在这个急速发展的电子时代,社区媒体正在改变着酒店的互动营销模式。酒店应该将社区媒体和其它市场营销活动进行整合,有效利用Twitter、 Facebook、YouTube和博客等媒体的杠杆作用,拉近品牌与客户之间的距离,并有效追踪,提升酒店影响力。


In this burgeoning digital world where we need to make “connections” more than “impressions”,social media channels are changing the way of hotels’ interactive marketing. From effectively using Twitter to leveraging Facebook, YouTube and blogging, the hotels have the opportunity for unprecedented access to guests, and tracking their success to grow influence.

 

酒店如何运用社区媒体
How Are Hotels Embracing
Social Media in 2010


文/HVS SALES & MARKETING SERVICES LEORA LANZ、BARBARA FISCHHOF、REBECCA LEE
译/Maggie

 

 

我们才刚刚开始

据Pew Research报告,过去十年新闻的可靠性一直在下降。公众对新闻的信任开始从新闻机构向社区媒体(信任圈子)转移,即允许你的朋友走进你的生活。结果显示如果你在社区媒体中是可信赖的,你将获得更多的追随。

在这个急速发展的电子时代,关系网的重要性超过印象分,我们大部分人都是和朋友、家人和同事在线沟通,社区媒体的渠道正在改变我们工作的方式,也改变了我们如何吸引新顾客以及留住老顾客的基本原则。随着LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Flickr and YouTube这些平台的不断发展,使我们有了更多的机会走近我们的客户。

正值酒店处于负债运营以及面临银行收回时,最成功的酒店将通过利用社区媒体工具和渠道,来抓住新客户的眼球,并留住忠诚客户。社区媒体成为拓展公司业务的必须,也是最基本的要求。

那些否定社区媒体的将渐渐被边缘化。社区媒体的影响如此重大,根据US Interactive Marketing Spend, 2009 to 2014 (Forrester)显示,互动营销的花费接近550亿美元,并且到2014年将占全部市场营销支出的21%,其中互动营销支出将占到3%-6%。毫不意外,互动营销将超越传统媒体。

下面列举一些社区媒体可以为你带来的服务:

增强信息传达,并形成病毒式传播。

塑造和展现品牌个性。

允许即时双向沟通。

允许你随时随地的沟通

开拓业务并增加ROI

还在犹豫要不要尝试吗?很多企业仍然没有认识到社区媒体的杠杆作用,应该将它和其它市场营销活动进行整合。每个公司或机构都需要了解社区媒体的一些基本知识,以便知道使用哪些渠道进行推广,以及需要传达的是什么重要信息。我们希望下面的文章可以让你在迷雾中找到一些方向。

酒店如何运用社区媒体

从如何有效利用Twitter到发挥Facebook、YouTube和博客的杠杆作用,下面将为你介绍一些酒店目前在社区媒体方面的实践案例。

一、国际酒店集团

喜达屋(Starwood)是最先引进社交网站的酒店公司之一。2006年6月,世界各地旅行者通过讲述自己的旅行故事,可以赢取到Sherabration Sweepstakes的度假机会。随后,喜达屋集团旗下的最大品牌喜来登酒店宣称斥资60亿美元,于2009年10月在86家新开或重装修的酒店推出2100夜免费住宿。此外,公司推出了一个全新社区媒体平台“喜来登分享时光”,通过多元化的在线社区包括Twitter, Facebook、Flickr、 blogging以及邮件,用户可以与亲朋好友分享旅行经验,公众也可以有机会赢取豪华喜来登的梦幻假日。

雅乐轩(Aloft)是世界首家在虚拟世界建立了三维空间的酒店,“第二人生”是雅乐轩在线模拟世界,用户已经超过了百万。“‘第二人生’已经成为雅乐轩品牌学习成长的重要经验。”雅乐轩酒店副总裁布莱恩·麦吉尼斯说,“我们在这个项目中的投入,将最终帮助我们客人提升在酒店情感体验。”

