Truly excellent blog on how to utilize social media; great for hotels that either want to supplement their brand’s efforts or expand their own efforts.
Hampton Roads HSMAI is hosting this webinar on July 28, 2011. Space is limited. Contact us now to reserve your seat. A networking reception will follow.
For marketers social media is about engaging customers in a conversation. For Revenue Managers, managing demand is about pushing information out to customers. However, demanding and well-informed consumers, conditioned to seek out the best deal, characterize the “new normal.” In fact, there’s a profound shift from looking for the best price to seeking out the best value. And the social media-minded consumer is willing to share their experiences with 100,000 or more of their closest friends. But how does this impact the revenue manager? And how is this amplified-seeking of information becoming more complex as the social media space becomes more crowded?
Join us for a lively webinar session as a leading revenue management consultant offers some sage advice on dealing with social media in the context of a good revenue management program.
This was forwarded to me by my colleague, Laurice Nahas. I re-post it in its entirety.
Everyone is focused on the integration of prices by Google in maps and universal search results, and on how this will affect the hotel and travel distribution landscape.
And they are right as it will have an important impact on direct sales for hotels.
But there is something else going on that you need to be aware of for your hotel internet marketing strategy. Facebook is becoming a hotel search engine!
Social media marketing has been getting a lot of attention in the hotel and travel industry over the last two years.
But now more than ever it is vital for hotels to have a presence in Facebook with a company page for their hotel. Your hotel listing needs to contain relevant, useful and recent information for your guests and potential clients.
Why? Online travel agencies and aggregator websites are moving in on your turf.
Yes it is not limited to only your page, but distributors, travel communities and review websites are listed, potentially diverting traffic away from you.
You have to make sure your hotel page comes out on top in FaceBook and offers interesting information for travelers. Otherwise they will simply move on, and you will be losing out on some direct business.
A search for Booking.com confirms that it is indeed listing hotels in Facebook. We have seen it before, but it seems the list of properties has grown.
In order not too lose out on direct business it is extremely important that you have a well developed page for your hotel listed in Facebook.
You need to provide attractive, relevant and recent information to capture the interest of potential bookers. Remember images speak more than a 1,000 words.
Hotels cannot afford to be left behind and need to make sure they have a structural social media marketing strategy in place!
Director of Marketing
18251 McDurmott, Suite A
Irvine, CA 92641
949.442.9850 x. 14
The news is out about a Virginia Beach hotel making TripAdvisor’s Top Ten Dirtiest Hotels List – sadly for the second time in two years. Please answer our poll. It closes January 31, 2011 at midnight. Results will be posted here and on our Facebook page.
Bryan Bruce, Your Brand Voice, presented our attendees with a picture of how to market more effectively via mobile devices and mobile applications for events. I noted several significant ideas that I am posting here. I am also including additional resources and information for on mobile marketing that are appearing on the horizon and will significantly impact hospitality marketing.
Early in the presentation Bryan gave a quick overview of social media and how active meeting professionals are in it. He suggested one way to capture business from an event that is happening near you. Here is an example (Bryan had different ones):
Tweet: Reception tonight at 5:30 in Spinnakers Grill
Conference: NATO Convention
Your Tweet in response: Your feet need a break! Foot massage special and we’re across the street! #nato2011
Even if your hotel, restaurant, or attraction is not involved with a convention, you can still market to the attendees by using their hashtags and creative messaging.
He also showed examples of how large conventions are utilizing mobile applications to make events it easier for attendees to connect with each other (SpotMe), make reservations for dinner, learn about seminar updates, and even allow sponsors additional exposure by inserting their logo and other information directly into the application. In many cases, he said, the sponsors actually pay for the application development (typically around $20,000) for the right to have their information embedded into the app. Not a bad deal if you ask me, considering a website can cost anywhere from $20,000 – $50,000 and may not reach the highly targeted audience the app can provide.
