What Just Happened in Social Media and What it Means for Hotels – October 15, 2019

A lot has happened in the last two weeks in the social media world, and there are some big changes happening that will directly impact hotels, resorts, and other businesses in the hospitality industry. Let’s take a look at each one and discuss what it means for you.

Facebook Offers New Stories Templates & Instagram Direct Features for Businesses 

Facebook has just launched a new customizable Stories template that can be used for Facebook, Instagram, and Messenger. This template will help businesses create more high quality Stories content quickly.

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They’re also offering a new integration for direct messaging, allowing businesses to respond to Messenger and Instagram direct messages all from their Facebook inbox. This new functionality comes alongside brand new options to set up saved replies and away messages through Messenger.

What This Means for Hotels and Resorts 

Any features that allow us to market more quickly and at a larger scale can benefit busy hotels and resorts. The Stories template will help create dynamic Stories faster, and since this is a major feature on both Instagram and Facebook, this will be something to use if you’re struggling to create content as it is.

The messaging features are also a great asset. If you’re going to be unavailable for a few hours, you can let guests know when they can reach you. Saved replies can be created for commonly-asked questions like “What’s your checkout time?” or “Are there gluten-free dishes on the in-resort menu?” Create canned responses that can be used to speed up your team’s response time, which is a win-win for everyone involved.

YouTube Testing Ability to Reserve Ad Space

According to Social Media Today, YouTube is testing a new feature that would allow advertisers to reserve ad spaces up to 120 days in advance. This is slightly different than scheduled campaigns, which don’t guarantee placement.

What This Means for Hotels and Resorts 

This feature is still brand new and we don’t have a ton of information about it just yet. That being said, the option to reserve ad space months in advance will potentially make it much easier for any hotels or resorts that want to tie in to major events, or run campaigns during times of peak activity. If you know there would be a big event near you– like the Super Bowl, or a major conference– you can plan accordingly.

Instagram Rolls out Branded Content Tags for IGTV 

Instagram’s branded content tags aren’t available for all users just yet, but they’re getting another functionality while still on their limited-release. They’re now available for select users in IGTV, which will flag any paid partnerships directly on the content.

What This Means for Hotels and Resorts 

Establishing transparency and trust is important to win over the trust of your guests, and sponsored tags will help with that. If you’re working with any influencers, for example, to show off your hotel or resort, make sure they’re using those branded content tags if available to you.

Instagram Releases a “Restrict” Tool to Limit Trolls 

Every platform has problems with trolls and cyberbullies, and Instagram is working to put a stop to it– at least on their platform. They’re rolling out a “restrict” feature, which allows you to essentially automatically hide comments from certain individuals. After you “restrict” them, they’ll be the only person able to see the comments they’re leaving.

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What This Means for Hotels and Resorts 

As a first line of defense, blocking users who are causing problems for your hotel or resort can work, but the restrict option has its benefits, too. Sometimes, certain users need to believe they’re reaching you and your audience, so blocking them might encourage them to take their negativity elsewhere; allowing them to think they’re commenting publicly can keep them content without impacting you or your guests.

LinkedIn Rolls Out All-in-One Insights  

LinkedIn has just announced a new Insights and Research tool, which is essentially an all-in-one hub that will help marketers use actionable LinkedIn data to improve their performance.

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This new Insights tool will include the following information:

●     People Insights, including your audience’s location, the topics that resonate with them most, what content they’re engaging with, the influencers they follow, and their skills.

●     Industry Insights, including trends and research for vertical-specific data in terms of marketing, including high-level B2B marketing trends and ideas to set you apart.

●     Advertising Insights, including analytics on branding techniques and advice on aligning your sales and marketing departments for a cohesive LinkedIn strategy.

What This Means for Hotels and Resorts 

LinkedIn has enormous potential when it comes to helping you reach guests who may need an event venue or lodging for business-related travel. These insights offer new levels of detail about how to better engage with your target audience across the platform and make these campaigns more successful.

Lodging Interactive Becomes Sprout Social Agency Partner

Lodging Interactive, an award-winning digital marketing and social media engagement agency exclusively serving the hospitality industry, today announced it has become a Sprout Social Agency Partner. Through its commingle:engage Social Media Marketing division, the Company continues to expand its client base which includes hundreds of hotels, resorts, restaurants and spas around the globe.

“We continue to invest heavily in ‘best-in-class’ technology platforms and partners that enable our clients and team members to remain at the forefront of social media marketing and engagement,” said DJ Vallauri, Lodging Interactive’s Founder & CEO. “After a lengthy evaluation and consideration process, our team decided Sprout Social offered an exceptional social media engagement, publishing, analytics, listening and reporting solution to provide our clients with the competitive edge they require.”

 

The Sprout Social platform enables the Company to efficiently create content, schedule posts, size images, and engage with followers.  The platform is equipped to accommodate every large social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and LinkedIn. 

 

About Lodging Interactive

 

Headquartered in Parsippany, NJ, Lodging Interactive is a full-service digital marketing, social media engagement and reputation management agency exclusively servicing the hospitality industry. The Company provides cost-effective Internet marketing services to hundreds of branded and independent properties as well as management companies, restaurants, and spas.  


commingle:engage, the Company’s social media and reputation management division, has established itself as the largest provider of reputation management services for the hospitality industry, handling over 200,000 guest review responses annually.  

 

Lodging Interactive is an HSMAI Adrian Award winner and has won awards from 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.  

 

The Company’s Founder & CEO, DJ Vallauri, formerly served on the Board of Directors of HSMAI’s New York Chapter and is a Forbes.com Agency Council contributor. For more information, please contact sales@lodginginteractive.com, 877-291-4411 or visit the company’s website.

