Social marketing makes way into hotel industry -Hotel Motel by dyb16396


									Social marketing makes way into hotel industry - Hotel & Motel Management                                                           Page 1 of 3

  Wednesday, Mar 19, 2008

                            Social marketing makes way into hotel industry

    Home                    Sep 18, 2007
                            By:Russell Shaw
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    e-Newsletters           National Report–Odds are favorable you’ve heard of TripAdvisor, a travel-related
                            Web site that among its varied features, lets hotel guests comment on their
    H&MM In Print
                            recent stays. No in-room coffee maker? Steak overcooked in the hotel
    Trade Shows             restaurant? Along with buckets of positive and, yes, negative comments, your
    For Subscribers         guests’ reactions are there for all—including potential guests considering booking
    For Advertisers         your location—to read.
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    RSS Feeds               Then there are sites such as Facebook and MySpace. Not only do they allow
    Product Directory
                            users to post their professional and personal profiles on the Web, but both are
                            reporting an increase in businesses that post searchable profiles as well.
   Products & Services
   Real Estate              Taken collectively, these are but a few examples of what’s called social
   Careers                  marketing. This is often referred to as a Web 2.0 technology; Web 2.0 being a
   Purchase Classifieds     phase in the development of the Web where users, and not just professional
                            content creators (such as your marketing communications department) write
    About H&MM
                            Web-based, Google-searchable content.
    Site Index

                            When applied to the lodging industry space, these efforts are frequently referred
                            to as Travel 2.0/SocialMarketing.

                            Hotels should not discount the buzz of Travel 2.0/Social Marketing. It is here and
                            growing in popularity. How hotels decide to address it and what technologies
                            they will invest time and money into should be a thought out plan—much like the
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                            approach to any good marketing initiative.

                                                    Lorraine Sileo, vice-president of research for
                                                    PhoCusWright, says that in initial discussions with
                                                    lodging chains or individual properties exploring the
                                                    social networking landscape, a key question she
                                                    encounters is, “when do I invest and what do I invest in. I
                                                    tell a lot of them that your first stage ought to be how to
                                                    integrate social networking communities onto their own
                                                    sites.”                                                          H&MM Marketing Report
                                                      Going in, Sileo says a key attitude should be giving the
                                                      site’s contributors, such as hotel guests, the leeway to
                                                      speak honestly about certain properties. As do others,
                            Sileo subscribes to the view that reasonably unfiltered content from hotel guests
                            will carry more credibility with prospective guests than mounds of promotionally
                            glowing copy will unto itself.
                                                                                                                  H&MM's quarterly round
                            Apparently, hotels are buying into this notion of reader comments about their            up of hospitality
                                                                                                                    industry sales and
                            properties on social networks offering a type of credibility that even the most
                                                                                                                   marketing news and
                            attractive marcom-authored hotel sites cannot.                                               analysis
                                                                                                                  Online merchandising
                            “One hotelier tells us that the content (they) produce isn’t that useful anymore.
                                                                                                                  tools grow more
                            Traveler-produced content is more trusted,” Sileo added.                              sophisticated
                                                                                                                  By Russell Shaw
                            “I would say don’t get caught up with the buzz and hype,” said Jack Feuer,
                            president of online marketing consultancy Digital Marketing Works. “Focus on          Maximizing revenue from
                            your objective, and on an online marketing plan to test, measure and learn” (what     electronic channels: The
                            works). 3/19/2008
Social marketing makes way into hotel industry - Hotel & Motel Management                                                                  Page 2 of 3

                           “My advice would be to get the greatest bang for the buck. It’s not a matter of
                           pure dollar investment.                                                                  five common mistakes of
                                                                                                                    asset managers
                                                                                                                    By Scott Farrell
                           Feuer is a big TripAdvisor fan. He likes the site’s ability to give hotels real-time
                           customer feedback, and the resulting opportunity to correct flaws. For example, if
                           your hotel’s restaurant menu is routinely criticized on TripAdvisor, that may point      Increased business is just
                                                                                                                    a phone call away
                           to action that should be undertaken. He says he regularly attends quarterly or           By Howard Feiertag
                           even monthly meetings with hotel clients where TripAdvisor comments are
                           regularly brought up. Tracking tools for public comments are available via
                           TravelClick as well as through other service providers.                                                            (More...)

                           That said, the prospects negative comments on TripAdvisor and other sites                    Digital Edition
                           (including hotel blogs and forums on a property’s Web site) may appear risky for
                           properties that have traditionally tried to tightly manage their message. Feuer’s
    Latest News Wire:
                           response? Deal with it.

    MSI EPM                “This is a new world, and you have to adjust,” he said. “We can’t control our
    benchmarking with
                           message. The new reality is that the consumer is shaping our brand through
                           discussions on the Internet.”
    Manufacturing buys                                                                                                  H&MM Digital Edition
                           The upside to user-generated content on social networks and other sites is that              Download this file to browse
                           many prospective guests may place even more credibility in reviews written by            through an exact replica of the print
                                                                                                                    magazine. The digital edition allows
    Kaba working with      fellow consumers than they might in slick marketing copy written by hotel staffers       you to click links in articles and ads
    ResortQuest            or ad agency types.                                                                          and search the entire issue.

    ESS announces
    ninth year of record   Scarlett Dooley, marketing communications manager
    growth                 of the Kahala Hotel and Resort in Honolulu, likens
                           guest-submitted online comments to time-tested guest
    Group RCI appoints     comment cards.
    Balotti president
    and c.e.o.
                           “From an operation standpoint, it is similar to guest
    Red Roof Inn           comment cards (we distribute to our) guests,” Dooley
    celebrates 35 years    said. “It is one way for the operations department to                                         H&MM The Advisor
    in Columbus            see what is happening, and improve your processes if
    Country Inn &Suites    guests don’t like something.”
    opens in
    Global hospitality     Dooley says she also regards social networking from a search engine
    industry leader        optimization standpoint- as how internal as well as external social networking
    appointed president    sites and blogs can help improve search engine results ranks- and improve
    and ceo of Group       business as a result. Dooley cited a blog-type of content feature on the Kahala’s
    RCI                    Japanese-language site as a method to direct readers out to the main Kahala               H&MM Supplier Directory
                           information (and booking) pages.                                                                 2008
    Radisson Hotel
    Hills honored          Not yet a participant in Facebook, Dooley is evaluating that option for the Kahala.        Online Directory
                           As for MySpace, she repeats the often-held assumption that it skews somewhat
    The Charles Hotel      younger with somewhat of a younger demographic than those who make travel
    grows commitment
    to E-Marketing
                           decisions and purchases.

    West Paces Hotel       Another social media option that is starting to be talked about is video and photos
    Group appoints         of hotel guest experiences. Go on such sites as Flickr or YouTube and you may              Check out our searchable
    Grimsland                                                                                                        online directory of suppliers,
                           be surprised to see photos and videos that your guests have taken during their               vendors, products and
    Hyatt Regency          stay. And as Feuer notes, the option to post property videos and photos on these           services for the hospitality
    Monterey opens         sites is available to hotels as well. Doing so creates extra visibility for your brand               industry.
    Regency Club           beyond your own site. It’s also possible to link from individual Flickr or YouTube
                           content to your site’s home page or even reservations page.
    Country Inn &
    Suites opens in
                            About the Author
    Cleveland Marriott
    Downtown unveils
    renovation              Russell Shaw
    Black Rock Resort       Contributing Editor
    appoints g.m.           About Russell Shaw
                            See more articles by Russell Shaw

                            Ads by Google         Hotel Devices   Hotel Manager   Hotel Items   Hotel Products 3/19/2008

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