Social Media & Relationship Marketing
Michael Barbera
  • Social Media & Relationship Marketing
  • Develop Fully Connected Consumers Through Social Media
  • Social media has shown the world its power. Your power. It's your voice that is shared throughout the world via underwater fiber optic cables and wireless networks. This voice has played a key role in the development of global politics, criminal justice, relationships and economic development. Economic development is a broad term, but when there is growth in a town, city or county, a hotel is likely to appear. Alike every other business, hotels have a target segment, or two, or ten. It's unlikely that a four or five star hotel will appear in small, rural town, and it's unlikely that a large convention will be held in a small hotel, regardless of geographic location. Although each hotel has target markets, hotels can increase their reach through humanizing engagement on social networks as well as increase their revenues by developing a "fully-connected" consumer. Read on...

Benjamin Jost
  • Social Media & Relationship Marketing
  • The Top 3 Social Media Concerns that Keep Hotel Execs Up at Night
  • If you ask most hospitality C-levels, social media might not be their top of mind priority. And why would it? Between worrying about operations, finances (average daily rates and average length of stay), staff turnover and more, social media is just one item at the end of the list. But the truth is, the number one thing that we should all worry about is guest satisfaction – I know I don’t need to hammer that home; however, what I do need to mention is that guest satisfaction comes from many places, and is heavily influenced by what people are saying online, not just what happens at your hotel. Read on...

Lorraine Abelow
  • Social Media & Relationship Marketing
  • The Transformation of Hotel and Travel Media
  • Due to the exponential growth of digital media, how we plan and book our vacations has changed dramatically over the past two decades. The environment is constantly evolving; with an increase in the use of mobile content being amongst the most recent advances. Travel Public Relations firms can help you to remain fully informed about this rapidly-changing landscape. Magazines, guidebooks and newspaper supplements were once seen as the ultimate authority on travel. But now the biggest touchstones also include online reviews, travel websites and blogs. Traditional travel print media took a beating due to the fractionation of the media but many managed to stay afloat by diversifying through online content and social media. Read on...

Michael Barbera
  • Social Media & Relationship Marketing
  • Jealousy and Persuasion via Instagram
  • Consumers in North America are exposed to approximately 30,000 brand impressions daily. During an average, day consumers are exposed to television commercials, radio advertisements, billboards and sometimes, direct sales, but more significantly are the thousands of readily identifiable brand impressions that we observe, but don’t overtly consider. The car logo on our steering wheel, the MTA logo on the bottom corner of the New York City Subway map; the Apple, Google, or Samsung logo on your phone, and the interlocking “NY” of the person wearing a Yankees’ jersey at a ball game are all brand impressions. Each of these items are cognitively processed and stored for a later date when marketers hope that you use your heuristic decision-making process to make a purchase without much apparent rhyme, reason or thought. Read on...

Nisha Thakkar
  • Social Media & Relationship Marketing
  • Social Media Strategy: How Much to Spend and Where
  • While social media has become a mainstream marketing channel, there are many variables that hoteliers are not taking advantage of to increase their revenue. Unlike other mainstream marketing avenues, social media is not static, as platforms continuously find ways to increase engagement with both users and advertisers. As social platforms have realized their massive marketing opportunities within their user base, they have increasingly capitalized on their clearly defined users by providing advertisers access to them. Today, the popularity of social channels has created a “pay-to-play” model that leaves many business owners and managers perplexed as to which channels to focus on, and the right budget to allocate in order to maximize return on investment (ROI). Read on...

Cass Bailey
  • Social Media & Relationship Marketing
  • Top Instagram Trends in the Hotel Industry
  • These days, a lot goes into choosing the perfect hotel. Hotel choice no longer depends solely on the location, price, and amenities; it depends on experience. Customers have become more interested in experiential features instead of whether or not the hotel has a five-star review. As the phrase goes, many “do it for the gram.” When looking to book their stay, the Instagram generation is interested in things that are eye-catching and worthy of sharing with their followers. Just searching the hashtag “wanderlust” reveals millions of images of different travel experiences from around the world. Read on...

