How A Holistic Approach to Social Media Can Improve Brand Performance
For many, the name MGM Resorts International conjures up images of the big green hotel on the Las Vegas strip, aka the MGM Grand. But MGM Resorts International is actually the brand behind more than a dozen hotels in Las Vegas, including the iconic Bellagio, Circus Circus and Luxor, as well as properties around the U.S. and in China.
One other figure that might surprise you is that in those Las Vegas establishments, gambling accounts for only 30 percent of the revenue. Las Vegas has grown up, and so has MGM Resorts International.
Until mid-2015, each MGM Resorts International property managed its own social media and content. Then, they brought all social media and content together under the direction of their new Vice President, Social Media and Content, Beverly Jackson.
A recognized social business rock star long before joining MGM Resorts International, Beverly explains in a Social Business Engine podcast recording how taking a holistic approach to content and social media is better for hotel guests, the MGM parent brand as well as each of the individual properties.
Here are three key takeaways that many umbrella brands can put into action.
When devising a holistic social media strategy for multiple related brands, you need a two-prong strategy.
- Make sure people recognize the connectedness of the brands
- Lean into the unique voice and tone of each individual brand
The holistic approach will fall short if people fail to see how the individual brands are related to each other. Together, they suggest a strength that cannot be there if they’re all on their own.
And yet, it’s important that each of the brands has its own voice and tone. Otherwise, the content you publish for each brand’s natural audience will ring hollow.
In the case of MGM Resorts International, there are hotels that serve distinct audiences. Some seek the height of luxury, while others want an incredible high-tech experience and still others want to see an amazing array of entertainment.
When each property did its own social media, they were, literally, on their own. Now, they feed off of each other’s strengths.
Leverage Interconnectedness to Improve Customer Loyalty
In an organization of related but distinct brands, connecting those brands in crossover social media and customer loyalty programs can elevate repeat business to new heights.
When MGM Resorts International properties operated social media and loyalty marketing in silos, their guests could earn rewards that would encourage them to return to the same hotel. Now, they earn rewards that can be used in any of the properties. That means that after several visits to one or several of their mid-range hotels, an MGM Resorts International guest might suddenly be able to enjoy their next Las Vegas stay at the luxurious Bellagio.
The benefit to a hospitality brand is fairly obvious. Hotel chains have operated similar programs for years. But many businesses don’t allow customer rewards to be used in more than one establishment (or even more than one department), just as MGM Resorts International did not until 2015.
The more valuable your loyalty program is to your customer, the more they will make use of it.
Focus on Your Customer
As Beverly Jackson says in the podcast, “Tell the right story, with the right content, at the right time, on the right channel.”
To be able to do that, you need to know three things:
- What content subject matter is most relevant for your customers at any given time?
- Which content formats are most engaging to your customers?
- Where on social media do your customers hang out?
Once you answer these three questions for each customer segment of each of your related brands, you can pull them all together under the umbrella brand.
Your results may not be as eye-opening as those achieved by MGM Resorts International, but it’s a pretty good bet that the cross-pollinating of your brands in social media will be a winning strategy.
Bernie Borges is a veteran B2B marketer, with a career spanning tech ventures in New York, Silicon Valley and Florida. Borges is the Executive Producer of the Social Business Engine and CEO of Find and Convert.
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