Interview with Max Starkov, President & CEO of HeBS Digital, on the hot topic of the emerging role of the community manager in hospitality.
Masha Polshinskaya, Senior Project Manager – Hospitality Worldwide, Cleverdis: There has been much discussion about the need for social media to be managed at the property level by a new breed of employee focused solely on social media. How would you define the role of such a “community manager” at the hotel?
Max Starkov: Social media is a customer engagement channel and a customer-service channel, and not a distribution channel. The role of the social media marketer is already evolving to better reflect the hard-learned realization of the role social media should play in travel and hospitality. The “owner” of the hotel social media profiles—the one who manages and is responsible of posting, monitoring and reacting to customer comments—is also evolving and is being transitioned from outside social media agencies and PR agencies to property-based social marketing coordinators and community managers.