Tim Sullivan
  • Social Media & Relationship Marketing
  • Creating the Right Connection for Conversion and Engagement on Social Media
  • As hoteliers’ key audiences spend less time on the Web and more time on their smartphones’ social apps, it is crucial for hotels to have a digital engagement strategy that creates meaningful interactions on social channels. Desktop still converts higher, but the path to a booking is a journey full of touch points across social. Now that social media platforms are maturing, hotels can go beyond targeting their own guests to discovering new profitable audiences. They can reach and drive sales for all sides of the business: leisure, corporate and group sales. However, before hoteliers think about social engagement, they need to cover the basics of personalization and one-to-one marketing. Read on...

Chris Teso
  • Social Media & Relationship Marketing
  • Social Media Activates a Cycle of Customer Engagement, Loyalty and Spending
  • Social media has traditionally been approached as a marketing tool for top-of-funnel activities. However, the activities associated with generating awareness, like creating viral posts and taking advantage of real-time marketing moments, are difficult to measure and even harder to link to real business value. Yet, marketers innately know that social media has real opportunity as their audience is there—in volume and in frequency. As a result, a new trend is emerging among hotel marketers that takes distinct advantage of the direct follower model of social networks: the marriage of the loyalty program with social media marketing. Read on...

Alan E. Young
  • Social Media & Relationship Marketing
  • Social Media Drives Engagement, but Does It Drive Revenue?
  • Today, social media is a staple in most people’s daily lives. In 2016, 78 percent of Americans had a social media profile, up 5 percent from 2015. Worldwide, there are 2.3 billion active social media users – 1.7 billion on Facebook alone! And popular platforms like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram aren’t missing this opportunity to capitalize on our need to be social. In 2016, Facebook underwent a dramatic transformation from social network to a media delivery service right before our eyes. Facebook is now the second biggest ad publisher globally behind Google, and in Q3 2016 reported record earnings of $7.01 billion in revenue. Read on...

Mary Gendron
  • Social Media & Relationship Marketing
  • PR's Evolution Into Activation
  • It seems just a short time ago that hospitality public relations – PR – was implemented as a one-way communication between a brand or hotel or resort and its potential market segments. The purpose was to gain attention, interest, and, ultimately, bookings that would turn prospects into customers and, ideally, loyal repeat clientele. Today, the media relations function represents just one component of an interactive, engaged connection between hotels (or hotel companies) and their constituents. This article takes a look at where the discipline came from, how it has evolved, and where it may be headed as a vital tool for driving revenue. Read on...

Ron Caughlin
  • Social Media & Relationship Marketing
  • Practicing Digital Promoflex - Don't Lock it in
  • When accessing and converting potential guests to your hotel, there are no hard and fast rules when it comes to SEO (Search Engine Optimization), Pay Per Click (PPC) campaigns or Social Media Marketing. The most valuable tool you have in the battle for Google’s favor should be the ability to evolve, I like to call this “Digital Promoflex” in today’s marketing environment. We all know, just like in chess, we need a plan in order to play a decent game. This is exactly the same premise in digital and social media marketing. In order to determine what kind of channels to target your audience, Read on...

Gini Dietrich
  • Social Media & Relationship Marketing
  • Use Blogging to Position Your Hotel as a Travel Resource
  • The proliferation of travel discount websites has many hotels scrambling in a race to the bottom. Trust me—this is a race you don’t want to win! So how do you attract travelers (and ideally repeat travelers) who aren’t simply looking for the cheapest bed for the night? Becoming an expert resource on your city and sharing it through a branded blog is a great way to stand out from the competition. By creating and regularly publishing to a blog that celebrates what makes your city unique, you can elevate your hotel from only ranking in Google search for those looking at hotels in a specific price range to being a top destination for anyone looking to learn more about your destination. Read on...

Sherry Heyl
  • Social Media & Relationship Marketing
  • The Rising Value of the Travel Influencer
  • With 59% of marketers increasing their budget to work with social media influencers, Influencer Marketing is going to continue to grow. We will see hotels getting feature stories on top blogs and/or highlights on influential social profiles. There are a variety of reasons influencer marketing is taking over, including more compelling and entertaining stories told to a targeted audience as well as the increased ability to measure the impact and affect behavior and drive conversions. Whether or not you can increase your budget, here are a number ways you can increase the value of your influencer marketing strategy. Read on...