自2006年9月虚拟世界推出以后,雅乐轩酒店积极邀请第二人生的会员,从各个方面无论是色调搭配还是空间规划上,公共空间、客厅或者酒店外观上提供设计理念和创意。事实上,比如在客房淋浴间增设收音机,在大厅提供更多的座位,在公共区域放置当地艺术家的作品,就是客户直接反馈来的结果,并在雅乐轩酒店得到了真正的体现。

凯悦集团(Hyatt)推出了一个特殊的在线社区,专门针对金卡会员。社区里提供了全世界40多个地区旅游的专家分析意见,也有经过认证的游客经验分享。万豪国际集团在Twitter, Facebook和YouTube推出一个夏威夷50周年庆活动,可以免费去夏威夷岛。

洲际酒店集团(IHG)和Communispace合作,针对洲际酒店忠诚项目的所有会员,推动成立了三个私人在线社区(每个社区有300个会员)。在社会化营销的策略中,洲际酒店的理念是:一切以客户为中心。洲际酒店最近扩大了社会化营销规模,对“优悦俱乐部”开通一个公共社区,并开始使用第三方社交网络比如Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter。

二、个体经营酒店

High Peaks是Adirondack公园46个山峰的全称,也是High Peaks酒店的名字,此酒店宣称发起了一个“创造性的社区媒体计划”。2009年春季,酒店所有的活动都与46相关联,每天46分钟连续做了46天的推广促销,在Facebok和Twitter上的粉丝们根据酒店网站上当天公布的山峰高度,来相应支付当天的酒店价格。

The Westin Mission Hills Resort & Spa最近开始用Facebook和Twitter。“获得更多的追随者,不是最重要的,而传达品牌声音,建立忠诚度,倾听并联系顾客才是目标所在。” 据销售经理Gary Orfield说,“我们用140个或者不到140的字,以充满激情的个性化声音,与我们的粉丝进行有意义的实时对话。我们的社区媒体行动更多的是倾听,而不是一个劲地在tweet上获得更多的追随者。”Orfield认为很多酒店都忽略了Twitter和Facebook的真正力量,因为90%都是靠简单打折或者特价。他们在展示公司自身魅力的意识上输掉了。

最佳实践

一、邮件营销和社区媒体之间的联系

邮件营销没有受到社区媒体的很大威胁。相反,它激发了社交网站的活力,并协同社区媒体提高了内容的到达率。研究也表明,社区媒体并没有减少邮件的使用,邮件是社交网站活动的驱动力,也是所有社交媒介的通行证。

根据你目标客户的意见,来相应展开你的邮件活动。他们对你的酒店和竞争力,以及对城市的看法是怎样的,目前都可以通过搜索引擎在网上搜索到,现在Google在线搜索开通了实时Tweet和文章搜索功能。

二、进来吧,你的消费者就在这里

即使你没有参与社区媒体,你的消费者也可能在谈论你。消费者完全独立地创建了万豪国际集团的oneFacebook,目前已经有10600个粉丝了。

社区媒体使你的品牌真实化。尽管消费者仍然更相信品牌,而不是酒店的介绍,但是当他们越来越转向其他人寻求想法和建议时,品牌的力量就不再那么相关了。通过LinkedIn和潜在消费者建立联系,在Facebook或Twitter获得粉丝,在Flickr上显示图片,或者在YouTubei上植入视频帮助预期消费者制定旅行决策,酒店正将社区媒体内化为酒店推广的重要方式之一。

利用社区媒体的几个建议:

1.可信赖并创造引人注目的内容,将你的品牌生活化。

2.呈现你的品牌,并展示个人魅力。

3.充分参与,并获得回馈。

4.了解你的受众。

5.重新包装你的形象,例如进行各个媒介的相互链接,并将其它地方的新闻报道和网站内容整合进来。

6.将社区媒体与线下活动结合来巩固关系。

Roger Smith Hotel卓有成效的实时经验

1.与人互动:社区论坛是酒店对外联络活动的内在组成部分。

2.讲故事:要确保沟通公开,故事越多越好,而不是自我吹擂的推广。这就是Roger Smith Life为什么在网站上专门开设故事分享的原因。

3.展现真实面貌:一个成功的活动将Roger Smith社区从各个层面加以展现。

4.优化不同渠道:Roger Smith利用Flickr、YouTube、Twitter以及其他社区媒介,将照片、文章、视频、新闻集中在一起,内容包括艺术展示、餐饮信息等。

