Owing to the fact that Nigeria has a youthful population and many of them are on social media, it is now an unwritten rule for businesses including those in the hospitality sector to have a strong social media presence. This is because the best place to engage customers is on social media according to Omolara Adagunodo, the Managing Director of Jumia Travel , Nigeria’s No 1 hotel booking portal.

Omolara Adagunodo, Managing Director of Jumia Travel (Middle)

Adagunodo made this statement while speaking on the topic ‘‘Connecting the Dots: Hospitality, Social Media & The Customer Experience” at the panel session organised by Women In Hospitality Nigeria (WIHN) at the ongoing Social Media Week Lagos held at Landmark Event Centre.

She affirmed that: “As an online travel agency, you cannot overstate the importance of meeting your customers where they are – and that is on social media. So, connecting the dots aren’t that far-fetched because we all know that the key to gaining a key or loyal customer base today is by engagement and the best place to engage your customers is on social media.”

The MD who was on the panel with Kayode Abass, Managing Partner, usabitest.com/dptrax.com; Iyadunni Gbadebo, Sales Manager, Eko Hotel & Suites; Wonuola Lamidi, Co-Founder, Diamond and Pearls Travel; Anthony Shishler. CEO, A Simple Management Solution Ltd; and the anchor, Obianuju Onyia, Training/Career Development Coordinator, WHIN stated that what social media is doing today on a much cheaper scale is equivalent to what flyers and billboards were doing 20 years ago just by engaging customers on social media. Hence, “We use social media as a tool to increase and improve customer experience in hospitality.”

Contributing to the discussion, social media consultant, Kehinde Abass said social media should come as a natural tool to businesses in the hospitality industry. His words: “the hospitality and tourism industry thrives on word of mouth and reviews. Hence, social media should come as a natural tool since it is e-word of mouth. If I had a good experience in a nice hotel, I will definitely go on social media and talk about it.”

Abass advised social media managers not to ignore or delete comments as this action may escalate to a social media crisis.

Social Media Week Lagos is a week-long conference that provides the ideas, trends, insights and inspiration to help people and businesses understand how to achieve more in a hyper-connected world.

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