Online Reputation Monitoring and Management: Grand European hotels – the Kempinski Hotel San Lawrenz Malta research analysis

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Online Reputation Monitoring and Management: Grand European hotels – the Kempinski Hotel San Lawrenz Malta research analysis

The hotel industry is just like any other business in that a strategic marketing campaign is required to be able to attract guests. As more guests turn to social media and review sites to write – and read – good and bad reviews or feedback, online reputation monitoring has become the key online generator to receive feedback and gauge customer satisfaction. From monitoring guests, industry and competition, managers are able to glean business intelligence that then allows them to build a sound social and online strategy.

With this feedback data, managers can then look at their offerings, what works and what doesn’t and focus their marketing campaigns accordingly. They can respond immediately to negative feedback (making a good impression even though the guest may have had a bad experience) and manage potential PR crises before they get out of hand. From social business intelligence insights managers are even able to suggest structural changes within the organization that may result in completely new product offerings and revenue streams never before considered. Businesses can strategically plan based on their strengths and weaknesses!

Rather than discuss this on a theoretical level we thought we’d show how to approach it with a 2 week analysis of one of Europe’s better known 5-star hotels.

Grand European hotels – the Kempinski Hotel San Lawrenz, Malta case study

 

A variety of tools exist to monitor and manage hotel industry social reputation – for the purposes of the following case we used Gnostix Vieras. We believe a single, easy-to-use platform is the best choice to save businesses both time and money. With continued use, Gnostix Vieras will help the following: online and social branding; insight into new revenue streams, products and services; effective customer communication and support; community building; increased engagement, customer loyalty and brand advocacy.  Let’s look at how this works on a practical level –

We started by setting up our “search” including all variations of the hotel, its name, industry terms and competition. Over a two-week period the Kempinski Hotel San Lawrenz showed a 47.35% Share of Voice online. For newbies to social media metrics, share of voice (SOV) refers to the number of conversations about your company versus your competitors/market. The value of online customer and prospect interaction can be tied to the SOV metric – it really is the “Big Picture.”

Share of Voice = Your Mentions / (Total Mentions for Competitive Companies/Brands)

So that all looks good for this business right? – Well, wait a minute… those mentions may in fact be negative sentiment so we dug a little further and found that approximately 25% of mentions were negative. This was by far the largest percentage of negative buzz when compared with competition. Now that’s not necessarily all bad if you have a strategy to deal with negative feedback online, however it was evident that the hotel was not replying to any of these comments and so there was no control of the bad PR that stemmed from these bad reviews and articles.

We also found that the majority of results, during the time period investigated, came from Facebook – this may mean that the Kempinski Hotel San Lawrenz should focus on that platform for communications and marketing however with only two weeks of data it is inconclusive – we would recommend further investigation over a slightly longer period of time. Twitter was most definitely a strategic platform for Kempinski Hotel San Lawrenz and its competition across the board – and with Twitter becoming more and more ubiquitous there is no doubt that it is a very important platform for the company vis-à-vis competition. You definitely want a strong social presence wherever your guests and competition are online!

Competition analysis

If we compare Kempinski San Lawrenz social media practices with competitor practices we notice that Kempinski San Lawrenz has weak social media management and low social engagement especially on their most important platforms, Facebook and Twitter. The good news is this can be easily improved with a little effort and by observing their competitors!

Hilton & Intercontinental in Malta both have a very strong Facebook presence and active engagement with guests and fans – evident from quick responses to guest’s comments or questions online, discussions, and 20,000+ people who like their pages. Intercontinental Malta even makes restaurant reservations through Facebook, leveraging that platform as much as possible to satisfy customers and generate more revenue.

Corinthia Palace Hotel also makes serious efforts to build community engagement and social branding by creating Facebook offers and contests, including Twitter orders in which hotel guests can tweet orders by the poolside!

Regarding Twitter results, again Intercontinental & Hilton in Malta have the strongest presence, with the most followers, quick responses, and continuous tweets about special offers, competitions and travel tips. This interaction with their guests creates online and social buzz with more positive comments and mentions – and happier customers who have become “brand advocates” for them online! It should come as no surprise that Hilton Malta was awarded with a Marquee of Excellence Award by Thomas Cook for their outstanding client service during the summer of 2012.

Data findings – what are people saying about the hotel?