5.瞄准用户自己生产的内容:评论,建议,推特以及播客对消费者的决定影响很大。Roger Smith的推客会把酒店好听的音乐收集,会大谈特谈厨师,从而带动别人来感受体验酒店。

6.充满好奇并不断实验:如果你可以让你的消费者成为你充满激情故事的传播者,为什么不试着去尝试新事物,看看会发生什么呢?Roger Smith就是这么做的。

三、善用Twitter

开始参与社区媒体吧,专家建议最初先关注一到两个领域,然后学着推广到更多的领域。最容易进入的是Twitter,这个媒体已经积累了令人惊讶的1800万个用户,成为任何社区媒体沟通中必不可少的工具。

Twitter的影响力,可以提高你公司的知名度,促进销售,引起媒体关注,甚至转移危机。目前,很多在Twitter上的酒店,在线链接了他们的报道、特价套餐或者折扣。尽管如此,如果你花时间去探索网站以及与他人的互动,你会发现更多可以应用的方式。它们涉及行业新闻和工作机会,或者是来自旅行行业伙伴的信息,以及推出一些免费的东西(不一定是酒店套房)。

2009年4月,威斯汀朋纳凡丘大酒店(Westin Bonaventure)在Twitter宣布一项给@thebonaventure 上的25位推客免费住宿时,掀起不小风波。自此以后酒店发起了多个竞赛活动,每个活动都反响非凡。管理Twitter用户的公共关系执行专员Melanie Boyer,说主流媒体的争相报道已经让200万的消费者对此产生了印象。

而欧姆尼酒店集团(Omni)的Twitter团队,非常具有活力,能做到快速回应。当有人在tweet上讨论“去哪里举行婚礼,是欧姆尼酒店,还是其他竞争酒店”时, 欧姆尼酒店集团的团队立刻跳出来做了回应,在交谈中,他们不仅回答了选择他们酒店的各种理由,以及他们的餐饮、本地化服务。最后,欧姆尼酒店集团赢得了这笔生意,因为他们在Twitter上作出反应,而其他酒店没有。

即使没有足够的人力,酒店通过学习也可以吸引Twitter上的追随者,下面是酒店利用Twitter的建议:

1.根据你的状况,选择效仿顶级酒店和专家的做法:看他们怎么吸引追随者,并借鉴他们的策略。

2.提升知名度:大部分Twitter的高端用户都是名人,把他们的品牌带入Twitter,帮助他们快速在网络里培养出追随者。如果人们认可你的公司,他们的简单参与将使更多的人转载你的信息,增加你的影响力。

3.利用你现有的网站:如果你已有在线的酒店介绍,利用它来推广你的Twitter。只要添加一个Twitter标识到你的网站里,链接到你的Twitter页面,能吸引人们的极大关注。
4.每周定时更新:可预期的、有规律地更新,将增加人们发现你的可能性。

5.拓宽关注面:不局限于谈论你自己和酒店,可以扩展到商务旅行建议以及城市艺术活动资讯等话题。

6.提供价值:要有丰富的内容和足够的理由吸引人们来关注。要避免过度吹嘘和推广(专家提醒80%的内容不应该直接推销酒店)。

四、用户自创网站User-Generated Content (UGC) Sites

用户自创网站包括TripAdvisor和WikiTravel,可以吸引大批用户发表评论。一些酒店发现当他们参与这个网站时,外界对酒店的质疑声就会减少。

HK酒店是一个私营酒店,公司积极努力地使用TripAdvisor,Facebook, Yelp, Twitter and Google Maps等媒介。HK酒店的管理团队每天都汇聚在一起阅读最近的顾客评论,然后决定该怎样做来满足顾客的要求,从而提升酒店形象。公司目标是先挤进优秀10%的酒店,然后进入前20名酒店,再进前10名酒店,接下来是成为纽约最好的酒店。

