Category Archives: Social Media

The Evolution of Hotel Marketing

RevinateSkift

Revinate, an online reputation management software platform, recently sponsored on article on Skift regarding the evolution of hotel marketing.  In this article, the company discussed the differences in advertising effectiveness across a variety of age groups, and key trends in travel and hospitality marketing that could change the way companies market to these groups.  Continue reading

3 Trends to Help Understand Millennial Travelers

millennials

Millennials are constantly changing the way marketers look at the business landscape, and the travel industry is no exception to this rule.  These current 20-34 year olds represent the next rising wave of consumers across the globe, but what does this mean for your business?

Millennials bring their own unique set of expectations, behaviors and preferences in what they want and how they want it, and this extends to their travel experiences.

As an example, millennial travelers are quick to seek out the wireless connection upon arrival to the hotel while other travelers might make decompressing from their travels a priority.  Going hand-in-hand with this, while other travelers might collect stories to share one-on-one when they return home, younger travelers tell their stories online in real-time as they travel from one point to the next.

Skift and Amadeus, two leading travel industry news and research resources recently released three trends to help property owners and managers better understand this unique age group and their travel needs.

1. Explorers, Never Tourists
Millennials travelers want to explore their destinations and hate the idea of being considered tourists.  These travelers crave adventure and see out unique authentic  experiences while traveling.  ResortsandLodges.com travelers are no different.  Our travelers are not trying to book a room, they want to plan and book an experience.

Many millennials are craving adventure and seek out unique and authentic experiences while traveling.  Instead of taking the elevator up to the top of the Eiffel Tower, a millennial traveler will likely take the stairs and share a self-designed photo collage of the path to the top on Instagram.

2. Customization is Key
Millennial travelers favor an a la carte menu of logistics, amenities, and activities when planning their trip to create a highly personalized experience.  According to Skift, they value a distinctive experience that aligns with their individual identity and to display on social media.  They seek a stimulating “touch and feel” environment that still takes them to a different world.  This often includes unique excursions and international destinations that allow them to establish credibility on a subject or region.  Being able to share a display this knowledge and skill set publicly is of high value.

In addition to taking a customized trip, millennial travelers expect travel brands to provide them with personalized content, from airfare, accommodations and beyond.  For travel brand, along with price and value considerations, this personalized interaction is key to relationship building and increases the likelihood that the traveler will return on their next trip.

3. Technology Enables Communication and More
It’s no surprise this generation of travelers is more tech-savvy.  Having grown up with mobile devices and enhanced technology for the past decade or more, this group realizes the importance of communication through social media in an attempt to keep in touch with close friends and family.

Technology also provides an added sense of power as millennials access vast amounts of information any time they desire.  They can be savvy consumers in an unfamiliar destination by comparing prices, reading reviews and getting tips from blogs during their trip.

Millennial travelers are most comfortable combining the “best of both worlds” as they are channel agnostic.  They want the speed and convenience of an online purchase, and also value the comfort and security that constant connectivity brings, in the event they need assistance while traveling.

Marriott Announces #LoveTravels Campaign

LoveTravels

Travel and hospitality industry experts are always looking for a developing demographic whose attention they feel it is important to attract.  Marriott Hotels is hoping to accomplish this with their most recent social media campaign #LoveTravels.

The effort is a collaboration between Marriott Creative Agency and photographer Braden Summers featuring LGBT celebrities like Brooklyn Nets center Jason Collins and fashion model Geena Rocero.

This campaign is part of Marriott’s new LGBT social media and marketing campaign and seeks to “share exclusive and powerful images celebrating inclusion.”  The images featured in the campaign will be displayed as building wraps at six hotels in Washington D.C., a series of print ads in LGBT media, an online portrait gallery and display ads in cities throughout the country.

“Braden’s work so beautifully illustrates the inclusiveness and equality that we embrace,” said Kristine Friend, a senior marketing director at Marriott.  “We are committed to ensuring that all of our guests feel comfortable at all of our hotels and are proud to stay with Marriott.”

“#LoveTravels is a universal theme we believe is shared by all cultures and communities and truly represents our company’s philosophy and values.  We also want to encourage our guests and travelers around the world to share their own journey and story through #LoveTravels @MarriottIntl,” added Friend.

“We see #Love Travels as a universal, multicultural theme that appeals to communities throughout the world, resonating with consumers around the globe and especially with Millennials and next generation travelers who value inclusiveness,” Karin Timpone, Marriott’s global marketing officer said in a statement.

The campaign’s release coincides with Pride events in Washington, San Francisco and New York City.

To learn more about Marritt’s featured destinations and information for LGBT travelers, click here.

7 Trends Shaping Social Media in 2014

Social media

Social media began as a way to network with other individuals across the world. When organizations become involved with these channels, social media became a giant megaphone for marketing messages, but now these same organizations are realizing that these channels can be used for so much more.

There are seven social media trends that are beginning to shape 2014, and Media Mosaic examined these trends in detail. Here are a few of these trends you may have observed through the first five months of the year:

1) Social Listening – Brands are now realizing that social media is a two-way communication channel, not just a one-way communication method for talking to consumers. 24% of marketers plan to use a social listening campaign in 2014, up 2% from last year.

Effect on Marketing: Brands will be able to interact directly with consumers.
Effect on Users: Brands will now listen, understand, and respond quickly and strategically to consumer queries and thoughts.

2) Social Advertising – Although ROI results are still mixed in most industries, marketers realize that people are on social media channels, and social advertising at the very least ensures viewership of ads. In 2013, 57% of marketers used social ads, and another 23% are expected to start using them in 2014.

