What’s New in Social Media This Week and What it Mean for Hotels

The social media changes never really stop coming, and while it keeps us on our toes, many of the changes are focused on improving the platforms and tools we use to connect with our guests. Let’s take a look at all the changes that have happened in the past two weeks and how it could impact hotels, resorts, and other guest-facing businesses in the hospitality industry.

Facebook Announces Change to How Impressions Are Calculated 

Facebook has just recently announced that they’re changing the way that Page impressions are calculated on the platform. Simply put, they’re extending the windows of time frame that decides whether a second view from the same user counts as a second impression or only a first one.

This change has started rolling out, and is likely already impacting your Pages.

What This Means for Hotels & Resorts

If you’ve seen a drop in your impressions in the last two weeks, don’t panic; this is likely the result of the new calculations, which is only changing the perception of how many people are seeing your content instead of impacting the actual impressions themselves. The new calculations are much more accurate, and as long as your engagement is holding steady, your impressions and reach are likely still right on target.

Facebook Discards Gray Verification Badges 

Gray verification badges are going to be removed from Facebook by the 30th of October. Previously, these badges were available to any Page who verified their official details with Facebook by going through an identity confirmation process. Facebook has cited user confusion for the change, saying they didn’t understand the difference between blue and grey check marks.

What This Means for Hotels & Resorts

Unfortunately, gray verification badges were a sign of authenticity that users could understand, even if they didn’t fully understand what they signalled. This helped with trust, so their removal can be a hit on our Pages, even if they’re small. Make sure that all your other information is up to date, and try to wrangle up a few extra new reviews to show that guests love your hotel and resort.

Instagram Rolls Out IGTV “Series” Option 

IGTV has always allowed creators to store past video content on their profiles, but it was difficult for users to find specific content if they were ever trying to find it. IGTV is offering a solution to this, rolling out their “Series” feature, which allows creators to categorize their videos into different dedicated collections. Users can even opt in to get notifications for specific Series, connecting your guests to the content they most want to see.

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What This Means for Hotels & Resorts

While guests like consuming content from brands they love just because they’re interested, there are also times when users on social media are looking for specific information that they may not find on your site. This can increase engagement and views significantly, especially since IGTV is still finding its footing.

For hotels and resorts, this may include extended videos of certain rooms, amenities, or other sites around your resort, or videos of events that you’ve hosted. Some of your guests may also love videos of practical travel tips, or your breakdowns of different things to do in the nearby area.

Instagram Allows Accounts to Remove Third-Party App Connections 

Security has been a big concern for hotels and resorts using Instagram, and the platform has taken one step further to help protect your account. All users will soon have access to a feature that allows them to review and remove any third-party apps currently connected to their account.

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Image source: Instagram 

The feature has already started rolling out, but it may take up to 6 months for all users across the globe to have access to it.

What This Means for Hotels & Resorts

Sometimes we forget what apps and tools we’ve used to improve our marketing, and once we actually see who we’ve granted full access to our account, it can be a little jarring. Take advantage of this feature as soon as you have it to remove any apps from your account that you aren’t actively using or don’t trust. Remember that security isn’t doesn’t just protect you, but it protects your guests, too.

LinkedIn Releases Events Feature On Platform 

LinkedIn is rolling out their new Events feature, which allows users to share event announcements. You can share key information like the event’s description, date, time, and venue, and use filters like location, company, and industry to quickly segment your connects to streamline the invitation process.

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Image source: LinkedIn 

Once posted, you can track attendees, manage the event, and discuss the event if anyone has questions.

What This Means for Hotels & Resorts

Hotels and resorts often forget about LinkedIn, but it’s a potential goldmine to connect with B2B-oriented guests. If you’re hosting an event at your hotel or resort, this is a great place to promote it, especially if it has any sort of business focus. In addition to traditional events like conferences, you can also consider employment fairs, inviting potential job applicants to come attend.

Pinterest Is Releasing An Updated Pin Format 

Over the last few weeks, Pinterest has been rolling out their new updated pin format, which is designed to be more functional. The visual elements of the pin are giving an increased focus, with larger images and other sections of information being segmented for easy skimming.