HK酒店的团队紧密跟进每一个评论,如果反馈的意见是值得参考的话,酒店就会改进服务、运营方式及设施;如果反馈认为有些举措运行不错的话,酒店就会将这些举措长期贯彻下去。

很明显,这种方式吸引了旅客。事实上,旅客的反馈影响了HK酒店的运营方式,比如前台职员被授予更多的自主权,所有职员的日常培训,以及一些小细节比如提供燕麦片早餐等,都是利用了TripAdvisor的反馈结果。

五、LinkedIn营销

LinkedIn是领先的在线专业网站之一,以每秒钟增加一个新用户的速度在快速成长,吸引了来自200多个行业的4300万个专业人士。对你的销售团队来说,这是一个发现商业渠道,引导销售,和客户保持联系,并最终提高收入的良好方式。

你的员工也可以把账户和联系人添加到LinkedIn,通过LinkedIn发布相关内容,或基于你的专业知识回答疑问,并创建你自己的群。

HVS强力推荐将LinkedIn作为开拓生意的工具。不要夸大或者过度推广自己,而是让顾客参与进来,展现你的专业水准,并引导他们到你网站上浏览相关内容。

六、多媒体分享网站

多媒体分享网站具有上传功能,涵盖多种不同的媒体,用户可以在这里上传东西,体验该网站提供的各种媒体服务。

YouTube有强大的病毒式传播能力,人们经常利用这个视频分享网站来做市场和公关推广。因为它是不涉及版权问题的视频,影响力和范围更广,所以它甚至被认为可以与Google的搜索引擎相媲美。通过巧妙地整合到你的传播计划里,YouTube能够有助于品牌建立一个强大的社区。

万豪国际集团酒店(Marriott Resort & Stellaris Casino)利用YouTube来让旅客分享自己的旅行经历。酒店大堂工作人员花时间和旅客呆在一起,并请他们做个30秒的视频短片,当做海滨明信片发给他们的朋友和家人。视频得到许可后,可以上传到万豪酒店的YouTube里。

Flickr是图片分享社区,是最流行的摄影网站。用户上传照片很方便,访问的人可以一张张欣赏或者以幻灯片观看播放,评论或者将他们添加进收藏夹。Flickr就像是酒店的一个照片图书馆。

七、社交博客

博客可以让你与客户建立联系,并增强品牌的声音。博客的写作风格应该能展现酒店的独特个性,可以是一个乡村家庭卧床和早餐式酒店,时尚都市精品酒店,或者是高级奢华酒店的风格。

大部分订阅博客的读者都不介意你联系他们,如果内容有趣,他们很高兴收到你的邮件,给他们提供酒店优惠特价等资讯。你也可以让读者在你博客上评论,从而形成双向沟通。

博客最终将使你的品牌变得更加人性化,在读者心中建立信任感。万豪酒店的博客就是很好的例子。在博客上万豪酒店有一个“收听”的图标,很多人按图标后可以“收听”订阅的信息。万豪酒店通过这个网站的酒店预定网页,已经获得了超过500万美元的收入。

有效跟踪

随着我们信息量的增加,我们需要对各种社区媒体进行追踪和监控。第三方的工具和技术,如Google Alerts,或者eBuzz都是非常好的,而且很多类似这些的工具都是免费的。例如,eBuzz不仅可以对在线浏览进行统计,它可以指导你通过系列操作,跟踪到访问地址。Twitter 提供非常多的跟踪软件,如Trendistic, Tweeteffect and Twinfluence.定期检查反馈将成为你2010实时研发的一个模式。

此外,不同于传统的媒体,社区媒体给你倾听的机会。你可以在那获得观点、知识以及智慧,来构思未来市场和公关活动。关注对话内容,观察人们的互动,快速得到关于抱怨或赞美的回馈,并及时反应。评估与你品牌相关的关键词,看你的信息是如何被接收的。

