LOS ANGELES: Hilton Hotels & Resorts, the hospitality company, has yielded major benefits from adopting a more cohesive approach to social media.

Megan McDonald, Hilton’s senior manager/social-media operations, discussed this subject at the Association of National Advertisers’ (ANA) 2018 Digital & Social Media Conference.

Hilton, she reported, has 14 separate lodging brands – running more than 5,300 properties – that previously formulated their own social-media strategies. That independence, however, was leading to inconsistency and missed opportunities.

“We were getting messages like this 200 times a week: ‘I’m [from] a hotel and I want to start a Facebook page. And before I do that, what do I need to know about the Hilton brand and demographic? And where do I start?’” McDonald said. (For more, read WARC’s in-depth report: Hilton sets out to turn social media into a cohesive hub.)

“We were getting a whole slew of questions and they were very repetitive ... [People were] messaging us and saying, ‘What are the standards for this? What should we be doing here?’”

That situation also meant the corporate social-media team constantly was looking back to patch over old problems with little time to look ahead and plan.

In remedying this problem, it launched the Hilton Social Hub to provide guidance and pro-active support. “It’s an internal site that sits within our intranet,” McDonald explained.

“And it has almost 3,200 members – Hilton team members who have opted to join and get email alerts anytime we upload content, guidelines, [or] anything to the social hub.”

The hub offers access to an extensive library of how-to guides, legal and professional standards and requirements, social-media content and other expert advice on areas like holding contests and sweepstakes.

“Putting [all of this] in place has really helped hotels know where, and how, to do everything legally the way they’re supposed to in order to run an effective contest,” McDonald reported.

One success metric is the number of staff members who have joined the social-media hub. “It’s continuing to grow like crazy,” she said. “It’s up almost [up] 80% since the beginning of the year.”

There are other indirect indicators of success, too. For instance, the company has seen a “huge uptick” in engagement for brands, McDonald revealed, while user-generated content also is gaining traction.

Sourced from WARC