#AskDJV Video Episode 42: Social Media Customer Service

Check out the latest video in the #AskDJV video series.  In episode 42, Lodging Interactive’s Founder and CEO describes how social media marketing is increasingly morphing into social media customer service.

DJ recommends hoteliers use 2016 to experiment with Facebook’s Instant Messenger and deploy Live Chat applications on their websites.  He believes 2017 and 2018 will be breakout years for real-time consumer engagement via social media and other online applications.

 

Lodging Interactive Picks Up Adrian Award At NYC Gala

NEW YORK, NY – February 17, 2016   Lodging Interactive, the leading digital marketing and social media engagement agency exclusively serving the hospitality industry, was honored at the annual HSMAI Adrian Awards where the company received an award of excellence in the category of Web Design & Digital Marketing.  The Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association International (HSMAI) annual gala was held on Tuesday, February 17th at New York’s Marriott Marquis.

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From left to right: Wolfgang Wehen General Manager Newport Beachside Resort, David Krech Director of Marketing Newport Beachside Resort, DJ Vallauri Founder & CEO Lodging Interactive with his wife Marcey Vallauri.

 

“We are honored to have received an Adrian Award for our design and development work on the Newport Beachside Resort’s new responsive website,” said DJ Vallauri, Lodging Interactive’s Founder & CEO.  “Our designers and developers, in cooperation with our client, created a website showcasing the experience guests can expect when staying in this North Miami beachside resort which was worthy of an Adrian, and for which I’m very proud of.”

 

This year’s HSMAI Adrian Award competition was extremely competitive with more than 1,300 entries submitted.  Lodging Interactive’s work was judged to be exceptional by experts in the hospitality, travel, tourism and media industries.  Judges were asked to evaluate each entry based on its own merit and success in achieving its stated objectives.

 

About Lodging Interactive:

 

Headquartered in Parsippany, NJ, Lodging Interactive is a full-service digital marketing and social media engagement agency exclusively servicing the hospitality industry. Through its web design and search optimization division as well as its CoMMingle Social Media Division, Lodging Interactive provides effective Internet marketing services to hundreds of branded and independent properties as well as management companies, restaurants and spas. The company also offers Social Voices, the hospitality industry’s first 24/7/365 social customer care service as well as HotelSiteXPRESS, which designs affordable, responsive websites that properties own.

 

Lodging Interactive is a 2015 Adrian Award winner and the International Academy of Visual Arts, Interactive Media Awards, Horizon Interactive Awards, Web Marketing Association, Academy of Interactive & Visual Arts, and Travel Weekly’s Magellan Awards have recognized Lodging Interactive as an industry leader.

 

Lodging Interactive is a proud supporter of the Hotel Sales & Marketing Association International (HSMAI) and DJ Vallauri is the Social Media Director and on the Board of Directors of HSMAI’s New York Chapter.  Lodging Interactive is also a preferred Vendor for Best Western International, and is a member of the International Luxury Hotel Association (ILHA). For more information, please contact sales@lodginginteractive.com, 877-291-4411 or visit the company’s website.

Airbnb: New Study Shows Impact on the Hospitality Industry

The latest report showing Airbnb’s increasing encroachment into the hospitality industry was just released by the American Hotel & Lodging Association.  The AH&LA is one of the oldest organizations that represents the U.S. lodging industry. They commissioned a yearlong study prepared by Penn State University’s School of Hospitality and Management that covered the 12 largest U.S. markets.

The study pulled statistics on those Airbnb hosts that rented 1 or more units and those that rented their units year round or “full time”.  Some study findings show:

  • Full-time operators account for 30% of Airbnb’s revenue
  • Operators of 1-2 rented units drives 40% of the company’s revenue that translates into more than half billion dollars a year.

Though impartiality of this study might come into question, we would have to be hard pressed to ignore studies conducted by other organizations and educational institutions that support the increased economic impact Airbnb operations has on the hospitality industry for revenue, prices, occupancy rates etc. not to mention a loss in tax revenue.  Odds are that Airbnb will not take over the hotel industry but it does force hotels to take their presence seriously and do what is necessary to stay competitive.

#AskDJV Video Episode 43: How to Create Content for your Hotel

We all know content is king, but how can hotels create appropriate social media content?  It’s all about authentic storytelling.  No one wants to consume content created by the hotel’s public relations department. Make it transparent and experiential.

Think link a content company and create a content calendar.  Brainstorm with your team and create a content calendar to keep it all organized.  Need help with this, give us call and we can walk you through how to set up your own content calendar.

Watch the #AskDJV video below for tips on creating hotel content.