总之,社区媒体确实好用,但是传统市场营销方法也不可忽视。利用对你最有益的新工具时,并将之与其他的传播方式、市场营销和业绩管理等进行融会贯通。

最近Google宣布了Google Buzz进入社区媒体,这个新的服务将和Facebook和Twitter竞争,使Gmail用户可以分享更新、照片、视频。在这个不断发展的多样化媒介中,谁能预测到六个或者十二个月后的流行媒介又会是什么。我们唯一能确定的是这个报告却是会过时的。让我们继续往前走吧。

 

We’ve Only Just Begun.

According to Pew Research, credibility of news has continuously fallen over the past 10 years. There’s been a shift in the public’s trust from news institutions to social media – “circles of trust” which allow your friends into your life. Results show that if you are trustworthy and authentic in social media, you can build and keep a following.

In this burgeoning digital world where we need to make “connections” more than “impressions” – and more, if not most, of our guests are communicating with friends, family and colleagues online – social media channels are changing the way we do business and forever altering how we attract and retain a loyal base. Now, with the evolution of platforms such as LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Flickr and YouTube, we have the opportunity for unprecedented access to guests.

In these difficult economic times when many hotels are not able to service debt and face foreclosure, the most successful hotels will create brand advocates by using social marketing tools and channels to grab the attention of new visitors and keep in touch with their loyal client base.2 Social media is a must-have in any communications initiative to boost business and the bottom line.

Those who ignore social media stand to become irrelevant. The influence of social media is so significant that, according to the US Interactive Marketing Spend, 2009 to 2014 (Forrester),3 interactive marketing spend will near $55 billion and represent 21% of all marketing spending by 2014. Social media will comprise 3% to 6% of the interactive marketing spend. And not surprisingly, interactive marketing will cannibalize traditional media!

Here is just some of what can social media can do for you:
· Reinforce your message and help it go viral
· Embrace and project your brand’s personality
· Allow for real-time, two-way communication
· Allow you to communicate at point-of-need
· Build business and generate ROI

Hesitant to try? Many organizations have still not jumped in to leverage the power of social media, engage and integrate it with the rest of their marketing initiatives. To start, every company or property needs social media guidelines in order to know what platforms to use and what the key messaging will be. To guide you in this process, we hope the following compilation will give you ideas on how to break through the clutter and join the dialogue for entrée to a whole new base of potential influencers.

How Are Hotels Embracing Social Media in 2010?

From effectively using Twitter to leveraging Facebook, YouTube and blogging, following are examples of how hotels have been several hotel executives about their experiences thus far

International Brands

Starwood was one of the first hotel companies to introduce a social networking website. In June 2006, travelers from around the world vied for a chance to win a vacation in its “Sherabration Sweepstakes” by sharing a personal travel story (June 30, 2006)

Then, to publicize its $6 billion makeover, Starwood's biggest brand Sheraton – gave away
2,100 free nights at 86 new or newly renovated hotels (October 2009). In addition, the company launched a sweeping new social media platform: "Sheraton Shared Moments.” Via multiple online communities including, Twitter Facebook Flickr, blogging platforms and email, users share travel experiences with friends and family and the public for a chance to win a dream holiday at a luxurious Sheraton property (December 18, 2009).

Aloft is the world’s first hotel brand to place a 3 D computer-generated property inside a virtual world. Second Life (www.secondlife.com) is aloft’s online simulated world with more than one million users.

“Second Life has been a tremendous learning experience for the aloft brand. Our time spent on the island helped us to create what will surely be the ultimate destination sensation”, says Brian McGuinness, aloft Vice President.

Since its debut in the virtual world in September 2006, aloft has actively solicited input from
Second Life residents on such design features as public spaces, guest rooms and exteriors – everything from color palette to space planning. In fact, several design changes – adding radios in guest room showers, providing additional seating in the lobby and incorporating artwork created by local artists in public areas – are a direct result of consumer feedback and wll be reflected in “real-life” aloft hotels.