Stephanie Miller
  • Social Media & Relationship Marketing
  • Brand Perception: An Increased Focus on Conversational Messaging
  • Where are your guests when they’re not at your hotel? The answer is simple: they’re on social media. But, the real question is: are they on your social media? Social media is the go-to platform for many travelers who no longer want to visit websites, pick up the phone or even send an email. It’s the fastest way to communicate information about a brand. Often, it’s the first resource referenced for news. While social media will always have its share of window shoppers, more followers are turning to it for specific questions about pricing, availability, onsite amenities and destination activities. Your followers expect immediate responses, informative answers and ongoing information about hotel news, updates and offers. Read on...

Anne Sandoval
  • Social Media & Relationship Marketing
  • Success of Social Media at the Brand Level
  • It’s undeniable that hotel brands have found success in using social media to engage travelers. Some of the more active brands on social media can boast millions of Facebook Likes and hundreds of thousands of followers on Twitter. Scores of additional followers join in the conversation on Instagram, Pinterest and Google+, and the most current brands are trying out networks like Snapchat and Periscope. With this level of undisputed success at the brand level, some hoteliers might think that any engagement at the individual property level is unnecessary, but that is far from the truth. Read on...

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SEPTEMBER: Hotel Group Meetings: Blue Skies Ahead

Jay Spurr

Meeting planners have more than enough to think about when it comes to searching for the perfect venue – and eco-consciousness is increasingly making its way top of mind for many. It is currently estimated that the average hotel guest generates 2.2 pounds of waste each night of their stay. And, with the meetings and event industry recently being deemed as the second most wasteful sector in the United States by the EPA, we at JW Marriott Austin knew we had to go above and beyond to deliver more efficient meetings and events with the lowest possible carbon footprint. Read on...

Del Robinette

Engagement and commitment are at the core of our professional lives in a 24 hour a day, 7 day a week operation. No matter the size or complexity of the box, engagement and our commitments should be a core fundamental that not only surfaces in our every interaction, but guides and directs our proactive decision making and our strategies and executions. Hospitality 101 teaches us as hospitality professionals, to engage with our guests, to make eye contact at 10 feet, to speak within 5, to escort when possible and to use our guests name in conversation. Read on...

Katie  Davis

I had a bit of an “out of body” experience recently. I was attending a corporate meeting, which was held in a hotel meeting room. As usual, I was multi-tasking for most of the meeting. Doing my best to remain engaged with the meeting content, while simultaneously managing an ever-growing email inbox and “To Do” list. During a break, I was pacing outside the meeting room, on the phone with my office, when I noticed some snacks and beverages set-up adjacent to the meeting room entrance. Read on...

Deirdre Martin Yack

Meeting planning in today’s world is more complex than ever. Whether you’re a planner or a supplier, our jobs are now 24/7. We are dealing with shorter lead times than ever, tighter budgets (on both sides), and expectations based on the perfection projected by social media and reality TV. Our job is no longer simply about dates, space, rate – we now need to compete at a world-class level on a daily basis. As a supplier, it takes extreme creativity at the venue level. Starting with the initial design, event space must be as flexible, innovative and as Instagram-worthy as possible. Read on...

Coming Up In The October Online Hotel Business Review




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Feature Focus
Revenue Management: Technology and Big Data
Like most businesses, hotels are relying on technology and data to drive almost every area of their operations, but perhaps this is especially true for hotel Revenue Managers. There has been an explosion of technology tools which generate a mountain of data – all in an effort to generate profitable pricing strategies. It falls to Revenue Managers to determine which tools best support their operations and then to integrate them efficiently into their existing systems. Customer Relationship Management, Enterprise Resource Planning, and Online Reputation Management software are basic tools; others include channel managers, benchmark reports, rate shopping tools and review systems, to name a few. The benefits of technology tools which automate large segments of a Revenue Manager’s business are enormous. Freed from the time-consuming process of manual data entry, and having more accurate data available, allows Revenue Managers to focus on analysis, strategies and longer-term decision-making. Still, for most hotels, the amount of data that these tools generate can be overwhelming and so another challenge is to figure out how to effectively utilize it. Not surprisingly, there are some new tech tools that can help to do exactly that. There are cloud-based analytics tools that provide a comprehensive overview of hotel data on powerful, intuitive dashboards. The goal is to generate a clear picture, at any moment in time, of where your hotel is at in terms of the essentials – from benchmarking to pricing to performance – bringing all the disparate streams of data into one collated dashboard. Another goal is to eliminate any data discrepancies between finance systems, PMS, CRM and forecasting systems. The October issue of the Hotel Business Review will address all these important developments and document how some leading hotels are executing their revenue management strategies.