who also bring traffic to the page, like Google. This is why it is very important that ABC has an effective SEO strategy so that people could find the company, as well as the company’s main social channel. For example, using a primary set of specific keywords about the area in which ABC specializes. Secondary keywords may be related to content topics of the newsletter and posts in other social networks. Finally, the tab with total views gives a good idea about how many views of the timeline, photos, photo albums, and profile photos. This information is very useful in order for companies like ABC to revise editorial calendar according to where traffic during page visits.. ABC’s timeline has the most amount of views (441), followed by its profile (71). This means that, if the highest amount of traffic is there, this is where ABC should post the most.
  • Having an idea about where your page traffic is provides for revising the posting and content strategy. Also, in order to increase page visits, ABC can run a cross promotion on their Twitter page in which users have to post a photo of a particular health topic (their favorite veggie) on ABC’s Facebook page. Another idea is to use the bi-weekly newsletter to drive traffic to the Facebook page, in which they can access an educational video about why people should drink water, for example. Or drive traffic from YouTube to Facebook by including on the videos a “visit our Facebook page” caption at the end so people can find weekly “how to stay healthy” key points.

Email Campaign

 

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With email campaigns, what I look for when I receive analytics is the delivery rate, open rate, click rate, and conversion rate. The delivery rate can warn me if there is any email address I need to double check. The open rate is important because it gives marketers an idea about whether or not the audience cares about a message enough to open it.  According to the 2012 Silverpop Email Marketing Metrics Benchmark Study, open rates in the United States averaged 19.9%. In the health industry, the average is 30%. Based on this, the open rate of ABC’ email message of 25.4% is close to that average. Still, there is an opportunity to revise the subject line, test other options in the future in order to make that message more appealing and increase that open rate.

Clicks help marketers determine if the content of the campaign motivates readers enough that they want to click on a link to learn more or to achieve conversion. The mean click-thru-rate for the healthcare industry is 4.4%. ABC’s click rate for this campaign is 10.9%, fairly high. One way to increase this rate is to personalize the emails, rather than addressing them to a general audience. Also, each email campaign should be about one particular topic. Since it’s bi-weekly, maybe the newsletter can focus on one theme and have different articles and links about one particular topic. One or two of them can direct people to the Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, or YouTube pages.

Finally, since I was not able to see the content of the email message, I cannot tell if there is a specific call to action. Conversion rate is 0%, which is not positive. Content must be evaluated to see if the message invited readers to perform some kind of action, including subscribe, download or buy anything. If so, then the message must be clear and attractive in future campaigns. “Learn more” and “sign up” here are some call to actions that ABC can use in the future. People can sign up for an event or for a class, for example. Facebook may help boost email campaign results. There is a Constant Contact app that can be included on the company page so people can join the email list.

Reputation management: Hospitality Industry

Note: This is a “sample post” for class (educational) purposes only.

My role as Social Media Manager at the Hyatt Regency Orlando includes monitoring comments posted by our guests on travel review websites, such as Trip Advisor. These comments give us a good idea about the experiences of our guests at the hotel. They also provide us with feedback related to what is important to them. These comments can also reflect how our brand is perceived in the eyes of the consumer; how they describe Hyatt’s corporate image. Because I also handle public relations, tracking and responding to these comments is essential for our organization because we want to build and maintain relationships with our customers. In order to do this, it is very important to listen to them while they voice their opinion about our property; it is equally important to respond to them in order to show them that we care. We don’t have a standardized format that we use for every response. We tailor our response so that it is directly related to the message we receive from them. This means that what we do not answer just for the sake of it. We personalize our feedback because we value each guest’s experience.

We take positive reviews as free promotion, word of mouth marketing. We also value them as an opportunity to engage with our customers beyond their stay. We also treasure the fact that they take time to write these reviews because they want others to know how good was their stay. Finally, we showcase these reviews on our hotel website and social media accounts. After all, we want actual and potential customers to know how others see us! Below is an example of a positive review, followed by our “hypothetical” response:

Sample post (#1) from customer:

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Sample answer from our hotel:

Thank you so much for your feedback. We’re glad you came back to stay with us, this time for pleasure! I’m happy to hear we could fulfill your request of a higher floor and I hope next time we can accommodate your family in a room with pool view.

It was also good to learn that your kids enjoyed our zero-entry Grotto Pool with water slide and interactive water feature. We’ve seen families spend a whole day enjoying this pool, as well as our Olympic-size Terrace Pool. I will pass your comments about the pool maintenance to our Operations Manager. We value your opinion and strive to offer our guests a complete and pleasant experience. You also enjoyed your massage at The Spa and wished it were longer. This means you really enjoyed that experience in the harmonious atmosphere at The Spa.

We believe no stay at a hotel is complete without delightful dinning experiences. This is why our new dinning features offer choices that please everyone. This is the case of the 24-hour B-Line Dinner, in which the desserts and display window featuring our homemade cakes and pastries take the leading role! I’m happy you found that dessert scrumptious. Since you visited us during a very busy, the wait at Fiorenzo Italian Steakhouse was longer than it should have and we apologize for that. However, we’re delighted that your dinning experience was positive and that you feel happy with the service at the table by Ralph. If your next visit is on Easter, Mother’s Day, Thanksgiving, and Christmas, don’t forget to try our award-winning brunch.

Our shuttle service frees you from the hassle of having to find a parking space at the theme parks, plus we take good care of your car, like you say! Since this was your second stay and we also want to see you come back here or to any other Hyatt hotels, we invite you to join our loyalty program for free, Hyatt Gold Passport, in which you can enjoy exclusive benefits and free nights with no blackout dates at any Hyatt worldwide. Hope to see you back here at the Hyatt Regency Orlando!

Two weeks after the previous post I was offered a work opportunity as Social Media Manager at the Hilton Fort Lauderdale Marina. Even though this implied relocation, I was motivated by the opportunity and decided to go for it. Remember, this post is hypothetical and for educational purposes only!

While we love to read positive feedbacks and see our ratings go up, we also consistently track and respond to negative reviews. We are aware that these travel review websites represent an open forum for people to vent about the experiences they had at hotels, positive or negative. In both cases, we respond rapidly to each review. As soon as I started working here, the hotel received this feedback from a customer:

Sample post (#2) from customer:

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Sample answer from our hotel:

Thank you for reviewing the Hilton Fort Lauderdale Marina hotel and for taking the time to highlight some areas for improvement. We apologize for the inconveniences and maintenance issues you had during your stay with us for your 10-year high school reunion. What you describe its contrary to Hilton standards. Since 1919, the Hilton family of hotels serves thousands of customers a week, and we strive to create the best possible hotel stay for our customers, including ensuring the guest rooms and the common areas are in optimal conditions and that the pool is cleaned everyday. Our guest rooms are designed with comfort and convenience in mind. I will personally follow up on everything that you pointed out with the management team and make sure we address all issues. We hope you give us another opportunity to serve you better in the future.