Here is a sample of the high priority data findings found in Gnostix Vieras that we would recommend the hotel communications people take action on, the recommended actions are listed in the last column:

 

# Topic

Influencer

Conversation

Date

Actions

1 What do @Kempinski have to say for kicking out a family in such horrible manner! You do know you could of killed Natalie? S.-♥ @SBA2001 https://twitter.com/Ainsleylee18/statuses/349048969470541826
(refers to: http://www.hoteliermiddleeast.com/17598-injured-kempinski-guest-confronts-hotel-execs/#.UdxVAZx2k2C )
28.06.13 The hotel should reply immediately to this negative comment and deal with source (next bullet #2)
2 Consumers start to stay away from the Kempinski hotel chain Dubai Engineering Jobs https://www.facebook.com/482803391745121/posts/684467108245414
original article:
http://www.hoteliermiddleeast.com/17598-injured-kempinski-guest-confronts-hotel-execs/#.UdxVAZx2k2C
26.06.13 Requires strategic management of the problem at different levels:- the problem- the response- social media and online backlash
3 Thanks ‎#Kempinski, for letting me win two nights in Geneva, in a US$25,000 suite. Are you suiteworthy? Will Rankin https://www.facebook.com/662665235/posts/10151688760220236 23.06.13 Kempinski in Geneva should reply

 

Of course it’s best to respond immediately online however a response, even if late, is infinitely better than NO response!

We also found medium and low priority findings that also warrant action (see actions in tables):

Medium priority:

#

Topic

Influencer

Conversation

Date

Actions

1 Looking for unique #family destination? Head to #Gozo #Malta-stay at #Kempinski #SanLawrenz offers a cool #kidsclub Outcast Otter ‏@Outcastotter https://twitter.com/Outcastotter/statuses/349094845874323456 24.06.13 The hotel could start make more family offers (to be investigated by marketing).Also it could retweet this status and use it for promotion.
2 ICYMI: Kempinski rewrites the luxury agenda http://ow.ly/mkLO8  #hotelnews @Kempinski HotelNewsNow.com ‏@Hotel_News_Now https://twitter.com/Hotel_News_Now/statuses/349204430404583424
refers to article:
http://www.hotelnewsnow.com/Article/10716/Kempinski-rewrites-the-luxury-agenda
24.06.13 The hotel could use this article (link) for promotional purposes, share on social media etc.

 

Low priority:

#

Topic

Influencer

Conversation

Date

Actions

1 Take a romantic break at the astonishing Kempinski Hotel, San Lawrenz on Gozo Maria Graziella Cassar https://www.facebook.com/1052274938/posts/10200507332059786 16.06.13 The hotel could make more special offers -like this one, since people seem to enjoy their stay in Kempinski with lower prices – this  should be shared widely on social media for virality
2 The hotel Kempinski has lived up to its name, great work guys! Nick Kemp https://www.facebook.com/1475510331/posts/10201320582164638 19.06.13 The hotel could thank customer for his compliment

 

We are seeing here missed opportunities for helping positive articles and reviews generate buzz and go viral. So not only is this hotel not managing bad PR on social, it’s also not spreading the positive messages and reviews they receive from guests and writers.

The keyword “Malta” came out as the top trend for the overall search – the second top term was “hotel” and then “Kempinski” – so this confirmed to us that our data was absolutely relevant and high quality – and Gnostix Vieras summarized TripAdvisor and Booking.com feedback nicely (below), confirming that Hotel Kempinski San Lawrenz is a very popular and well-known destination, especially for couples. This may be leveraged by introducing targeted marketing campaigns and offers for couples.

TripAdvisor

TripAdvisor overall showed excellent reviews for the time period – however wherever we see a drop in service reviews (see below graph) the business ought to look into what happened on that day (June 21 in this case) to see if they can rectify whatever problem appeared on the day and respond to this negative feedback online.

 

Booking.com

Out of a total of 141 reviews the hotel received:

  • 26 “Excellent” Reviews
  • 4 “Very Good” Reviews

Total Services: 9, Total Value: 8

Insights from data – summary

Recommendation

Aside from the potential actions mentioned already in the body of this post, managers should also reply to reviews, showing guests that they care about feedback and encourage more reviews as well (through their active feedback, and perhaps by promoting the sites in some way through marketing, online and off). We believe that would result in more reviews that would impact the hotel’s rankings, visibility, scores and bookings.

Hotel Kempinski San Lawrenz requires a social strategy to build community, and handle incidents and subsequent bad PR such as the one involving Natalie Creane. The hotel also needs to leverage all positive feedback to help with online and social branding – and begin to prioritize community building and engagement so as not to lose market share to competitors. Via social media we recommend the hotel create offerings and services to fulfill guest’s expectations and gain positive online feedback and brand advocacy!

Research has shown that travelers prefer to choose hotels with better managed responses over a comparable one without responses. Greater engagement and more reviews would most definitely impact revenue since more reviews give hotels the following:

Greater visibility = more potential guests and a better reputation = increased bookings!

by Roberta Gogos, co-founder of Gnostix

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