Hyatt launched a special online community site just for Gold Passport members (www.yattit.com9). It offers expert insight and tips from local Hyatt concierges in more than 40 destinations worldwide along with advice from confirmed frequent travelers.
Marriott Resorts Hawaii launched a campaign on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube to celebrate50 years of Hawaiian statehood and to give away free trips to the island.

IHG partnered with Communispace to build and facilitate three private online communities of some 300 members each, all members of IHG’s loyalty program. At the core of the approach to social marketing is the idea that IHG puts its customer at the center of everything. The company recently extended its social marketing footprint by launching a public community open to Priority Club Rewards members. IHG also utilizes third-party social networks such as Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.

Individual Hotels

The Adirondack High Peaks is not just the name of the collection of 46 mountain peaks in Adirondack Park, it’s also the namesake of the High Peaks Resort, which boasts a very creative social media plan. For example, in Spring 2009 it was all about the number “46” as the Resort’s friends, fans and followers on Facebook and Twitter took advantage of a 46- minute per day, 46-day promotion based on the elevations of the High Peaks.

The Westin Mission Hills Resort & Spa recently started using Facebook and Twitter.
According to Gary Orfield, Sales Manager, gaining the most followers and fans is not their top priority, rather their goal is to speak in the brand voice, build loyalty, listen and connect with guests.

“With a passionate and personal voice, we engage in meaningful, real-time dialogue with our fans in 140 characters or less,” says Orfield. “Our social media campaign is more about listening than posting as many tweets as possible or rushing to sign up followers.”

Orfield thinks many hotels are missing the true power of Twitter and Facebook because 90% of posts are simply about discounts and specials. They’re failing to give followers a sense of the personality of the company.

 

Best Practices

The Link between Email Marketing and Social Media

Email marketing isn’t threatened by social media. Rather, it drives social web activity and can work in tandem to increase your overall reach. In fact, studies show that social media doesn’t decrease email usage – email is a driver of social web activity and the currency of all social media accounts.

Listen to your audience to develop your email campaign accordingly. What are they saying about your hotel… your competition… your city? Social media comments now appear in online searches, and Google has even added a real-time search feature that streams tweets and articles.

Jump In… Your Customers Are Already Here

Even if you’re not involved in social media, your customers are and they’re talking about you. OneFacebook account about Marriott was created by customers completely independently and already has 10,600 fans!

Social media makes your brand real. Although consumers still trust the brand more than hotel reviews, the brand is becoming less relevant as they look to one another for ideas and support. Whether connecting with prospective customers via LinkedIn, reaching out to fans on Facebook or Twitter, making images available on Flickr, or helping potential guests make their travel decisions with video on YouTube, hotels are making social media an integral part of their outreach.

Some general tips for using social media:
· Be authentic and create compelling content to bring your brand to life
· Live your brand and show your personality
· Be engaging and generate feedback
· Know your audience
· Repackage what you have, e.g., link across platforms and take your content from other areas
such as press releases and websites
· Combine social media with offline in-person events to solidify relationships
From successful real-time experience, the Roger Smith Hotel offers additional tips:
· Interact with people - Community conversations are an integral part of any outreach
campaign.
· Tell stories – To ensure open communication, keep it more about the stories than just blasting promotions (that’s why the hotel maintains a website, Roger Smith Life, which revolves around sharing stories and engagement).
· Show real faces – One successful campaign shows the many faces of the Roger Smith
community.
· Optimize different channels - Roger Smith Life is a hub for photos, articles, video materials, Twitter news and events with a photo gallery and Flickr stream, YouTube channel, plus articles about art exhibits, restaurant deals and social media.
· Aim at user-generated content - Reviews, comments, tweets and podcasts greatly influence customer decisions. One Roger Smith Twitter follower put together a podcast music mix honoring the hotel and gave a shout-out to the chef that continues to inspire anyone who wants to feel the hotel's vibe.
· Be curious and experiment – This is how the Roger Smith built its presence. Said one guest, "If you could equip your customers to be excited, passionate carriers of your story, why
wouldn't you try a few things and see what works?"

