Social Media and Resort Management Services: Connecting With Consumers in the Digital Age

Wednesday, March 27, 2013 - 23:30

Since forming in 1998, The Alderwood Group has consistently looked for ways to better serve and connect with its board members, owners and guests. Timely responses to customer service issues, enquiries and concerns have earned the company both praise within our local communities as within the timeshare management industry as a whole.

Over the last few years we’ve looked for ways to maintain and enhance this reputation by bringing our resort management services online and staying up-to-date with industry trends and technology. Social Media is one of those trends we feel will serve timeshare property management going forward.

The ways in which the consumer shares her or his experience is quickly becoming reliant on social media. It is instantaneous and has the ability to reach a wide audience both in the United States and abroad.  There is a chance for consumers to not only hear the opinion of people they know on a popular vacation spot, but also from others on the larger scale of networking.  They can learn about resort experiences, find more information about a specific vacation service or product offered: find hotel deals, or simply ask questions via social channels such as Facebook or FourSquare to learn more about exactly what it is they’re spending their hard-earned money on.  Poor online reviews or unanswered questions can prove costly to not only online businesses but brick and mortar businesses as well.

According to the recently released Nielsen 2012 Social Media Reportnearly a third of all social media users prefer interacting with a company through social channels rather than the phone.

Nielsen Social Care Graphic

For the resort and timeshare management industry, there is a huge opportunity to influence these technology-driven consumers between the ages of 25 and 44, and who make up about 56 percent of prospective purchasers.  According to MMGY Global Shared Resort Real Estate Ownership 2012:  A Market Perspective, the average age of prospective purchasers is 42.  This group is spending an increasing amount of time on the Internet.  Time spent on PCs and Smart phones was up 21 percent from July 2011 to July 2012, and people spend more time on social networks than any other category of sites.

A business’ online presence extends beyond social media alone. For example, including a functional website with options like resort and timeshare virtual tours, or one that functions just as well on a mobile phone or tablet is essential to the user experience. This generation of customers almost all carry a smart phone and use them to buy everything from music, hotels, and airfare.  The fact is, individuals are progressively becoming more comfortable with purchasing goods and services online and trust the opinions of other consumers (often, friends) rather than mass marketing outlets.  The more the resort and timeshare industry does to adapt to this online trend, the greater the possibility of creating a new generation of satisfied owners will be.  It is estimated that about 200 million people use Twitter and 1 billion use Facebook, which both have mobile apps and the ability to direct people to your website where they can take that virtual tour instantly.

Joining the social media craze is indispensable to the servicing of the timeshare consumer which is why The Alderwood Group now has profiles on Facebook, Twitter and Google Plus and is looking forward to sharing industry news and adding additional tools for our clients to connect with us.  With the trend, mass marketing and traditional media is bypassed and a more non-threatening form of communication is accessible to an ever changing and growing technology-dependent community.

We would love for you to join and engage us through these social avenues.