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Image source: Social Media Today 

What This Means for Hotels & Resorts

From a practical standpoint, this won’t impact anything that you need to be doing when creating pins to promote your hotel or resort. Now that the pins are a little more functional and easy to scan, however, it could increase the effectiveness of your marketing on Pinterest and help ensure guests are reading the information you’re sharing on the platform.

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.

This Week’s Latest Social Media News and What it Means for Hotels – August 21, 2019

The end of August is fast approaching, and new social media changes are coming alongside the rapidly-ending summer season! Let’s take a look at all the updates that have happened within the past two weeks that will impact hospitality businesses everywhere.

Instagram and WhatsApp Are Getting a Rebrand

Facebook is making its ownership of Instagram and WhatsApp more visible, “rebranding” the apps as “Instagram from Facebook” and “WhatsApp from Facebook.” The “From Facebook” part is already showing up on Instagram, but it reads a little like fine print on the login page. There aren’t any other structural changes aside from this small branding update for both apps.

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What This Means for Hotels and Resorts

This may not seem like a big update, but this is likely laying the groundwork for the seamless direct message and chat integration that Facebook wants to set up between the three apps. Most people know, after all, that WhatsApp and Instagram are already owned by the company, so while some legal matters may have something to do with this amidst all the privacy concerns, it could also indicate a bigger integration moving forward.

Facebook Is Expanding Search Ad Placements 

Search Ads are being tested in the United States and Canada, allowing advertisers to show ad campaigns in relevant searches that users make on-platform. This placement has been testing since late last year, and it’s slowly rolling out to more advertisers in an expanded test.

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Image source: Jon Loomer Digital 

Note that search ads must also appear in the newsfeed as sponsored posts. They can appear as a static image or a carousel ad. Right now, it doesn’t seem like advertisers can bid on select keywords, but instead you’ll appear based on keywords on your business’s Page.

What This Means for Hotels and Resorts

Facebook search ads could be a great way to show up in relevant searches, increasing more traffic from users who are seeking out accommodations like what you offer your guests. Facebook hasn’t had something like this before, so it could be a great opportunity. Since you can’t bid on keywords, however, make sure that the search terms your guests are most likely to use are somewhere on your Page.

Instagram and IGTV Desktop Publishing Now Available 

Jenn’s Trends spotted a new Instagram feature: Facebook Page admins can upload and publish Instagram and IGTV posts from desktop by using Facebook’s Creator Studio. This also gives users the ability to manage Instagram direct messages through desktop, too. Previously, this was only available through third-party apps or the mobile app. Note that your Instagram account must be linked to your Facebook to take advantage of this.

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What This Means for Hotels and Resorts 

If you aren’t using a third-party scheduling tool for Instagram and IGTV, you can now use the Creator Studio for free to manage content for these platforms from a desktop. This is much easier for many hotels and resorts to use than a mobile app, and will streamline the process significantly.

Pinterest Rolls Out New Video Features 

Pinterest is increasing video capability on the platform by rolling out new features that are designed to help creators better reach their audiences.

New updates include the following:

●     An improved, easier-to-use video uploader

●     A video tab on platform so users can find video content all in one place

●     Lifetime video analytics

●     Video pin scheduling

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These new features are currently available in France, Germany, and all English-speaking countries. They’ll be rolling out worldwide soon.

What This Means for Hotels and Resorts

Video is a high-engaging medium on all other social networks, and the ability to leverage it well on Pinterest can be a huge asset for hotels and resorts. It will be easy to repurpose the gorgeous video you have of your location, resort, or on-site amenities into a video pin that potential guests will swoon over. If you have these features available to you, take advantage of them now.

Pinterest Releases Story Pins 

Pinterest is catching up on some social trends, slowly rolling out Story Pins. The feature is intended to be “immersive,” and will hold multiple media options including images, videos, text, and destination links to the site of your choice. Story pins all need to contain a title cover, and must have a minimum of 2 slides but can have a maximum of 20.

Right now, only select iOS users and brands have access.

What This Means for Hotels and Resorts

Story content is wildly popular across multiple platforms, regularly capturing user interest on Facebook and Instagram. YouTube is rolling out their own version, and now Pinterest is, too. A great use of this feature for hotels and resorts will be to feature different parts of their property like a walk-through, or to tell a story by showcasing the progress of events happening on-property, too.

Lodging Interactive Launches CoMMingeDIRECT – 24/7 Social Media Reputation & Crisis Management for Hotels.

