Monday, June 30, 2014

Driving Hospitality Revenue With Social Media - LinkedIn

LinkedIn is sometimes overlooked by the hospitality industry, which is unfortunate since the social network has much to offer a hotel’s social media marketing efforts. The purpose of LinkedIn is to serve as a network of professionals interacting with their peers. LinkedIn’s value lies more in networking than direct promotion and it is not a format for hard selling. With over 238 million members worldwide now, LinkedIn is however, an extremely powerful network of professionals and a valuable hotel marketing resource for the hospitality industry.

 

Friday, June 27, 2014

Driving Hospitality Revenue With Social Media - Tumblr

Tumblr is a social blogging tool that has gained in popularity over more traditional blog hosting websites like Wordpress and Blogger. At the same time, it is, both a social media network and a blog hosting platform. The simplicity of Tumblr makes it a perfect choice for a hotel just starting out with blogging. However, Tumblr is not effective until a following has been built up. This is not a problem, because hotels can simply share or “re-blog” relevant content from other sources in the hospitality industry. Blogs to follow and share content may include travel and food blogs for example, until a significant number of followers are attained.

The idea behind a blog on Tumblr should be to share rich, longer form hospitality content in addition to high quality images. You can showcase your hotel in the context of its location as a destination in travel blog, or start a blog about food in hotel restaurants for example as well. You must start out following other blogs and sharing their content. Then they will follow you and re-blog your content. In this way, after establishing your hotel’s blog over time and building up your audience, you will reap the benefits of the viral nature of Tumblr.

 

Some advantages to using the Tumblr platform hotel marketing include:

 

  • Tumblr is user friendly - The Tumblr interface is extremely simple and straightforward. Your page can be set up and you can be on your way within minutes.
  • Tumblr is cost effective - You can save money by not having to pay for a domain name. There are also a large variety of custom themes available for your page, most of     them free or for very little cost.
  • Tumblr has a highly viral element - Users can share your content by “re-blogging” it and each time your posts are re-blogged your hotel will be cited as being the original source of the information. In this way, Tumblr can really help your hotel’s expand your social presence.

 

Another factor to keep in mind about Tumblr is its visual nature, with half of its content being images. The hospitality industry lends itself well to visual treatment and if you have access to high quality images related to your hotel, then Tumblr could be an effective platform for your hotel marketing efforts.


Posted via OnFast - http://www.OnFast.com

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Hotel Marketing with Quizzes

A hotel quiz can be an exciting promotional tool that will challenge equally the new fan and the loyal returning guest. The experience is usually rich and memorable for both with this promotional type. Fans can show off their knowledge while the benefit to the hotel is acquiring useful information and marketing intelligence. However for the hotel, a quiz requires a time consuming set up to create questions and answers for this kind of promotion. 

The quiz can be set up to gain valuable knowledge about past guests and their experiences with your establishment and destination. Also, insight can be gained about potential future guests and their expectations, needs, wants, and desires. In exchange for participation, both new fans and past guests be can entered into a sweepstakes offering big prizes or smaller giveaways through an instant win type. Intelligence learned through a quiz can be used to segment customers into particular traveler types to better meet their expectations when they stay at the hotel.

 

One particular type of quiz that can be used to effectively accomplish customer segmentation is the personality test. Participants can answer questions about themselves and then be given travel and accommodation recommendations based on the results. This is fun for users who love to share their answers and see the answers of their friends, providing high levels of engagement. This is especially helpful in driving guest loyalty and repeat bookings. Brand awareness will receive a boost from the viral nature of such tests.

Another powerful quiz technique for a hotel is the fan poll. With a poll, you can learn even more about the likes and dislikes of the hotel’s fan base. Pictures and descriptions of destinations, points of interest at a specific destination, or even items from the hotel restaurant or bar make good subjects for a fan poll. Helpful feedback can gathered about the hotel and the guest experience. As an incentive to participation, prizes may be offered to randomly selected participants. A fan poll is not a particularly effective means to gaining new followers, but will be enjoyed by existing fans and will stir up brand engagement.

A hotel quiz is a promotional technique that offers the hotelier an opportunity to gain insight into their customer base and learn what guests are looking for in their travel experience.


Posted via OnFast - http://www.OnFast.com

Hotel Marketing with Quizzes

A hotel quiz can be an exciting promotional tool that will challenge equally the new fan and the loyal returning guest. The experience is usually rich and memorable for both with this promotional type. Fans can show off their knowledge while the benefit to the hotel is acquiring useful information and marketing intelligence. However for the hotel, a quiz requires a time consuming set up to create questions and answers for this kind of promotion. 

