#AskDJV – Episode 38: Periscope Tutorial for Hotels

Periscope – Live Video Streaming for Hotels

In this week’s episode of #AskDJV, you will learn how to make a periscope for your hotel. Live Streaming Video is all the rage nowadays and Lodging Interactive’s own DJ Vallauri shows how you can leverage video content to attract prospects to your hotel, while building SEO value.

In this video, you will learn:

  • The basics of Periscope
  • Who creates live video streaming at your hotel
  • What your hotel should be live streaming
  • How to create live streaming videos to attract hotel guests
  • How to stream live video, once its created
  • How to add followers and follow others
  • The benefits of streaming videos

If you have been putting this off because you “don’t have the time” or “are afraid of the technology”, after watching today’s episode, you will be on the fast track to navigating periscope, attracting hotel guests and rivaling your hotel competitors.

Google Analytics Annotations

Annotations in Google Analytics

Annotations are a great way to keep track of important events in Google Analytics. There are several reasons why you might want to use them. Annotations can be shared by everyone who has access to the Google Analytics account, or be private – meaning that only you can see them. The important thing to remember about annotations in Google analytics is that they should be consistent. If you are going to start keeping track of email campaigns, for example, then you should continue doing so. Inconsistency makes it more difficult to measure your results.

Examples of Annotations

  • New Website Launch/Redesign
  • Special Promotions
  • Adding New Content
  • Keeping track of miscellaneous items (for your own personal information, not always related to company goals).

How to add Annotations in Google Analytics

Google Annotations Drop Down


  1. Click on the ARROW below the Line Graph (highlighted in yellow).
  2. Select + Create new annotation

You will see the following screen:

 Annotations in Google Analytics

Fill out annotation – Start with the Date on your Left, the Annotation NAME, then you can choose to SHARE it or make it PRIVATE.

  1. Click SAVE.


Whatever section you go into, Google Analytics will show your annotation(s) in the Line Graph.

When you create an Annotation, your email address appears on the Right Hand Side

Annotations show email address

It shows you who created the annotation. In this way, if someone has a question regarding the annotation, they can contact you directly.

Instant Gratification & Long Term Results

One of the things I enjoy about annotations is that they can sometimes bring “instant gratification” to the SEO process, which is normally a long term event. For example, if you write content on a regular basis, you can sometimes see a spike from newly released content, even if it takes you awhile to rank for it in Google or Bing.

Long term results allow you to see how many people read your content when it is first released, versus the long term results of that content. How does it perform over time? Should you classify this as “evergreen” content or is it a one-time event that you won’t cover again? Do your readers want more of the same or less? Does it drive revenue? Does it increase the time spent on a page? These are all questions you can answer over time.

Use it for all types of Marketing Campaigns

Annotations can bring relevance to your SEO and other online marketing campaigns. You can even use it to track offline marketing events (hotel conferences, anniversary parties, etc.). For example, did the recent anniversary party at your hotel spike social media conversations before or afterwards? Were people sharing photos on Pinterest or other social media channels?

There are many ways to keep track of data in Google analytics through annotations. You are limited only by your imagination. Think about ways in which this can help your hotel grow. It’s not too late to start using annotations today.

DJ Vallauri Elected HSMAI Greater New York Chapter’s Director of Social Media

dj vallauri elected hsmai nyc board

September 9, 2015   Lodging Interactive, the digital marketing and social media engagement firm exclusively serving the hospitality industry, today announced DJ Vallauri has been elected to HSMAI Greater New York chapter’s board as its Director of Social Media Marketing.


“I’m thrilled to be able to help the HSMAI Greater New York chapter with its social media marketing and engagement,” said DJ Vallauri, Lodging Interactive’s Founder & CEO. “As a long time member of the HSMAI Greater New York chapter I have enjoyed many years learning and I hope to now be able to give back to others in the hospitality industry.”


Chapter President, Consuela Hooblal stated,  “We are thrilled to welcome DJ to our board as Director of Social Media Marketing.  He will be a tremendous asset as we continue to fulfill one of our core tenets – to “inspire” our members’ marketing efforts.  Being on our chapter board is a great way to “give back”!


Lodging Interactive’s Rosella Virdo will also be assisting with the HSMAI Greater New York chapter Social Media Marketing as the organization’s Social Media Committee Member.


About HSMAI Greater New York Chapter:


HSMAI is the leading association of sales and marketing professionals in the hospitality industry.  With over 7,000 members in 35 countries, HSMAI is a global network of individuals, chapters, businesses and organizations. All industry segments are represented including hotels, resorts, airlines, cruise ships, car rental agencies, restaurants, attractions and theme parks, convention and visitors bureaus, destination management companies and reservation sales organizations.


