Las Vegas gets social media

las vegas welcomeA Las Vegas paper has some great examples today of how social media is helping the city’s hotels.  Owners are setting up websites that give them direct contact with their customers, and in this business customers have plenty they want to say.

Dealing with complaints. One gambler used the online space provided by a casino to post a rant at how stingy it was, suspecting it had rigged its slot machines to give infrequent payouts.  Minutes later another customer came to the casino’s defence: other visitors loved the resort, so perhaps he was just having bad luck.

Keeping an eye open for potential new customers. When a woman posted on her Twitter page that she had just arrived in Las Vegas, a hotel responded with a welcome message and suggested she come on over.

Helping make business decisions. The Luxor hotel company used its Facebook page to ask customers whether they preferred a lower hotel rate or more add-ons such as coupons or discounts on spa services, shows or meals. The response was overwhelmingly for the former, so the hotel acted accordingly.

Special offers. Caesars Palace is offering a Halloween discount travel package for Facebook and Twitter followers that will include tweets to guests offering free food, drinks and other giveaways. Profile photos of customers who have booked are posted on the company’s Facebook page, where people have described their experiences in Las Vegas and offered recommendations.

“There is a great upside for companies that go about it the right way. Social media can hold hotels more accountable to their customers, fix problems, correct misconceptions and build loyalty,” says Harrah’s marketing VP Monica Sullivan.

These businesses have clearly got the value of social media. As an entertainment centre Las Vegas may be a bit special, but there’s not much that these hotels are doing that other companies can’t imitate.

Read the article here.