Is to me what sums up the basics of a successful blueprint for social web engagement. In this excellent interview with Adam Wallace, New Media Marketing Manager, of the Roger Smith Hotel in Manhattan in my opinion deservedly called a Social Media Rock Star – we learn a lot about what makes them the gold standard of a solid and successful commitment by a hotel to social media. First and foremost it is about the culture, which in this case, as it should, starts at the very top with the CEO. From that the rest follows, including the team approach where the voice of the brand is expressed by a number of different people who know exactly what it is about and how to engage with the community. This also allows the time necessary for the overall social web marketing effort to be divided among a team. In addition, as Adam mentions, the social effort is fully integrated into their overall online marketing, again a necessary strategy for success.
What I especially like, is the comment about where the ROI fits into the overall picture. It certainly has a place and is a necessary requirement, but it definitely should not be the first priority or initial focus for a social strategy to be successful and sustained over time. I am sure they would not have continued for six years with this effort if it hadn’t shown tangible and measurable results along the way. What many people – especially in the executive suite – don’t seem to realize is that financial ROI of a social web marketing effort is achieved only over time. The Roger Smith Hotel, it seems has made a continuous commitment during a difficult economic time for the hotel industry and in a very competitive marketplace like Manhattan and has managed to be successful because of it. To me that is solid proof of the ROI resulting from this exemplary social web effort. The lessons that can be learned from this are clear and they apply not only to hotels but any organization in travel and tourism that wants to be where the conversation about their brand takes place whether they are listening or not and that happens to be on the social web.