If you are on social media, we are not longer just citizens but netizens, meaning citizens of the internet. There there are few laws that govern social media but there are social laws that monitor and keep social media a great community. Social media is almost like the Wild West where it could be thought that anything goes, but the www of the internet does have social laws that if broken will break your business. It is that simple. If you break a social media rule of conduct you will be ousted by the social media community, quickly, in seconds and with more repercussions than just some tweets or comments.
The tweet is now mightier than the sword
The Olympics was a great example of how irresponsible posting on social media will socially and professionally kill you. Athletes who posted irresponsibly were taken out of the Olympics by the country’s team. A few athletes received that sting when their tweets supported racially inappropriate information. The messages that flew through twitter land were fast and furious, with people questioning the racial remarks in seconds..but the response of the athletes country, removal from the Olympic games added to the ramifications of an inappropriate tweet.
Tourism businesses will be removed by guests if they act irresponsibly
The Olympic athlete lost their chance to compete, a tourism business will lose paying guests and kill their own reputation in seconds. Be responsible with your social media information and be appropriate not only for your own business but your destination as well. As a tourism business you represent not only your world as a hotel, a tour company or a host but you represent your destination, the county, the city and location where your business is. If you act irresponsibly you hurt not just yourself but the destination as well.
Best practices to ensure social media responsibility for tourism businesses
1. Don’t rant. This is the number one rule for your business. Who wants to listen to a complainer or whistle blower or someone’s bad mood. If you are having a bad day, back away from the computer. Your bad day should not be shared with other guests, nor should your bad day reflect on your destination. Back away and return when you feel better.
2. Highlight your destination as much as you highlight your own business. Your business would not exist if it was not for the destination. Be nice to your destination, care for it, worship it and highlight all the great stuff it offers you and guests. Guests pick destinations first and what they do and where they stay second, so make your destination a priority.
3. Be a responsible netizen. Share, be nice, become a resource and expert, be trustworthy and transparent. You can disagree agreeably, you can correct information if people are mistaken, you don’t have to be a Polly-Anna where everything is right in the world, but you do need to share views in an agreeable way you will end up back at point #1 – Ranting.
4. Support other netizens on social media. Social media is a community and when you support other netizens, your community gets bigger and bigger. Like, comment, retweet, join groups, add to conversations productively and add value to others. If you think that someone is being super inappropriate direct message them. They will appreciate the lesson instead of making them look foolish publicly.
Guests are the social media police for tourism businesses
Guests use their personal profile to comment, like and communicate on social media. Though the rules should be the same for people and businesses they are not. All you can lose on social media when you post as a person is respect, friends and followers.
But guests are the internet police for social media. Before you post, think of the guest SM police will like your information or be offended. If you are not sure, don’t post it. If you post and your information is offensive, the guest SM police will lash out and hard. No you won’t get a fine or ticket, it will be worse, your business will lose the confidence of your fans and followers…ouch…that is worse than any fine. And it will cost you more money…..way more money! You worked hard to obtain the followers, why blow it with a poor post.
Social media is the wild west but you can be a good netizen
Social media is the wild west but that does not provide you with the green light to do or say what you wish. Your social media marketing is your online profile for who your business is and what it represents. You get more bees with honey that you do with……just keep making the honey that you and your destination deserve.
Check out our ME verses WE post to further this discuss on social media posting for your tourism business.