My friend Marcie recently visited Hawaii and had the chance to interview Kaila Anderson, the Social Media Marketing Manager of the Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort and Spa. Here is her story:

Even before I arrived at the Grand Hyatt in Kauai, I already felt welcome.  The hotel and I had some pleasant exchanges on Twitter before the trip, so that by the time I actually arrived in Kauai, it felt like I was visiting an old friend. The aloha spirit was definitely all around both online and offline.

I had the chance to interview Kaila, the voice behind the hotel’s tweets, via email. My thanks also go out to Diann Hartman, Director of Public Relations, for facilitating the interview.

Marcie Taylor: Why do you think Social Media is important in the hotel industry?

Kaila Anderson: Social Media eliminates layers that separate the marketer from its target audience. The immediacy and intimacy of social media is a natural fit for the hotel industry because of its service oriented nature as well as the close relationships social media marketing establishes with its audience.

MT: What social channels is the Grand Hyatt Kauai on?

KA: Current platforms include Facebook (primary), Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Google+, and Foursquare.

MT: How does Grand Hyatt use its Twitter and Facebook Pages?

KA: We connect with guests and fans by posting content regularly, showcasing and sharing the hotel, news, events, and island. We regularly interact with fans/followers to keep the conversation active, and love to see people to share their pictures/experiences of the hotel with us.

MT: Can guests reach you through social media channels? What can they expect?

KA: Absolutely! We encourage our guests to reach out via private message or post should they have questions or need assistance at any time, whether prior to arrival, during, and/or after their stay. Most guests ask questions about the hotel, rooms, reservations, and things to do around the resort/island. They can expect someone to respond usually right away; during off-peak times we try to respond within 24 hours. If we can’t answer a specific question for them, we can definitely direct them to the right person to do so.

MT: What kind of content do you share?

KA: Our content is focused on real-time updates from around the resort, including pictures, events, food & drinks, spa, island activities, local wildlife, and special offers. We’ve seen the highest post engagement from our pictures (many of them Instagram photos) of the resort, pools, and beach. The comments we receive on these pictures are those of previous guests reminiscing of their time here, or new guests excited to see a glimpse of what to expect on their upcoming stay.

Thank you so much for sharing your insights, Kaila. Mahalo!