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A great friend of mine Justice Mitchell sent me a relevant article entitled Four Pillars of Digital Marketing for Luxury Brands posted on Mashable.  I found the article of interest but the “pillars” haven’t changed much over the years.

The four “E’s” have been a strong platform in travel and tourism PR/marketing for many, many, years.  Yet, the arrival of social media has driven the opportunities for “E’s” to a whole new level. What I found interesting about the four “E’s” is their integration with social media.

Hotel can deliver “E’s” even before a guest arrives at the front desk;  if they arrive  at the front desk at all, as they may check in via an airport lounge or an e-conceirgeBoth the airport lounge and e-conceirge deliver a new experience, offer exclusivity and engage guests with the brand.

Another way to deliver “E’s” pre-arrival is by showcasing guest centric policies through social media channels. Twitter can demonstrate responsiveness, Facebook, problem-solving while blogs can certainly tell a story, and of course the website needs to deliver a multifaceted experience.

Emotion is closely related to experience as the two are often linked.  A good experience evokes emotions of pleasure, while a bad experience evokes emotions of frustration, anger and sometimes sadness.  Positive and negative online experiences are a way of life, but for me nothing tops a personal onsite experience. For example,  a birthday cake arrives to the surprise of a guest or a couple returns to the resort for their 25 anniversary and the resort has two-etched wine glasses and a gorgeous reserve wine in-room upon check-in making that day magical and memorable. To be talked about for sure, online of course.  The circle of social media.

Another way to engage guests is to communicate they matter.  If someone comments, asks a question, is looking for an answer, complaining or is complimentary be responsive!  Even better start conversations that engage others in answering, commenting, assisting as these are your brand advocates.

Exclusivity can be tough, as many hoteliers are part of a “chain” but exclusivity isn’t restricted to a product it can be a personalized service, or a concierge, waiter or GM that always has a welcoming smile, is willing to help, and has a vibrant personality.  If you don’t have that person, find them, pay them well and make them your exclusive draw!

Ah, the power of the four “E’s” is it the ‘epoxy’ for social media?  Comments anyone?