The quiz can be set up to gain valuable knowledge about past guests and their experiences with your establishment and destination. Also, insight can be gained about potential future guests and their expectations, needs, wants, and desires. In exchange for participation, both new fans and past guests be can entered into a sweepstakes offering big prizes or smaller giveaways through an instant win type. Intelligence learned through a quiz can be used to segment customers into particular traveler types to better meet their expectations when they stay at the hotel.

 

One particular type of quiz that can be used to effectively accomplish customer segmentation is the personality test. Participants can answer questions about themselves and then be given travel and accommodation recommendations based on the results. This is fun for users who love to share their answers and see the answers of their friends, providing high levels of engagement. This is especially helpful in driving guest loyalty and repeat bookings. Brand awareness will receive a boost from the viral nature of such tests.

Another powerful quiz technique for a hotel is the fan poll. With a poll, you can learn even more about the likes and dislikes of the hotel’s fan base. Pictures and descriptions of destinations, points of interest at a specific destination, or even items from the hotel restaurant or bar make good subjects for a fan poll. Helpful feedback can gathered about the hotel and the guest experience. As an incentive to participation, prizes may be offered to randomly selected participants. A fan poll is not a particularly effective means to gaining new followers, but will be enjoyed by existing fans and will stir up brand engagement.

A hotel quiz is a promotional technique that offers the hotelier an opportunity to gain insight into their customer base and learn what guests are looking for in their travel experience.


Posted via OnFast - http://www.OnFast.com

Monday, June 23, 2014

Hotel Marketing With Contests, Sweepstakes, Quizzes, and Coupons

Hotel Sweepstakes

The sweepstakes promotional giveaway offered by a hotel, in an especially desirous destination, will gain a high level of brand exposure. By giving away anything ranging from a free one night stay to the all-inclusive vacation, a hotel naturally has an advantage over other industries when it comes to garnering attention for their promotions. A sweepstakes giveaway on a Facebook app can benefit a hotel in two ways simultaneously. First, the sweepstakes can be a powerful fan generator, useful for adding to a hotel’s fan base. Secondly, it can be used to spur engagement and bookings with the hotel’s existing followers and guests.

 

Friday, June 20, 2014

Hotel Marketing and Technology - Hotel Mobile Marketing

During the course of the last several years, there has been a global explosion in the technology and usage of mobile devices. According to figures from Google for example, 21% of all hotel searches originate from mobile devices. This includes both tablets (7%) and smartphones (14%). These are the latest figures available from 2012 and indications are that the numbers will be even higher in 2013. For many types of businesses, especially the hospitality industry, it is absolutely crucial to embrace the opportunities presented by mobile and integrate the technology into everyday operations, hotel reservations, and hotel marketing.

 

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Driving Hospitality Revenue With Social Media - Pinterest

The highly visual social network, Pinterest, is a natural for the hospitality industry. From a travel perspective, Pinterest is perfect for people to “pin” and share images of their favorite travel destinations and the hotels they stayed in while traveling. Conversely, hotels can share images to entice would-be travelers to come their locations and convert them into hotel booking guests.

Pinterest has been growing at a record breaking pace since its launch in 2010, becoming the fastest website to reach the 10 million user mark in early 2012. As of September 2013, Pinterest had 70 million users. Pinterest users began as predominantly woman, the sites early adopters, but men have been catching on to what the network has to offer over and the demographic percentages have been steadily becoming more equal. Here are some tips for hotels to leverage Pinterest.

 

Monday, June 16, 2014

Driving Hospitality Revenue With Social Media - Google

Launched in June 2011 to compete with Facebook, the ubiquitous search engine’s social network, Google , has struggled to catch on with both the public and brands. However, interest in and use of Google has grown recently and the search giant has also been implementing new features. These features, such as Google Communities, are designed to make the network more useful to individuals and businesses. Google ’s growth is now making a presence there essential for hotel marketing, while the search engine optimization (SEO) gains from being on Google’s social network will prove beneficial as well. Hotels can receive the most benefit from Google by following a few guidelines. Google is expected to become a major factor as we move into 2014.

 

Friday, June 13, 2014

Building Hotel Brand Loyalty - The Luxury Traveler

The number of wealthy people in the world is steadily on the rise, despite a global economy, which has yet to fully recover from the recession of 2008-09. According to figures from UBS and Wealth-X, in September the number of people with assets of at least $30 million had risen by 6 percent over the previous year. The affluent have more money to spend and they are increasing spending on luxury travel. A recent study by the Small Luxury Hotels of the World (SLH) found that 62 percent of luxury travelers report they plan on spending more on their travels.

