Loyalty may be marketing’s Holy Grail, but the rules are changing in the digital age. So you just might want to hold that tweet and lighten up on the hashtags.

That was the take-away from Wharton’s recent marketing conference, “Building Loyal Customers in the Information Age.” While marketers have more data than ever, the truth is that customer loyalty is declining according to Chris Malone, managing partner at Fidelum Partners, a global marketing firm.

Michael Wilhite, senior vice president of insight analytics for a strategy consulting firm pointed out that far too many companies are approaching digital marketing from the wrong perspective.

It’s not about the numbers. It’s about engagement, authenticity, trust and building a personal connection with your customers and prospects. It’s about relationships and making people love you – and for hotel marketers, love your hotel.twitter-for-blog

Marketing used to be about personal face-to-face communication, building empathy with customers. And it still is – even in the digital world. Hoteliers do that instinctively while the guest is on property. But what happens before a traveler arrives at your property and what happens after they leave? Does the same personal warmth and hospitality you provide during a guests stay extend through all your communications?

Unfortunately, in far too many cases it does not. Tweeting for tweets sake won’t build your brand or help create loyal customers.

To increase customer loyalty, stop worrying about the social media numbers and start concentrating on providing authentic, trustworthy, engaging content and treating customers as individuals — not just a number.

Trust me, it will pay off.

What’s your social media strategy?

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