Lodging Interactive, an award-winning digital marketing and social media engagement agency exclusively serving the hospitality industry, today announced the launch of its CoMMingleDIRECT service. CoMMingleDIRECT provides 24/7 social media reputation and crisis management for hotels and resorts covering Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

“Reputation protection on social media is critical for hotels and CoMMingleDIRECT provides hoteliers with peace of mind knowing their social media accounts are being monitored 24/7,” stated DJ Vallauri, Lodging Interactive’s Founder and CEO. “Research continues to support that consumers expect timely responses when posting service issues on social media or sending private direct messages. Our CoMMingleDIRECT team handles it all for the property, 24/7, and escalates serious issues to the property.”

CoMMingleDIRECT incorporates real-time property escalations through its CoMMingle Alert system to mitigate potential crisis situations from resulting in negative guest reviews on TripAdvisor, Google, Facebook and OTAs. With the continued rise of private messaging between consumers and hotels, it is vital that hoteliers respond to every direct message in a timely manner, regardless of the day or time of day.

“By resolving consumer complaints in private and in a timely manner, CoMMingleDIRECT ensures the property is responsive on social media,” added Mr, Vallauri. “This, in turn, provides a definitive competitive customer service advantage for the property.”

Current CoMMingle social media marketing customers can upgrade to CoMMingleDIRECT based on preferred customer pricing established by the Company. The CoMMingleDIRECT service can be implemented in less than ten days.

For more information please visit commingle:engage, or call 877-291-4411.

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

Lodging Interactive Launches PULSE Reputation Management Platform for Hotels & Restaurants

Lodging Interactive, an award-winning digital marketing and social media engagement agency exclusively serving the hospitality industry, today announced the launch of its PULSE Reputation Management Platform for hotels and restaurants. PULSE enables customers 24/7, real-time access to their guest review data and management responses.

“PULSE provides our commingle:engage reputation management customers with a modern and visually enticing way to monitor and view guest reviews along with the guest review responses we’ve written for them. Additionally, customers can easily review their sentiment analysis sorted by any custom keyword attribute combination,” stated DJ Vallauri, Lodging Interactive’s Founder & CEO.

The PULSE platform enables brands and management companies to establish companywide roll-up reporting and regional property clusters to access their respective properties in one online dashboard. PULSE is a SAAS application and requires no software downloads and is completely mobile enabled.

Guest Reviews Dashboard

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Sentiment Analysis

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PULSE connects to all major OTA’s as well as Google, Facebook and Yelp and captures all guest reviews in near real-time. “By using custom API connections, we have immediate access to guest reviews as they happen,” said Mr. Vallauri. “This enables us to provide the fastest turn-around for guest reviews responses.”

PULSE is offered to all commingle:engage customers on a complimentary basis and can also be licensed on its own.

For additional information on PULSE or the commingle:engage reputation management services, please visit commingleengage.com or call Lodging Interactive at 877-291-4411 ext 704.

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 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.

This Week in Hospitality Social Media Marketing News- November 13, 2018

We’re nearing the end of the year and are getting ready for the big holiday rush, but now is no time to let your social media marketing slide. There have been a lot of new updates that have rolled out in the past week that are directly relevant to hotels and resorts, so let’s dive in and look at each one.

Facebook Caught Inflating Video Metrics 

Facebook has recently come under fire with the accusations that they’ve been inflating video metrics, making it look like people were watching more video than they were. Facebook has admitted to this in the past, but a current lawsuit is suggesting that the inflation was much higher than acknowledged. Instead of being inflated by 60-80%, research has shown that it was likely closer to 150-900%.

What This Means for Hotels & Resorts

Be careful when using video metrics to make big marketing or advertising decisions on Facebook. Until things are truly resolved, you may be getting false positives. This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t use video advertising, because even with inflated metrics it presents a great opportunity as an advertising format. That being said, watch other key metrics on these campaigns, too.

Facebook Releases “Instant Forms” For More Objectives 

Facebook’s instant forms– previously known as “lead forms” — have been restricted to the lead generation objective. Moving forward, advertisers will be able to attach instant forms to the brand awareness, traffic, and reach objectives in newsfeed and Story ads on both Instagram and Facebook.