As the regional chapter for the metropolitan area, HSMAI Greater New York serves a community of over 500 hospitality professionals who are committed to the highest standards of service and ongoing professional development.


Membership is open to anyone in hospitality sales, marketing or management as well as travel and tourism educators and service providers who support the industry. HSMAI continues to lead the industry by providing education and market research to its members.


For more information on HSMAI, contact

Kathie Stapleton, Executive Director HSMAI Greater New York at kstapleton@hsmainyc.org; telephone: 914-762-1456; fax: 914-944-9227



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.


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), 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.



And You Thought Twitter Didn’t Matter Anymore

Hold onto your smart phones because it’s coming! The busiest time of year for travel in the U.S. is during the Thanksgiving and Christmas/New Year holidays. During this period many travelers will be expected to use social networks to talk about everything from good/bad travel deals to good/bad travel experiences via their mobile devices.


So how is this all going to matter to your hotel? In May Google and Twitter teamed up to bring live Tweets into Google’s SERPs. This became a game changer in that it made Twitter an SEO requirement for hotels. We already know how using relevant keywords can increase your rank listings in search engines. Now add live Tweets to the mix and you have just found yet another way to reach a global audience that moves traffic to your site and increases your chances of seeing your sites’ ranking move up.


With the growing influence of a social network like Twitter such traffic could definitely influence the perception of your hotel. You would want to make sure you stay on top of the chatter whether it is to ensure your reputation remains intact in unfortunate situations or create opportunities to enhance your reputation.


But whether you’re a new or established hotel brand or you just want to generate brand awareness to consumers, your end game with Twitter is to increase your follower base by making sure you have content that appeals to users at every stage of the travel process. You also want to use hashtags that are popular and naturally searched on Google.


Another important question is how recent are your Tweets? This matters because the relevancy increases depending on how recently you Tweeted and not the content popularity. So re-Tweeting seems to keep the posting recent but, like anything, it shouldn’t be abused. It is always preferable to add new Tweets as it keeps the topic relevant and visible in searches.


Please reach out to us for information on how your hotel can leverage the SEO opportunities and reach of Twitter via Google’s algorithm enhancements.

#AskDJV – Episode 36: How to Organize Social Media Content

Social Media Management

That’s where Episode 36 of the #AskDJV begins, so first, you should have a plan for organizing your social media content and posts.  In order to do that, you should start with some basic information:

  • Who is your audience?
  • What social media platforms do they use the most?
  • Create a social media calendar
  • Develop social relationships

You have heard DJ mention cocktail parties in previous episodes of #AskDJV and in this episode, he discusses them again.  Remember the value this brings to the table with regards to social media management.

Social Media for Business

Are you getting the most out of social media for your business?  DJ shows you how to take the above steps and create a social media marketing plan that is right for your business.  Would you like to feel more confident about your social media marketing efforts?  Do you know how often you should be “talking” to your audience?

Learn more about managing your social media, organizing your content and posts, and how to create a winning social media campaign in Episode #37 of the #AskDJV show today.


#AskDJV – Episode 35: 5 Video Content Secrets for Hotels

Hotel Video Marketing

Do you wonder how to use hotel video marketing without spending a fortune?  Can your hotel create great video content?  What tools should you use to create videos for your hotels?  How often should you create hotel videos? These questions and more are answered in Episode 35 of #AskDJV.

YouTube Marketing

There are more searches on YouTube every day than there are on Bing and Yahoo!, so it’s important that your hotel leverages this important platform and has video content created and posted up on YouTube.   Using DJ’s techniques in the video, after a short time, you will accumulate a significant video library, increasing your hotel’s chances of garnering market share, while ranking well in the search engines.

Don’t underestimate this powerful tool or lose out on hotel guests because you think you can’t afford video marketing.  Learn how to do it yourself this week on the #AskDJV Video Series.

Lodging Interactive Expands Reputation Management & Social Media Marketing to Restaurants

In honor of Lodging Interactive’s recent expansion into social media marketing and reputation management services for restaurants, we’re sharing helpful tips on marketing your restaurant and how to capture the attention of potential diners online.

The belief is that the food, ambiance and service offered at a restaurant paints the picture of the dining experience at that establishment. However, as is reflective in the number of restaurant reviews online and how much stock consumers put in them, a digital presence on review sites and social media channels is just as important as the delicious smells wafting from your restaurant’s front doors.