Tackling Twitter

To begin your involvement in social media, experts suggest focusing on one or two areas initially, then learning and launching the bigger initiatives. As you begin to dabble, develop a strategy and try starting on a personal level.

The easiest point of entry is Twitter. This medium has a staggering 18 million users and is a necessarytool in any social media communications arsenal. Twitter can make quite an impact by boosting your company’s reputation, driving sales, getting the media’s attention, and even averting a crisis. So far, many hoteliers on Twitter are posting links to press releases and special room packages or discount codes. However, if you take time to explore the site and interact with others, you will find infinitely more applications. They run the gamut from industry news and career opportunities, to retweets from community travel industry partners and giving away something for free (not necessarilyguest rooms).

In April 2009, the Westin Bonaventure made waves on Twitter when it announced a promotion to give away free room nights to 25 lucky followers of @thebonaventure. The hotel, which has offered several variations of the contest since, creates buzz for the property each time. Melanie Boyer, the Daly Gray Public Relations account executive who manages the Twitter account, says mainstream media coverage of the contests has generated nearly 20 million consumer impressions.

Omni’s Twitter Team is also energetic and quick to respond. When one wedding planner from San Diego tweeted, “I am thinking about the Omni San Diego and a competitor in San Diego for a wedding,” Omni’s team immediately jumped on it: “Here is what we can do for you.” In conversation, they went through all the pros and what they offered in terms of culinary services, local attractions, etc., and in the end, Omni won the business because they
responded on Twitter and the other hotel did not.

While independent hotels have less manpower, they too can learn to “Tweet like a pro” and attractTwitter followers (without hurting profits or the brand)
· Follow the top hotels and experts in your niche – See how they build followers and
consider using some of their tactics.
· Leverage your reputation – Most top Twitter users are celebrities elsewhere.
Bringing their brand to Twitter helped them quickly grow a fan base in the network.
If people recognize your company, simply taking part will cause others to spread your
message and grow your influence.
· Leverage your existing web presence – If you have an existing online profile, use it
to promote your Twitter account. Add a Twitter badge to your website and link to
your Twitter page to actively encourage people to connect with you there.
· Tweet regularly and retweet weekly – Predictable, regular updates increase the
chance that people will find you.
· Provide value – Have rich content and a compelling reason for people to follow you.
Avoid too much overselling or promotions (experts warn that 80% of tweets should
not directly market the hotel).

User-Generated Content (UGC) Sites

These include TripAdvisor and WikiTravel, which attract user-generated comments from a vast audience. Some hotels are actually finding that when they engage, the number of negative comments decreases.

HK Hotels is a small, privately held hotel company with four properties: The Hotel Giraffe, Library Hotel, Casablanca Hotel and Hotel Elysee, all in New York City. The company focuses its efforts on TripAdvisor, Facebook, Yelp, Twitter and Google Maps.

The management teams of all four HK Hotels met everyday to read the most recent reviews posted and decide what they needed to do to satisfy guests and raise their hotel profiles in the all-important TripAdvisor rankings. Goals were to get in the top 10% first, then the top 20 hotels, the top 10, and next to own all four top spots in NYC.

HK Hotels' team closely monitored every review, made improvements to service, operations, and facilities when feedback indicated it was necessary, and made things mandatory across all hotels when reviews indicated that something was working well at a particular property.

Clearly, this formula is attracting travelers and TripAdvisor feedback reflects just that. In fact, feedback has impacted operations at HK Hotels from greater empowerment of the front desk staff and daily training of all employees, to small touches like serving oatmeal for breakfast. Affinia Hotels made a bold move a few years ago when it put a link to Trip Advisor right on
its website homepage as if to point out, “Here is what readers have to say about us.” HK Hotels followed suit, with links to TripAdvisor for each of its hotels.

