#AskDJV – Episode 11: Benefits of Having a Social Media Marketing Strategy

In this week’s episode, we are discussing the benefits of having a social media marketing strategy.

Want more #AskDJV? Visit our website to view all of the episodes we’ve posted.

You can also check back here each Friday for the latest episode.

Do you have a question for me?

Tweet me @DJVallauri using the hashtag #AskDJV, and your question could be featured on the show!

Facebook Ads: Your Do-It-All Sales Solution? Think Again…

Don’t get the ROI of Facebook Ads confused with the effort to develop a content rich
page where your hotel engages with fans. Want the payoff? Do the hard work.

Facebook AdsFacebook Ads: Do They Work?

Facebook, still the first choice of social media platforms by the vast majority, is considered a king of social media. It is also a helpful place to build your hotel’s social media presence and engage your guests as well as manage your online reputation. However, it is not a one-stop shop. If you are looking to Facebook as a vehicle for acquiring new customers via ads, then we suggest allocating your resources elsewhere.

Sure, you may be asking — why shouldn’t I put money into Facebook ads for my property if companies, from small business to Fortune 500 giants, are doing it?

Facebook: Good for Branding, Not Customer Acquisition

The majority of buzz about Facebook should revolve around your page, not ads. The smart guys at Pepsi, Nike or Shell understand that the value behind Facebook is when it is used as a branding tool, not a customer acquisition tool.

While an incredibly effective customer retention and engagement tool, Facebook shows a much lower return on investment as a customer acquisition tool than most brands may think. Facebook is a place where users connect with those they already know, as opposed to a platform like Twitter or even Groupon where users are more likely to connect with new people or try new brands.

Just as you wouldn’t invest all of your efforts on social media on Facebook alone, ads can’t be the only thing you do on Facebook. Best as part of a complete marketing campaign, Facebook Ads are not useful as a “quick fix” for finding customers, nor is it an effective stand-alone platform. If you wish to take part in Facebook Ads for your hotel, you should know when to use them, how maximize their impact and how your other digital marketing efforts can support them.

Why Facebook is ineffective as a customer acquisition tool.

  • Few, if any, qualified leads/new customers if privacy settings are set to friends only.
  • Expensive way to advertise
  • Low Clickthrough Rate (CTR)

If you are convinced that Facebook ads are the best direction for your brand, the most important questions hoteliers should ask before launching Facebook advertising include:

TimingWhen should we use this?
GoalsWhat do we hope to achieve?
EvaluateHow will you measure its success?
Supporting InitiativesHow will you support the campaign across other channels?
AudienceWhat are the right investment decisions based upon your target demographics?

Investing in Facebook Ads only and thinking you will be bombarded with new customers is an unreal expectation. If you have a robust marketing strategy that includes a dynamic Facebook page with well-crafted content written for your target audience, then your Facebook efforts will be effective in supporting your goals of furthering your brand’s recognition. Then and only then, you may be among the few that can consider ads, but even then… you know where we stand.

Think PPC is a better fit for your hotel? We do!
Check out our “Back to Basics PPC Blog Series” for helpful hints on getting started.

Visit our website for more on effective paid advertising, including details on Lodging Interactive’s PPC and SEO services.

#AskDJV – Episode 10: Email Marketing Strategies that Drive Business

In this week’s episode of the #AskDJV Show, we are discussing the email marketing strategies that will drive potential business and build loyalty for your hotel.

Want more #AskDJV? Visit our website to view all of the episodes we’ve posted.

You can also check back here each Friday for the latest episode.

Do you have a question for me?

Tweet me @DJVallauri using the hashtag #AskDJV, and your question could be featured on the show!

When Should I Use SEO for My Hotel?

Why Hotels Need SEO

SEOServicesforHotelsWhen SEO is mentioned as something you should have for your hotel, how do you react? Ambivalent because you find it is a waste of resources? Trepidatious because it is unknown? Excited because you know it has value?

Many hoteliers may respond with any mix of these emotions and that’s ok. SEO is a powerful tool in your marketing arsenal, but its true value is often underestimated. SEO is not a one-time thing, nor is it something hotels can afford to overlook, especially in certain situations.

Which situations? We’re glad you asked! Our recommendation is that hotels have an SEO plan and strategy implemented at all times, but because we realize this isn’t possible for all properties, I’ve share a list below of times hoteliers should absolutely hire an SEO. The list is comprised of situations every hotel has faced at some point. These often complicated times can be improved with expert SEO strategy. When used correctly, it helps to increase your bookings over time and eliminate the pitfalls your competitors often make in these same situations as it affects the rest of your digital marketing more than you may realize.

6 Times Hoteliers Should Hire an SEO

Anytime you do or experience the following, utilizing SEO can profoundly impact your efforts — whether it is in website design, content creation for your site, a social media campaign, improving search, updating your local business listing or staying on top of algorithm changes.

