Tuesday, May 25, 2010

How Social Media Can Put Your Company On The Map

When the Roger Smith Hotel in New York began engaging in social media marketing because they felt they had to have a digital presence, they had no idea that they were about to create a whole new culture and brand.   Today, the Hotel has become the venue for social media events in New York.  

The Hotel's objectives were not focused on the traditional ROI, that is, to sell more rooms. (And that's the false expectations most businesses have when entering social media.)  Rather, it was focussed on connecting people and telling their stories, thus engaging the guests and creating an experience that would encourage them to return, which is a different concept to customer loyalty.  The Hotel's Director of Hospitality relies on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and a Blog (all the social media marketing tools) to distribute and collect stories on guests, events and people connecting with the Hotel.  

Their first event in 2009 hosted a Social Media breakfast in the artsy environment, and soon it became a well known place for web developers, start-ups and others connected in the social media world to meet.  Suddenly, a new culture and identity was created at the Roger Smith Hotel, which now feeds on itself and has become the hotel to host social media events in New York.

This story shows how businesses should not be afraid to embark on a social media strategy that doesn't reqiure a big marketing budget.  It is almost impossible to predict what the ROI is going to be, but it is surely a missed opportunity to not engage just because the future is not predictable.  If you consider that the Roger Smith Hotel has ultimately re-branded itself into the new age without the expense of hiring a marketing agency, then surely it is worth the cost of hiring one person or a contractor for just a few hours a week!  

To get your business on the map, email me for a consultation or read Social Media Marketing For Small Business by Audrey Peters, published by Lulu.com


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