Drowning in a Sea of Social Media Mayhem? ‘CoMMingle Social+’ Comes to the Rescue

Just as hoteliers get comfortable with social media giants Facebook, Twitter, and You Tube, new sites are emerging, such as Google+, Pinterest, Instagram and Wikipedia to name just a few, that are making an equally big online marketing impact. To ensure hotels are covered across all social media channels, Lodging Interactive and its subsidiary CoMMingle are announcing a new level of service called CoMMingle Social+. CoMMingle Social+ serves as an extension to the hotel’s core social presence on Facebook, Twitter and You Tube plus it provides a fully managed presence on additional emerging social media marketing and engagement channels.

Lodging Interactive is an award-winning, interactive and social media marketing agency exclusively servicing the hospitality industry. CoMMingle by Lodging Interactive is an outsourced social media marketing agency that develops customized solutions for hospitality entities. Together, the companies are providing powerful new ways for hoteliers to interact with their guests and prospects and better grow and manage their use of social media channels.  

"CoMMingle Social+ is a service for hoteliers who already manage their own Facebook and Twitter accounts but also want to get involved in the new, emerging social engagement channels but do not have the resources in-house to handle it," said DJ Vallauri, Lodging Interactive Founder and President. "In addition, CoMMingle Social+ will add weekly postings on Facebook and Twitter for hotels that have pages but find it hard to consistently post during the week."

Through the CoMMingle Social+ program, team members will work with hotels to initially establish, and then manage on an ongoing basis, the following social networks & engagement channels:

• Google+ Business Page – CoMMingle will set up the page if needed and maintain weekly postings on the page and engage with consumers as needed;

• Pinterest – CoMMingle will create a Pinterest hotel account, relevant pin boards, and then pin images weekly to the boards. CoMMingle will also monitor and engage with consumers as needed;

• Facebook – CoMMingle will create additional apps for the property, above and beyond what is presently being managed by the hotel. Apps could include promotions, specials and contests;

• Ongoing Facebook & Twitter postings – CoMMingle will go a step further and assist hotels that have don't have the time to post content consistently to Facebook and Twitter by posting content weekly on the hotel’s behalf and engage with consumers as needed;

• Wikipedia – CoMMingle will set up a Wikipedia listing if one does not exist and create social links. CoMMingle will also monitor the Wikipedia listing quarterly and check content for accuracy.

With social media increasingly becoming an integral part of consumers' global travel habits, hotel operators are struggling with finding the internal resources to manage social networks and establishing effective social media marketing campaigns. CoMMingle is designed to assist hotels in engaging online with social media strategic planning, growing and managing social media channels, word-of-mouth marketing and experiential marketing, reputation and consumer sentiment monitoring, and social search engine optimization.

"The challenge for hoteliers is not just being visible via the various social channels, but being engaging, constantly monitoring content and keeping the conversations going," said Rosella Virdo, Director of CoMMingle Social Media Marketing. "That's where the success or failure of a social media marketing program comes to play. If a hotel does not have numerous dedicated staff members serving as its social media watch dog, it's easy for the plan to fall apart. With so many consumers being drawn to these new, relevant social media sites, it's near impossible for hoteliers to keep abreast of the chatter. With CoMMingle Social+, we become the eyes and ears of the hotel, monitoring conversations and posting instant replies if desired."

Lodging Interactive Giving Hoteliers Control over Hotel Website Content

When it comes to online marketing, "Content is King," and the more content the better. Hoteliers are finding that fresh content translates to better search engine optimization on Google, Yahoo and Bing and other search engines. What this means to hoteliers is the more often content is refreshed, the more likely travelers will find the site, and not only will they stay longer, but they ultimately will book while there. If your hotel website is outdated but you don't have the resources to keep it maintained, Lodging Interactive has developed a Content Management System (CMS) that makes it easy for your content to reign supreme.

Lodging Interactive is an award-winning, interactive and social media marketing agency exclusively servicing the hospitality industry. In addition to content management, the company offers website design and management, reputation management, search engine marketing, real-time analytics and accountability, and an online Guest Review System.

"Refreshing a website can be a tedious task unless you have the right tools in place," said DJ  Vallauri, Lodging Interactive Founder and President. "Our CMS is easy to use and extremely comprehensive, enabling hoteliers to update or add content anytime, anywhere, and without any hassle.”

