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From cafés to hotels, hospitality venues have always been social hubs, so as technology develops it stands to reason that apps will play a growing role in hospitality.
Apps essentially provide the fastest and easiest way for us to share and access information right from the palm of our hands. Of the users surveyed for Sensis' Social Media Report 2017, over 40 per cent posted a review of a hotel or restaurant to a social media app. Similarly, around 40 per cent of respondents use social media apps to post photos of their food.
In any hospitality management role, it's important to know how and why you should use new technology to assist your day to day operations.
Numerous apps now exist to make managing hospitality staff simpler, from rostering to tracking professional development and leave.
Apps such as HiveMind or Deputy set employees up with personal pass-codes with which they can clock in or out of a shift, creating accurate timesheets in as little time as possible. On the managerial side of things, calendar functions allow you to see the effects of rostering on your staff budget, availability, and workload in real time.
These apps also include noticeboards for important staff communication - to save you having to repeat important points from meetings an employee may have missed. Instant messaging allows staff to get in touch with each other with ease.
Of course, for those that aren't able to access these, using common social media apps can provide a workable alternative. Using Google plus groups, managers can send Google calendar invites in lieu of rosters, and communication functions just as any social media group allows.
Social media is a primary opportunity for self-promotion of small hospitality businesses. Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter allow managers to maintain consumer engagement and curate their company's reputation online.
Being aware of discourse regarding your own company, your competitors, and your overall industry on social media can be the difference between a customer gained or lost. Often consumers will voice their problems on social media, either in hopes of reaching a PR representative or to warn fellow consumers.
Using social media apps shouldn't only be reactionary. Social media should be just that - social. Managers need to constantly engage with their customers online, building the relationship between brand and consumer.
The Bright Local Consumer Review Survey 2016 reveals that 91 per cent of consumers regularly or occasionally read online reviews to determine whether a local business is good or bad. By continually monitoring your online engagement, you can mitigate the effects of negative reviews and build an engaging social identity for your brand.
Using apps and social media to improve the performance of your business is complex, to get the best from these apps, you need to know the industry inside out.
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