Lodging Interactive Launches Social Media Marketing News Apple Podcast

Lodging Interactive, an award-winning digital marketing and social media engagement agency exclusively serving the hospitality industry, today announced the rollout of its commingle:engage bi-weekly podcast. The podcast episodes cover the latest changes and updates announced on social media and what they mean for hotels and resorts.

 

“The world of social media continues to evolve and as it does it presents many opportunities and implications for hotels and resorts,” stated DJ Vallauri, Lodging Interactive’s Founder & CEO. “We wanted to create a new way to keep hoteliers informed and educated on the latest social media marketing news, and do so in short 3-5 minute audio clips.” 

 

The podcast is recorded via Anchor every two weeks and is published on all major Podcast networks including Spotify and Apple’s Podcast network. The podcast summarizes the major points from the Company’s bi-weekly social media newsletter What Just Happened in Social Media and What it Means for Your HotelClick here to listen and to subscribe to the commingle:engage bi-weekly podcast to ensure you receive notifications when new episodes are published.

 

About Lodging Interactive

 

Headquartered in Parsippany, NJ, Lodging Interactive is a full-service digital marketing, social media engagement and reputation management agency exclusively servicing the hospitality industry. The Company provides cost-effective Internet marketing services to hundreds of branded and independent properties as well as management companies, restaurants, and spas.  


commingle:engage, the Company’s social media and reputation management division, has established itself as the largest provider of reputation management services for the hospitality industry, handling over 200,000 guest review responses annually.  

 

Lodging Interactive is an HSMAI Adrian Award winner and has won awards from 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.  

 

The Company’s Founder & CEO, DJ Vallauri, formerly served on the Board of Directors of HSMAI’s New York Chapter and is a Forbes.com Agency Council contributor. For more information, please contact sales@lodginginteractive.com, 877-291-4411 or visit the company’s website.

 

Contact

DJ Vallauri
President & Founder
Phone: 877-291-4411 ext 704

 

Conversational Marketing Should Be Part of Every Hotel’s Marketing Plan in 2020

 

Lodging Interactive’s Founder and CEO, DJ Vallauri, discusses the importance of conversational marketing and why every hotel should prepare to leverage the new Facebook social media messaging platform in 2020.

Much has been said and written about “conversational marketing” and how future marketers will be required to master this consumer engagement technique in order to be successful. Clearly, the hospitality industry is well-positioned to leverage the loyalty-building power of conversational marketing through personal engagement with its guests, pre-arrival, during guest stays and post-checkout. Let’s take a deep dive into how your property can use conversational marketing, beat the competition every time and capture more market share.

Business-2-Consumer (B2C) communications continue to evolve and spread globally. Today’s “always-on” generation expects near-instantaneous communications with businesses and long gone are the days where businesses require consumers to fill out an online email form only to receive a reply in 24-48 hours. Social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter continue to invest heavily in building out their consumer messaging platforms and capabilities. Mark Zuckerberg announced at Facebook’s recent F8 developer’s conference that they intend to launch a re-imagined Facebook platform in Q1 of 2020. The new Facebook platform will become more of a “town hall” for open and public communications while it plans to further its development of a private and fully encrypted messaging platform for consumers. Facebook will let users chat across Messenger, Instagram, and WhatsApp in a completely interoperable manner. Dubbed as a “SuperApp” the Messenger platform will enable over 4 billion consumers to communicate freely and privately with each other as well as businesses, such as hotels.

Messenger and it’s privacy-focused vision for social media must be embraced by every hotelier and is where conversational marketing can provide the marketing edge to win.

Here’s the good news. As an industry-focused around being hospitable and being service-oriented, the hospitality industry already has the right mindset. The industry, after all, is built on creating memorable guest experiences and achieving service levels that encourage guests to write positive reviews regarding their stays. Hoteliers are wired to “be of service” to their guests.

Now for the bad news. Super Apps such as Messenger will force hoteliers to go beyond the status quo and to allocate internal resources to efficiently engage with a very demanding new generation of consumers, the “I want it now” generation. Direct messages sent to a hotel’s Messenger, Instagram or WhatsApp account will need to be responded too in near real-time and at any time, 24/7/365. But it’s not just about responding to inquiring consumers who want your engagement on their time, this all presents a conversational marketing opportunity for hotels.

One-on-one Messenger conversations should not only be considered as a new way to deliver customer service and to differentiate properties from their competitive sets, but rather as a way to deploy conversational marketing. Building relationships, one-on-one with the ultimate goal of building customer loyalty and growing future business.

Through conversational marketing, specific customer engagement and messaging should be captured, in real-time, and databased into a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system enabling future marketing opportunities. Future Messenger marketing programs, SMS/Text and, yes, email marketing all present the basis for conversational marketing and new revenue generation opportunities for hoteliers. Conversational marketing leverages the human engagement elements, through Messenger, new and traditional marketing automation platforms resulting in loyalty-building opportunities. And as all marketers know, loyalty equates to future business on the books.

Questions every hotelier should begin to ask:

  • Is my hotel ready to handle the increasing amount of direct messaging?
  • Will my hotel have a budget to hire staff we will need for after-hours and weekend coverage?
  • Will we have in-house skills to deploy Messenger and SMS/Text marketing programs?
  • How will we track the ROI of our conversational marketing efforts?
  • Will my competitors have the resources to leverage conversational marketing and steal my market share?

At Lodging Interactive, we’ve created commingle:engage our highly-focused social media and engagement division specifically addressing the needs of the hospitality industry. We understand the changes in consumer engagement behaviors and the hospitality industry. For nearly 20 years, we have helped over 650 hotels maximize the opportunities of digital marketing.