I really like the feature of being able to schedule transportation with one or two clicks right from the event’s mobile application. That is a real time saver when I want to take clients or prospects to dinner or insure that I will reach the airport in time for my flight.
Bryan had the difficult task of trying to demonstrate mobile marketing for hotels and event professionals; just talking about mobile for hotels could take an entire day! I’ll attempt to provide additional resources which may apply more specifically to hospitality professionals other event managers.
One item I am watching in particular right now is QR Codes. These Quick Response Codes are images are scanned by mobile applications to reveal special offers or any message you wish to embed in them. These codes are Open Source, meaning free to create, and there are lots of websites such as Kaywa where you can create your own codes for customers to download coupons, discounts or even happy birthday wishes.
More mobile marketing resources I am either currently utilizing or watching closely are:
Location based marketing services:
Google Places, which Bryan briefly mentioned
And you just knew there had to be an association for it http://mmaglobal.com/main
I at least scan Mobile Marketing Watch once a day because, as you know, technology and innovation is occurring at an ever more rapid rate, and mobile is no different.
I recommend you keep coming back here too. I’ll be posting much more about mobile in the future I can assure you.
Since Brian Payea, Trade Relations Manager of TripAdvisor, visited us to talk about getting more out TripAdvisor, I found this video of my friend and fellow hospitality marketing professional, Daniel Edward Craig, talking with Josh Mackenzie about how to get your guests to write good reviews on TripAdvisor. I want to add that Brian stressed that you cannot violate the rules for getting guests to post reviews.
- You cannot provide an incentive for guests to write reviews
- You cannot provide a computer in your lobby or from your hotel for them to post reviews
Violation of those rules could get your listing blocked or posted with a big red warning banner.
TripAdvisor now gets over 40 million visits a month. That kind of volume has the potential of enormous impact on your property or venue, both positive and negative. You owe to yourself to attend the November 11 luncheon featuring Brian Payea, liaison to hospitality and advertising industries, with a focus on opening communications channels and strengthening the ties between TripAdvisor and the hospitality community.
Update: Thirty people attended the luncheon and provided feedback like this from Ross MacNett, Senior Market Manager, Expedia, “Congrats on a great HSMAI event yesterday!! Just got the run down from someone on our team that attended.”
The next event is on January 13, 2011 and the topic is mobile marketing. Stay tuned for more information coming soon.
Pretty much all you need to know to excel at online lead generation…and not just for travel agents either!
One need only open a browser and view a hotel or meetings related news portal to discover how prevalent social media has become and how important it is to the meetings industry. Most everyone is familiar with Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter, yet many hoteliers have yet to engage beyond those behemoths to reveal the extent to which meeting and event planners have embraced the social media phenomenon.
Community sites such as Engage365.org, Eventpeeps.com, i-Meet.com, and Plancast.com have robust discussions concerning many aspects of the meetings industry, with chief among them being how to use social media and new technologies to create greater value for sponsors and exhibitors, and also to have a better experience for the attendees.
Hotels, on the other hand, are busy pushing out discounts and trivial messages that completely ignore the meeting and event planner. Clear and present opportunities to demonstrate value, provide a resource, and build new relationships are being missed. Here are five suggestions on how to get more involved in these discussions.
- Create a profile and begin to monitor conversations
- Filter the conversations to subjects that are either close to your property or you have a particular expertise
- Identify and qualify key influencers (there are some who are merely trying to get a job)
- Follow their discussions and contribute where appropriate and appropriately; don’t attempt to sell your property. Provide solutions first. Remember, you don’t ask for marriage on the first date!
- After a relationship is established gently intertwine messages about your property but still resist the urge to sell. A sample message at this stage may be, “I’d just like to announce we hired a new catering manager who has over 15 years experience and is very knowledgeable in working with meeting planners to deliver a great event on a budget.”
The conversations are happening all around you. Get involved, listen, and you will so reap the rewards with increased bookings for meetings.