 

 

Social Customer Service is No Longer an Option

Our Founder & CEO, DJ Vallauri recently authored an article for HotelExecutive.com titled Social Customer Service is No Longer an Option.  In the article he shared a few social media customers service tips for hoteliers:

Top 5 Recommendations For Providing Hotel Social Customer Service:

  • Make the commitment and get the required resources from top management.Social customer service is no longer an option for hotels. Hotels are in the hospitality business, and now hospitality is extended online by way of social customer service. Your management needs to buy into this thinking 150% and needs to budget for the appropriate resources to get the job done as expected by your guests. You will need personnel, technology applications and training…all ongoing expenses.
  • Find the right people for your social customer service team.Find the right team members in your operation who understand your brand’s voice and values. Good writing skills is a must. Your social customer service team members should have an especially good grasp of tone let alone the English language. They need to be able to respond to customers in a positive, helpful and authentic tone that is not always an easy task in writing.
  • Be socially “available” all the time.Social customer service is not a 9 to 5 job. Rather, your hotel needs to be online and always available to engage and provide assistance to your customers, 24/7/365. Remember, you need to available on your customers’ preferred social media platforms and be there when it matters.
  • Empower your social customer team to get the job done, the first time.Remember, fast customer acknowledgement and providing efficient solutions are key when providing social customer service. We always advise our hotel clients to make sure all social customer service team members have direct access to either the Manager on Duty or the General Manager, 24/7/365. It’s all about quick engagement and solutions.
  • Proactively look for social customer service engagement opportunities.Studies have shown that only 3% of consumers use the proper brand account name when taking their customer service issues public on Twitter. This means your hotel needs to monitor for variations of your hotel’s name in order to capture customer service opportunities. For example, if your hotel’s Twitter account is @HotelNikkoSF, you should be monitoring for “Hotel Nikko SFO”, San Fran Nikko Hotel.” etc. In addition, always be on the lookout for engagement opportunities between your competitors and their customers. You never know when someone staying with your competitor is looking for help related to dinner reservations or local attraction information. Should such an occasion arise, jump into the conversation in a non-salesy way and offer to help…even if  they’re not staying with you this time around. This is how business is won in 2016.

Read the entire article: HotelExecutive.com

Snapchat: The Next Best Social Media Video Platform & Contender to Facebook

When Snapchat first came out in 2012 it was used mostly by teenagers to young adults who would send photos to each other and then see those photos disappear within minutes of opening them. But in 2013 Snapchat introduced “Stories” which quickly became the more popular function. With Stories you snap a photo or video and put them together into a single video creating a “story” that is shared with your friends. Much in the same vein as Snapchat photos, these videos disappear after 24 hours. So if you snooze, you lose.

Snapchat took this video concept one step further. The historic New York snowstorm of January 2015 had many users taking photos and videos. Choosing the cream of the crop from users contributions, a team at Snapchat strung together these photos and videos into one huge “story” and published it onto every user “My Friend” list.  In the end, 25 million users watched the compiled “story” and then, like any other Snapchat story, it disappeared after 24 hours.

Since that first compiled story, Snapchat has put together many others about football games, New Year’s Eve, the Daytona 500 and so many others that had staggering views in the millions. With 100 million daily users and video traffic of more than 7 billion clips each day it is stirring up some serious competition with Facebook videos and Facebook has 15 times more users!

Some noteworthy points:

  1. Whether it’s 10 minutes of a photo view or 24 hours of a video view, Snapchat has users full attention to what is being shown, advertised or marketed in a medium that is engaging and fun.
  2. If you are trying to reach a young audience, Snapchat is the place to do it because research shows their users fall between the ages of 18 and 34. This is a particularly difficult audience since you need to bring your point across but in a way that is genuine and entertaining.
  3. Traditional advertising can get boring and lost in a sea of others vying for the same audience. With consumers spending so much time on digital products, Snapchat offers a fantastic new platform where hotels can tell their “story” in real-time reaching out to millions rather than have a stagnant advertisement present itself to users and not knowing if it was actually viewed by the user. With Snapchat photos and videos the user must press and hold the button to have the story played through. If the user lets go of the button, Snapchat will recognize that the interest in it was lost.
  4. Snapchat photos and videos are viewable for a limited amount of time and not archived for possible later viewing like Facebook. This opens all kinds of social media marketing possibilities: You could build anticipation for and toward the actual presentation of promotional offers such as giveaways, discounts and coupons.

Snapchat has only been around for a few years but the possibilities for its use are promising and, according to predictions by social media guru Gary Vaynerchuk, Snapchat will become one of the top platforms in 2016. Don’t miss out!

VIDEO: Freedom For Hotels

We just rolled out our new Freedom For Hotels explainer video.  You can check it out below.

Freedom For Hotels is truly a game changer for our industry.  Check out the key features:

  • NO long term contracts.
  • NO proprietary technologies.
  • Unlimited website changes made for you at no charge.
  • $5,000 website design credit every 2 years.

For more information, please click on the contact link.