The luxury travel market is looking for much more than beautifully extravagant accommodations from any hotel at which they might stay. Today’s affluent traveler values experience over extravagance. Additionally, the luxury traveler has an expectation of highly personalized service during their stay and continued brand connection through social media after the stay.

 

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Building Hotel Brand Loyalty - The Last Minute Traveler

The global economy over the last five or six years has helped create the last minute traveler phenomenon. But hotels have unwittingly furthered the trend by offering drastically discounted unbooked inventory, particularly across mobile platforms. World and national economic conditions are beyond the control of hoteliers and they must bear with them like any other business. However, heavily discounting remaining hotel inventory is totally within the control of hotel marketers and decision makers.

Continuing to offer these discounts only teaches consumers to wait before they make their hotel reservations and they will be rewarded with last minute deals. Fortunately there are alternative strategies that will not damage hotel inventory values while still leveraging the last minute traveler. It is even possible to earn the hotel brand loyalty of these deal conscious travelers in the process.

 

 Offer Deals Other than Rates

People like getting things for free. Enticements intended to inspire last minute hotel bookers to choose your hotel do not have to be limited to rate discounts. Offers could be for hotel ancillary services, such as the spa or golf, hotel restaurant discounts or giveaways, drinks at the bar, parking vouchers in cities, etc. Any kind of hotel discount or giveaway is better than drastically discounted inventory.

 

Monday, June 9, 2014

Current Trends In Vacation Rentals - Video

As part of the travel industry, the vacation rental industry shares certain advantages that many other industries do not have. Firstly, vacation rentals involve a subject loved by virtually everyone - vacation. Secondly, the very nature of the travel industry and vacation rental homes particularly is highly visual. Imagery can be utilized which can portray any destination or property as desirable, stirring the imagination of the would-be travelers who view them. Vacation rental homeowners should not limit themselves to photography. Videos are a tool that can be leveraged effectively by property owners, managers, and agents on the hugely successful YouTube. YouTube is a video sharing social media website for the do-it-yourself videographer.

YouTube videos do not need to expensively produced in order to be effective. There are many inexpensive videos on the network that were made with the simplest of video equipment. YouTube has a very powerful search engine, especially since Google bought the network. YouTube is the second largest website with millions of videos uploaded each and everyday. At the same time, it is perfect for a vacation homeowner to appeal to the visual sense of their target audience and convey the passion they have for their property. A well executed and cost effective video can be just what is needed to make a property stand above the crowd.

 

Here are some pointers for creating compellingly effective videos for your vacation rental property:

 

Friday, June 6, 2014

Current Trends In Vacation Rentals - Social Media - Instagram

Another social media network in keeping with the image-centric content trend is Instagram. A photo sharing social network, Instagram is another visual platform available to vacation rental owners and managers in marketing their properties. ‘A picture is worth a thousand words,’ according to the old saying and Instagram gives vacation rental property managers quick and easy functionality to share images or video on-the-fly via their mobile devices. This is a clear benefit, especially to those who are managing multiple properties with a large clientele.
Bought by Facebook in early 2012, Instagram was originally launched in 2010. In June of 2013 the platform added the capability of sharing video in addition to photos. In September of 2013 the network announced they had reached 150 million users. This is a tremendous potential audience. The app is free and extremely user friendly. Photos and videos can be shared directly from a mobile device without the need of a computer. From the app, photos and associated captions can be posted to other social networks, including Facebook, Tumblr, or Flickr.

Here are some ideas to maximize the benefits from Instagram for vacation rental promotion:

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Current Trends In Vacation Rentals - Social Media - Pinterest

Content on all social media networks is becoming increasingly image-oriented. This trend has been building over the course of the last few years.  It corresponds to some degree with the launch of Pinterest. Pinterest is a social network that really is a virtual pin-board, where users “pin” images on their board of things they like or are of interest. Other users can then “re-pin” the images themselves on their boards, creating a strong viral element. Since people love travel and vacations, this social network is a natural fit with the vacation rental industry.
Pinterest has grown wildly since its inception, now with over 70 million users in a little over 3 and a half years. Here are some ways to leverage this rapidly expanding user base for your vacation rental properties.

Monday, June 2, 2014

Current Trends In Vacation Rentals - Social Media

The vacation rental industry has been slow to adopt social media marketing, mostly because of the difficulty in measuring and determining success. However, the benefits of a vacation rental social media presence far outweigh any perceived lack of return on investment. The world is now truly connected by social media networks. Facebook alone, with over a billion users, has proven that to be a fact. Any business that chooses to ignore social media going forward does so at their own peril. Unseen threats aside, social media marketing does provide a number of benefits, which may not be readily apparent to the vacation rental homeowner, manager, or agent.

 

Benefits of a Social Media Presence for Vacation Rental