Effect on Marketing: Brands will get a cost effective and clutter-free way of engaging customers.
Effect on Users: Users will now be able to see not just posts, but Facebook-sponsored stories or Twitter-sponsored tweets.

3) Images as Marketing Tools – People hardly have extra time to spare. Hence, they are being attracted more towards content that they can comprehend within a short time. If a picture is worth a thousand words, marketers can succinctly convey their message without a lot of words when using images on social media.

Effect on Marketing: Marketers will have to find newer ways to catch attention like graphic advertisements, catchy banners, images and infographics.
Effect on Users: More information in the shortest possible time.

To read the rest of the social media trends, head to the PR Daily website.

Turning Hotel Initiatives Into Social Media Contests

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Social media plays a critical role in the way hotels and unique properties around the world market their product online.  These channels can be used as a mobile/online concierge, as a forum to discuss positive or negative experiences, or as a means to communicate with travelers before, during, and after they stay.

Advertising deals is another way that social media channels are used, but properties must be careful not to be selling hard at all times through these channels, as it will likely turn of traveler engagement.  Here are a few examples of properties that have turned social engagement into great ways to sell their deals and packages. Continue reading

10 Things Every Hotel Website Must Have

ThingsHotelsMustHAve

Your hotel website gives potential travelers a chance to view the most important aspects of your property.  People are not going to visit your property before they stay to ensure it meets all of their needs.  Your property website needs to be able to attract leads and eventually help sell the deal that this is where a traveler should stay.

In order to attract potential guests to your website, you need to know what these individuals are looking for.  Noise, a New York City-based creative agency, was tasked with creating a list of the most important things all hotel websites must have.  Here is what they came up with. Continue reading

Clear Goals Key to Social Media Success

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The travel and hospitality industries have embraced social media channels in recent years as a means to communicate with potential travelers before, during, and after their travel experience.  However, if one tried and true lesson has emerged from all of this social media use, it is that hoteliers should not spread themselves too thin.

According to panelists at the seventh annual Social Media & Mobile Strategies for Travel conference, the best way to ensure that you are not spreading yourself too thin is to have goals in place before testing the waters in any one social channel.

Examples of Setting/Reaching Goals
Mac Joseph, senior manager of social media marketing for Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group and one of the panelists at the conference, talked about his own company’s social media goals.

For the luxury hotel company, the aim is to generate awareness on a global scale while fostering meaningful engagement at the property level.  This is reflected in the company’s social media approaches:

  • Mandarin operates a single YouTube channel for the entire portfolio.
  • Individual properties employ Instagram accounts, which are easier to manage with finite resources.
  • Each hotel also has a presence on Google+, although Joseph admitted the network is more challenging. (“If nothing else, Google+ provides and ‘incredible’ boost to search engine optimization,” said Joseph.)

Loews Hotels & Resorts had a number of goals, according to director Piper Stevens, including but not limited to:

1) Establishing a more social culture on property
2) Creating buzz through integrated campaigns
3) Driving social commerce

The company took a look at the booking funnel to determine which channels would be the most appropriate.  You can see some of the steps taken on different social channels:

  • In the initial dreaming phase, inspiration often comes from sensory experiences such as photos or videos.  Loews responded with campaigns on Instagram and YouTube, among others, to spark that yearning for travel.
  • The company bolstered its efforts on TripAdvisor to make an impact in the researching stage.
  • For the actual booking, Loews was the first brand to introduce reservations on Twitter to make the process as painless as possible.
  • During and after the trip itself, Loews encourages guests to share their experiences via Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, thus promoting inspiration for the next wave of travelers.

To read more about social media goals discussed at the EyeForTravel conference, click here.

Search Ads Integrated with Social Increase Revenue

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When forming your marketing strategy, you should not be deciding between search ads and social ads.  Instead you should try to integrate your search ads with social ads, according to research conducted by Marin Software and published in a new white paper, “The Multiplier Effect of Integrating Search and Social Advertising.”

What Marin’s Research Found
According to the white paper, Marin’s research found that customers who clicked on both search and social ads were about twice as likely to convert versus those who clicked on a search ad alone.

“The impact of cross-channel touch was even greater when examining social clicks.  Users who clicked on both the search and social ads had a click-through rate approximately four and a half times higher than users who only click on social ads,” Marin stated in its paper.

The research found that customers also spent more when click on both search and social ads with two times more revenue per click.

“Multi-channel touch points are even more valuable for social advertising,” Marin reported.  “Users who clicked on both a search and social ad contributed four times more revenue per click than users who clicked on the social ad only.”

Other Key Findings

  • Search campaigns that were managed alongside social ad campaigns had 26% more revenue per click than search campaigns managed alone.
  • The integration of ad campaign management for the two channels yielded 68% higher revenue per conversion for search campaigns when managed with social advertising.

Key Takeaways

  • Successful marketing executives recognize that meeting overall business objectives requires focusing the customer, not the channel.  (For example, a channel-focused approach is mainly concerned with the right keywords, the right targeting settings and often the best bids).
  • While a single-channel management focus can have some tactical advantages, it often ignores the strategic goals of the overall marketing effort: acquiring the right customer with the right buying intentions at the right time.
  • Marketing is fundamentally about target audience, while the channel is the means of delivering a message to that audience.  Successful marketers are beginning to focus the shift away from the individual channel and instead use the strengths of each channel to reach an intended audience.

To access the full white paper by Marin Software, click here.