CoMMingle for RestaurantsHow to Market Restaurants Online:

Digital marketing of restaurants is most effectively handled as a strategic, multi-pronged approach. The approach ideally involves a strong and consistent social media presence as well as professional, helpful responses to restaurant reviews on sites that offer management the opportunity to reply. There are also countless other avenues to consider as well, including: a blog, sharply designed and well-timed email marketing campaigns targeting loyal diners or potential customers looking for the latest special or coupon, app and online promotions, contests, promoting participation in local events, establishing hashtags to name a few.

The digital marketing aspect of promoting a restaurant can often be a secondary thought. But creating the same intimate, casual or fine dining experience on social media that can be expected at your restaurant is essential to standing out in an industry of numerous options, typically searched for with little lead time and often sought out by nearest location and via mobile device.

If resources are limited, and they almost always are, the two areas you should concentrate on are your restaurant’s social media channels and responding to diner’s reviews.

Social Media Presence:

Accounts on large social sites including Facebook and Twitter may seem obvious, but less obvious platforms can also raise awareness of a restaurant.

Consider image-centric platforms such as Instagram and Pinterest to showcase quality images of dishes or share recipes as well as video-based channels like YouTube and Vine to offer a “behind the scenes” look.

Establishing these accounts is just one piece of the pie. Regularly scheduled postings that share specials and discounts as well as local write-ups and upcoming events will help to gain the following restaurants desire for long-term success. A restaurant’s following is found by posting information on social media, but it is maintained and flourishes by posting quality content that doesn’t always sell.

“Social media has shaped a new way for consumers to interact with businesses,” says Rosella Virdo, Director of CoMMingle Social Media at Lodging Interactive. “It is actually the old way of interacting, person to person. Over more than the last hundred years: from telegraphs, telephones, beepers, cell phones, smart phones — each progression in technology has made the connection more personal.  The social media and review sites have soften the digital world to bring the human touch back to what has driven technology.”

Not only will followers be given a glimpse of a restaurant’s style, cuisine and philosophy on social, but it also provides a platform for your customers to post quality content on a restaurant’s behalf. Encourage diners to share their experience and they’ll quickly become social media champions. Considering that 49% of people use Facebook when searching for restaurants, the positive buzz on social media can be more influential than your most strategically placed, thoughtfully targeted ads.

Restaurant Reviews & Online Reputation:

Social media lets patrons informally share their take on a restaurant with their followers, with Facebook reviews going a step further by putting this feedback directly on a restaurant’s page. Review sites like Yelp and Urbanspoon are resources for diners searching for where to eat, when to eat or even a particular cuisine. They provide information like price point, menu and location, details that are essential to the decision-making process for the mobile user, 95% of which conduct restaurant searches. These sites are also home to positive and negative feedback from guests that is considered just as trustworthy as a personal recommendation by 79% of consumers. Reviews, however, have the potential to be far more impactful based on their considerably greater reach than traditional word of mouth.

Consider these statistics:

  • 53% of 18- to 34-year-olds report that online reviews factor into their dining decisions. Source
  • 58% of consumers searched restaurant ratings online in 2014, making it the top-searched industry. Source
  • A one-star increase in a Yelp rating leads to a 5 to 9% increase in revenue. Source

Managing these reviews should be a priority. Negative reviews are opportunities to reach out and connect not only to the reviewer, but the greater audience of readers. Address positive and negative feedback and monitor business listings for reviews that violate site guidelines. Restaurateurs need to be aware of what is being said about their business online and have a process in place to look into reviewers’ comments and respond accordingly.

“Restaurateurs put much effort into their menus, atmosphere, quality of ingredients, service and so on,” says Virdo. “Is your restaurant showcasing who you are in the digital world where your guests are speaking and sharing things about your restaurant and food?”

“Restaurateurs and hoteliers should create what they can maintain, manage and grow,” says DJ Vallauri, Lodging Interactive Founder and President. “That may be a restaurant with an enticing atmosphere and menu that turns a one-time diner into a loyal patron, but that may not be social media and that’s where we come in. CoMMingle for Restaurants is a significant resource for restaurant owners as well as hotels that have established, flagship on-site restaurants with their own following.”

Lodging Interactive’s CoMMingle for Restaurants can create and execute an innovative social media and reputation management strategy customized for your restaurant. The experienced digital marketing strategists that provide solutions for your hotels will cultivate your restaurant’s online presence.

Contact us to learn more.