Last month Lodging Interactive earned three Interactive Media Awards™ for Outstanding Achievement in the Hotels/Resorts category for its website design services. This is the third consecutive year the company was recognized by the Interactive Media Council for its aptitude in designing, developing, managing, supporting and promoting hotel websites. 

Using the Lodging Interactive Content Management System, hoteliers can:

• Manage website text content
• Add, delete and modify pages
• Manage header/footer navigation items
• Manage website images and photo gallery images
• Manage the entire site’s Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
• Instantly create updated XML site maps

"With our CMS tool, all updates are performed in real time," Vallauri said. "The CMS is browser-based, with no software to download and no technical skills required to operate it."

To help make online marketing easier and more affordable for all hotels across all segments, Lodging Interactive recently launched a new Hotel Website Solutions program designed to offer web-marketing services at a low, month-to-month fee with all upfront costs removed. Hotels that enroll in this program will automatically receive Lodging Interactive's CMS.

"Today a well-maintained and up-to-date website is critical to remaining competitive in the market and driving more direct bookings to your hotel," Vallauri said. "By giving hotels control over their content, it enables them to continually find new ways to redirect travelers from third-party sites to their proprietary websites. And today, direct bookings are the name of the game."

Do You Have Interest in Pinterest?

Hotels looking to showcase their property, events, specials, and local area attractions plus express their culture or personality via social media are finding great success with Pinterest. Now one of the hottest and most frequently visited social media marketing channels, Lodging Interactive and its subsidiary CoMMingle are offering a turnkey service for creating and professionally managing this online bulletin board on behalf of hotels.

Lodging Interactive is an award-winning, interactive and social media marketing agency exclusively servicing the hospitality industry. CoMMingle by Lodging Interactive is an outsourced social media marketing agency that develops customized solutions for hospitality entities. Together, the companies are providing powerful new ways for hoteliers to interact with their guests and prospects and better grow and manage their use of social media channels.

Consider these statistics:

• Pinterest users spend an average of almost 16 minutes on the site per visit (compared to 12.1 for Facebook).
• As of January 2012, Pinterest had received just under 12 million unique visits.
• Pinterest receives almost 1.5 million visitors each day.
• Pinterest provides more referral traffic to other sites than Google+, YouTube and LinkedIn combined.

"Pinterest is giving hotels a place to organize images and information into boards for specific categories to make it easier for consumers to find what interests them most and then act upon it," said DJ Vallauri, Lodging Interactive Founder and President. "The boards are designed to highlight all the various aspects of the hotel, from the guestrooms and food-and-beverage areas, to recreation, social offerings and even local area attractions.

"Understanding how difficult it is for hotels to keep up with the growing social media landscape, Lodging Interactive and CoMMingle will take an active role in setting up each hotel's Pinterest account and managing it accordingly," he said. "We will develop boards on behalf of our customers, pin their photos and information, re-pin items as needed, engage with customers, identify relevant content and then sustain that content month to month, monitoring it and making sure that it stays fresh."

Rosella Virdo, Director of CoMMingle Social Media Marketing, explained that when information or photos are "pinned" on Pinterest, a hotel's followers will see it. Viewers can like, comment or re-pin it to their boards. Items of interest may contain links to the site where the image originated. Like Facebook content, Pinterest pins have the opportunity to go viral. Unlike Facebook, visitors don't need to be friends with someone to follow their board. The key is simply sharing a common interest.

"The social media phenomenon is exploding, and as such, hoteliers need to find new, and more powerful ways to interact with their guests and prospects," Virdo said. "Our team at CoMMingle becomes the eyes, ears and mouthpiece of the hotel, assisting them with planning their unique social media strategy based on their individual property goals. Then they will teach members how to socialize online, 'comingling' and managing their photos and message on the various channels, including Pinterest, blogs, Facebook, Twitter, You Tube and more. We ensure that each hotel's message is communicated smartly, efficiently and effectively, constantly measuring each plans' critical success factors and fine-tuning each strategy for long term success."

By leveraging the support of Lodging Interactive and CoMMingle, hoteliers are finding they can quickly and affordably become more successful than ever before. To learn more about how Lodging Interactive and CoMMingle can assist in your social media marketing program, call 877-291-4411 ext. 701 or visit www.LodgingInteractive.com.