Marketing Your Hotel on LinkedIn

LinkedIn, one of the leading online professional networks, is growing rapidly with one new user every second and 43 million professionals from 200-plus industries. It’s an excellent way for your sales team to build lead generation, find business contacts, drive sales leads, stay in touch with clients, and ultimately generate revenue.

Your staff can add their own accounts and connections for more opportunity to network. Use
LinkedIn for lead generation, to post relevant content, answer questions based on your expertise, and create your own groups.

HVS highly recommends LinkedIn as a tool for prospecting for new business. Don’t oversell or overpromote – rather, engage the audience, demonstrate your expertise, and drive them to relevant content on your website.

Media Sharing Sites

Media sharing sites offer users the ability to upload and share different types of media.

YouTube/Video Search Engines

Once dismissed as a haven for amateurs, thanks to its viral power and ability to reach and
engage diverse constituent bases, this video-sharing site is being harnessed more regularly to advance campaigns and PR efforts. With non-copyrighted video, its impact has been huge and it is even being used as a search engine similar to Google.

When smartly integrated into your communications plan, YouTube can help build a strong community around your brand.

An employee of the San Juan Marriott Resort & Stellaris Casino introduced a ‘YouTube Concierge’ for guests to share their vacation experiences with the world. The Concierge spends time meeting guests throughout the resort and asks them to record a quick 30-second
video to send to friends and family as a virtual postcard from the beach. The video clip is then professionally licensed and uploaded to the San Juan Marriott Live YouTube Channel.

Flickr/Photo Sharing Sites

Flickr, the image sharing community, is the most popular online site for photography. Users can easily post images to Flickr and visitors are able to view them individually or in a slideshow, comment, and add them as favorites on their own site. Hotels can use Flickr as their photo library.

Social Blogging

A blog gives you the opportunity to connect with guests, and develop and reinforce your hotel’s brand voice. Blog entries should be written in a style that reflects your hotel’s distinctive personality, be it a family-run country bed and breakfast, a trendy urban boutique hotel, or a sophisticated luxury property.

Most readers who sign up to receive blog posts are actually giving you permission to contact them. If the content is interesting, they will be happy to receive your posts, giving you entrée to promote your hotel with special offers. You can also allow readers to leave comments on your blog to open a twoway communication.

A blog ultimately allows your brand voice to become human and instills trust in your readers. Bill Marriott’s blog, “On the Move” at www.blogs.marriott.com is an excellent example. This blog also has an engaging ‘listen’ icon with an audio of Bill Marriott reading his posts. Marriott has made more than $5 million in bookings from people who clicked through to the reservation page from its On the Move blog.

Tracking Your Success

As we generate ever-increasing amounts of information, to tackle the overload there are ways to track and monitor among the various social media – and most of them are free. Third-party tools and technology such as Google Alerts at http://www.google.com/alerts or eBuzz Connect can be very useful. For example, eBuzz not only aggregates online reviews; it tells you how you are doing and which reviews to address via a series of algorithms.Twitter offers myriad tracking apps such as Trendistic, Tweeteffect and Twinfluence. Checking for feedback can become your 2010 real-time research and development model!

In addition, unlike traditional media, social media gives you the opportunity to engage and hear what’s being said. It’s all there, in real-time, for you to gain insight, knowledge and competitive intelligence and shape future marketing and PR campaigns. Count the conversation and watch people interact, get immediate feedback – complaints or compliments – and respond, gauge the key words most often associated with your brand, and how your messages are being adopted.

In conclusion, social media may be here to stay but traditional marketing methods are by no means one. To utilize the new tools that will benefit you most, they need to be consistent and wisely integrated with the rest of your communications, sales, marketing, and revenue management efforts.

Hopefully, these examples have offered some of you comfort and a reference to get started, because in his constantly evolving and dynamic medium, who knows what will be trendy six or 12 months from now? (One thing we do know is that this report will most likely be obsolete!) Just recently, Google announced its foray into social networking with “Google Buzz,” a new service that will compete withFacebook and Twitter as a way for Gmail users to share updates, photos and videos. And away we go.

 

 

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