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Close The Feedback Loop

Does any hotel still offer customer satisfaction surveys? Do you, as a hotelier, rely upon comment cards as a quality control for your operations? A decade ago, the answer would undoubtedly be yes, but now it isn’t so black-and-white. Let’s reflect on what’s happened, specifically related to the advent of internet-born travel websites. With the success of online review sites, including the behemoth that is TripAdvisor, it’s all too easy to surmise that their growth was primarily because of how they aggregated hotels and cross-linked to OTA booking engines. However, we must also stomach the fact that it’s our own fault that these channels proliferated. We gave these watchdogs an abundance of meat to chew on because our properties were rife with unchecked service errors. These sites gave angry customers a place to vent. Eventually we woke up, realized we had created a monstrously powerful beast, then attempted to rein …

lmaadminClose The Feedback Loop
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Photobomb Marketing

For those living under a rock, a photobomb is when photograph is ruined by someone unexpectedly appearing in the background, distracting from what was originally intended for the image’s framing. Typically, photobombs occur in crowded areas frequented by oblivious or harried passersby, or interlopers commonly spoil pictures as a practical joke. Definitions aside, photobombs seem like something for drunken college students. What do they have to do with hotels? Photobomb marketing is a very niche tactic housed under the greater banner of experiential marketing, and it harks back to the relationship between the onsite experience and social media usage. The primary goal of this enterprise is to generate positive electronic word of mouth (word of mouse) in order to obtain strong third-party approval for your hotel with heightened brand awareness and new customers as outcomes. With smartphones inseparable from their users nowadays, it’s easy to presume that while guests are …

lmaadminPhotobomb Marketing
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The Future of Social Media is Advertising

Whoever said that advertising is dead is either horribly misinformed or merely drumming up controversy as part of a self-promotions agenda. This article is a rebuttal for all those naysayers and managers who are slashing their advertising budgets in favor of newer and supposedly cheaper methods of building their businesses. The fact is that advertising is thriving – and will continue to thrive – through online platforms, social media included. Yes, traditional mediums have slid from the limelight, but digital channels are more than ready to pick up the slack. Once we have long passed the initial fervor surrounding these new digital channels, we will come to see that social media is simply another form of ‘media’ and paid advertising is but one tactic for using said media alongside public relations and customer relationship management. The adjective ‘paid’ in that last sentence is an important modifier because the conversational nature …

lmaadminThe Future of Social Media is Advertising
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The Future of Facebook for 2015 and Beyond

Now over a decade old, Facebook is a mature product. No longer the rebellious upstart of 2004 promising to change the way we connect; it’s now the status quo. For better or for worse, it has done its job in this regard. With over a billion users, Facebook’s monthly growth rate is now close to flat. We all know about social media, understand its potential for reaching consumers, and most of us have registered on one network or another. As a part of this status quo, it’s vital that you think about how the network’s maturation affects consumer perceptions and interactions. In line with this, many of us may feel obliged to maintain an account on one of the more popular social media like Facebook because of how entrenched said networks have become within groups of friends. My question to you: how does something that’s viewed as ‘compulsory’ change how …

lmaadminThe Future of Facebook for 2015 and Beyond
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The Water Cooler Effect

Have you ever heard of the phrase ‘Caveman’s TV’? Basically, before people sat on the couch ogling at their favorite film actors, they stared into the orange blazes of a fireplace. And even before we humans had proper housing, for entertainment our Cro-Magnon ancestors would crouch around a hot pit of dancing flames and billowing smoke. Nowadays, it’s not uncommon to find a mega-LCD screen mounted on top of a fireplace – the old and the new together. The point being: technology may change, but our habits are far less alterable. We may think that our societal norms have undergone a sweeping upheaval when really it’s another iteration tacked onto an ever-evolving set of patterns. Letters become telegrams then wired telephones and now smart cellular devices, but it’s all still a means for two-way communications. So, what does this have to do with social media? Consider the office water cooler. …

Larry MogelonskyThe Water Cooler Effect
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Social Media, Concierge: A Natural Merger

Any hotelier who has ever glanced at a hotel’s social media profiles – or at least read articles on proper management of these pages – knows that these forms of electronic communication have replaced many of the tasks formerly attended to by the onsite concierge. Past, present and future guests send their digital queries and it’s the property’s responsibility to respond with helpful information. I’m stating the obvious here. Nowadays, it is critical that you treat social media networks as personal assistance and relationship building channels. Future guests will be thankful you took the time to answer their requests. Past guests will appreciate your kind remarks. And all other fans and travel researchers will be silently judging you by the attentiveness of your online activity. In the past, helping guests was the primary duty of the concierge, but now that this role is being widely usurped by that social media …

Larry MogelonskySocial Media, Concierge: A Natural Merger
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Master Social Media in China to Master It at Home

The growth of China’s economy is equal parts fascinating and staggering. Living in North America where capitalism, consumerism and urbanization have long been ingrained into our societal framework, it’s almost unfathomable to comprehend the inner logistics required to apply these systems to a country of 1.4 billion at the breakneck speed that China is currently achieving. All we can bank on with certainty is that with increasing gross domestic product comes more monetarily empowered citizens and, subsequently, more globetrotting travelers. Recently, I talked with Ernie Diaz, director of online strategy at Web Presence in China, a company that markets non-Chinese brands to the Chinese marketplace. Ernie lives in Beijing and says what we first need to do is let go of any preconceptions we might have about Chinese consumers. For a country this big, a one-size-fits-all model is bunk and negligent, he told me. China has a burgeoning middle class …

Larry MogelonskyMaster Social Media in China to Master It at Home
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Social Media Marketing in China for Hotels

The world’s most populous country and the second largest economy as of this writing, China is exceedingly difficult to ignore. To many Westerners, the nation is still largely a mystery and widely misunderstood behind antiquated perceptions of their government, censorship laws, outsourcing and many others. For hoteliers, all this can perplex to the point of noninvolvement. Lest you forget that where there are people, there are eager travelers, and this bastion of humanity is no exception. Outbound tourism from China has already risen significantly in the past 20 years since they reopened their borders to the capitalist world. Given the causal relationship between prosperity and travel as well as the nation’s stable economic forecasts, this trend is bound to continue. However, a broad rallying cry does not preclude the hard work and tact you’ll need to penetrate China’s curtain, never mind the startup costs of adapting to the nation’s internal …

Larry MogelonskySocial Media Marketing in China for Hotels