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  • Guest Service / Customer Experience Mgmt
  • Why User Generated Content is The Great Equalizer in Hotel Marketing

  • The rise of user-generated content is one of the most disruptive forces in hospitality since hotels moved their marketing materials and booking engines to the Web. Why? User-generated content is the great equalizer of marketing. It allows consumers, not brands or properties, to own the reputation of a hotel. It allows boutique hotels with small marketing budgets to compete against large chain hotels with lavish loyalty programs. It allows great service and quality to drive marketing through consumer reviews.

    When I was a marketing director for a consumer products company in the '90s, our website was the most important part of our marketing mix. We spent hours agonizing over wording and design, imagining that each pixel could somehow affect our brand. It was the primary way we spoke to our customers. In addition to telling customers who we were and what we did, the website needed to reflect our corporate values and our personality. And of course it needed to drive sales.

    Today, there are infinitely more ways for a company to reach customers online. As the head of marketing at Revinate, my job is to engage with our prospects and clients in communities -- both real and virtual. I tweet ...

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Hotel Business Review Guest Service / Customer Experience Mgmt

Pamela Barnhill
Joshua Miller
Judith Jackson
Michael Waddell
John Swinburn
Roberta Nedry
Roberta Nedry
Coming Up In The February Online Hotel Business Review




Feature Focus
Social Media: Interacting with the Hotel Customer
Consider these astonishing numbers: 1.49 billion active monthly Facebook users. 1.1 billion active monthly YouTube users. 320 million active monthly Twitter users and nearly 400 million registered users on LinkedIn. 400 million active monthly Instagram users and 200 million active Google+ users. The power and reach of social media is an awesome force and it has transformed how hotels interact with their customers. In the past year, social media advertising spending increased 33.5% to nearly $24 billion dollars. Social networks are being utilized by hotels to reach more visitors, expand brand awareness, enhance brand reputation and to establish more direct and personal communication with their customers. Savvy hotel operators are adopting a comprehensive social media strategy, and there are several emerging trends to note. Video continues to be a powerful and influential element in social media marketing, with 70% of companies saying that it is their most effective marketing tool. Video generates a 62% higher engagement rate than photographs alone, and with new social sites like Meerkat and Periscope which offer live video streaming, those numbers will only increase. Sponsored content is another growing trend. Though advertorials have been around for decades, hotels are finding new ways to maximize the visibility of their content. Some are placing sponsored content on Facebook, or on influencer blogs. Another trend is the integration of a “Buy Now” button into social media websites. Customers will be able to make purchases without ever having to leave their favorite social sites. This development is a major convenience for customers and should also be an additional revenue source for hotels. The February Hotel Business Review will explore these issues and examine how some hotels are successfully integrating social media into their operations.