    • Website Redesign – You need a SEO to work with your web development, graphic design and marketing teams from the beginning. The SEO team is responsible for your keyword management, information architecture, image names and directory structure. They are also the part of your team that integrates web analytics, webmaster tools and schema information on your site.
    • Social Media Marketing – If your hotel has a social media presence, it needs SEO. The two should be working hand-in-hand ensuring that your promotions and marketing efforts stay consistent. As you work to establish solid social media content, your SEO helps you with keyword structure and link building efforts, ensuring the proper marketing messages are sent at the right time.
    • Search Engine Ranking – Your competitors are using SEO to rank well in the search engines and gain followers on social media. If you don’t stay on top of (and ahead of) your competition by implementing an SEO strategy, it means a loss in bookings and search engine traffic.
    • Create Site Content  Every time you create content for your website, you have to SEO the content. This includes keyword research, writing titles and descriptions and ensuring your site code has all proper SEO elements.
    • Local SEO – For smaller hotels, Local SEO is not as easy as it looks. A lot of SEO goes into making sure you are listed in the proper way across multiple directories, that your NAP (name address phone number) are all the same in your website code and the directories.  In addition, hotels are unique in that they change ownership and names.  All of this data has to be updated in a timely fashion and additional marketing campaigns may be needed.
    • Major Algorithm Changes – Google is constantly changing their algorithms to accommodate end users, as evident with the recent Panda, Penguin and Pigeon updates. Not keeping informed of the changes can result in that penalties will affect your overall rankings and search engine visibility. Without an SEO to help you, you could lose your search engine traffic altogether.

SEO is critical to the growth of your hotel. We hope that our list gives you an idea of when you should implement SEO into your hotel marketing plans or hire an expert to do it for you. Exponentially, the benefits are enormous and to go without it will surely hurt your online marketing in the long run.

For more insights in SEO for hotels, please visit our website or contact us!

#AskDJV – Episode 9: Why Content Marketing is King

Content is king.

In this week’s episode of the #AskDJV Show, I explain why you should start thinking like a media company.

Want more #AskDJV? Visit our website to view all of the episodes we’ve posted.

You can also check back here each Friday for the latest episode.

Do you have a question for me?

Tweet me @DJVallauri using the hashtag #AskDJV, and your question could be featured on the show!

Lodging Interactive’s #AskDJV Weekly YouTube Series for Hoteliers

Our weekly video series #AskDJV features Lodging Interactive
Founder DJ Vallauri answering hotelier’s questions!

PR - AskDJV - 11415Today we announced our latest initiative in providing expert advice on social media, website design and digital marketing to the hospitality industry — a weekly video series titled #AskDJV. Featuring Lodging Interactive’s Founder and President, DJ Vallauri, our weekly YouTube series answers Internet marketing questions commonly asked by hoteliers.

View the series here.

Videos in the #AskDJV series:

Purchasing PPC Ads for Your Brand
How to WOW Your Customers
Properly Managing Your Social Media Presence
Responding to Positive Reviews
Maintaining Ownership of Your Social Media Accounts
The Importance of Responsive Websites
Closing out Guest Complaints Online
Who Controls Your Online Brand?

Subscribe to our YouTube channel or visit the #AskDJV page on our website to watch the videos. You can also check in here each Friday for the latest video!

Hoteliers can pose their own questions on Twitter, which could be featured on the #AskDJV Show, by tagging @DJVallauri and using the hashtag #AskDJV.

We would love to hear your feedback — give DJ a shout on Twitter or contact us to let us know what you think!

2015 Social Media Resolutions for Hoteliers

Happy New Year!

2015 Social Media Resolutions

The start of a new year ushers in the feeling of a fresh start with plenty of potential and often an equally plentiful list of resolutions to uphold. This year, we think making a few Social Media Resolutions for 2015 is the perfect way to outline the social media expectations for your property and to ensure efforts across your social channels align with your hotel’s sales, marketing and customer service goals for the year.

We took the liberty of doing a bit of the heavy lifting (getting back to the gym is on our list). Here are a few suggestions of social media resolutions for hoteliers:

Shift your focus.

It is safe to say that social media is not going away, but it is changing. Make 2015 the year of the social conversation — reply to the influx of inbound messages with improved response rates and times. The travel industry is experiencing some of the largest increases in messages, but engaged only 19 percent of the tweets received at a rate of 11.6 hours after receiving a message, according to Sprout Social. Target Millennial travelers by making social media the epicenter of you property’s customer service efforts. Make a plan to determine how to not only develop content, but respond to and engage the people talking to you and about you on social media.

Embrace video.

Video will make up 79 percent of all consumer Internet traffic by 2017, according to Cisco. This means adding video posts or creating that YouTube channel you’ve been meaning to put together should be a priority. Video sharing is a popular way to engage audiences on social media. Show off your hotel in video posts this year.

Take ownership of your online reputation.

Never got around to responding to those online reviews last year? According to a recent TripAdvisor study, properties responding to over 50 percent of their reviews increase their likelihood of receiving booking inquiries by 24 percent in comparison to hotels that do not post review responses. Not only does it hurt your property’s bookings, but with Facebook reviews and guests quick to share their experiences on social, you put your ever-valuable online reputation in the balance by not responding. Don’t have time to answer them? Consider outsourcing it.

Make posting fresh content easy.

Does your property have a blog? It is a proven way for guests to find your property via search, but it also provides a wealth of content to post across your social channels which means potential for increased engagement. The key to a successful blog is consistent content, so make sure to develop a posting schedule before getting started.

Best wishes on achieving your property’s goals and developing an even greater social media presence in the new year. Contact us for more social media best practices or to learn more about how our social media marketing services can help you reach your 2015 goals.

Do you have any social media resolutions this year?