This update will also give us “platform reporting,” which shows advertisers whether an instant form was submitted through Facebook or Instagram so you can better determine which channel is more effective.

What This Means for Hotels & Resorts 

Instant forms open up within Facebook, fill out as much of a user’s information as possible automatically, and provide advertisers with that data. They’re most often used to collect contact information like email addresses. Use them to your advantage, capturing guest information so that you can reach out to them with special, relevant offers at a later date.

Facebook Releases New Video Options 

Facebook has just released two new video ad buying options on Facebook: In-Stream Reserve and ThruPlay.

In-Stream Reserve allows advertisers to choose placements in video that come from “the most engaging, highest quality” publishers on Facebook, increasing the likelihood that your ad will be watched fully by an engaged audience. These ads are purchased in advance.

ThruPlay gives advertisers more control over what they’re paying for, allowing them to optimize and pay for ads only if they’re watched either through to completion or for a minimum of 15 seconds.

What This Means for Hotels & Resorts 

More control for advertisers is always a plus, especially with video ad metrics being inflated. Hotels and resorts can use this feature to increase the likelihood that they’re only paying for views of a substantial length. It can also help advertisers get those views by offering high-engaging, high-view placements.

Facebook Cracks Down on “Low Quality” Ads 

Facebook has put a lot of effort into reducing “low quality” ads from appearing in the feed, and they’re taking further steps to do so. They’re now looking for certain triggers like misleading information or sensationalized language when approving ads.

Ads that are deemed “low quality” will either struggle to get the number of placements they should or may even be rejected all together.

What This Means for Hotels & Resorts 

Most hotels and resorts won’t be hugely affected by this, as our industry isn’t known for bait-and-switches or misleading information like other industries. That being said, make sure that your ad campaigns are straight forward. You can still capture the excitement and luxury of staying at your resort without going over-the-top with hyperbolic language.

Instagram Announced “Promote” for Stories

Instagram has just announced their new “Promote” option for stories, which works exactly like Facebook’s and Instagram’s “boost post” options. Advertisers will be able to pay to have their already-running Stories appear in users’ feeds, like other Story ads that you’d run. This feature has not been released yet, but it’s being tested globally, so keep an eye out.

What This Means for Hotels & Resorts 

Instagram Story Ads can take a little while to create, so this will be a great asset to hotels and resorts using Stories to connect with their guests. If you choose to use the feature, make sure to use an instant form in the Story so that you’re able to drive real results if viewers are interested.

Pinterest Releases “Promoted Carousel” 

Pinterest has just rolled out a new “Promoted Carousel” ad format, which works similarly to Facebook’s carousel ads. Advertisers can add multiple cards to their ads, with each card featuring a unique image, title, description, and (if you choose) landing page.

Image source: Pinterest 

What This Means for Hotels & Resorts 

Carousel ads have higher-than-average performance (including CTR) than other ad formats on Facebook, so the same could be true for Pinterest. Use carousel ads to showcase different locations, or different features, rooms, or amenities in a single hotel or resort to show everything you have to offer.

Hospitality Social Media News is brought to you by Lodging Interactive, a full-service digital marketing and social media engagement and reputation management 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. For more information:

Telephone: 877-291-4411

Email: info@lodginginteractive.com

Live Chat With Us – Real Humans – No Bots

Lodging Interactive Rolls Out Commingle:Engage Total Customer Engagement Services.

commingle:engage guest engagement services

Lodging Interactive, an award-winning digital marketing and social media engagement agency exclusively serving the hospitality industry, today announced the launch of commingle:engage, a total customer engagement solution for hotels and resorts. commingle:engage is a fully managed service that enables properties, of any size, to effectively build customer loyalty through personal, one-on-one, customer engagement with new and past guests.

 

“Since 2006 we’ve successfully established CoMMingle as the leading provider of guest reputation management and social media marketing services exclusively for hospitality,” stated DJ Vallauri, Lodging Interactive’s, Founder and CEO. “We’re excited to continue our path of helping properties build relationships with their potential and past guests through our commingle:engage services.”

 

 

commingle:engage provides fully managed customer engagement services in four key areas and creates the foundation for customer loyalty and advocacy.

commingle hotel reputation management services

 

“There is no other company in our industry that can match the customer engagement value we can deliver through our commingle:engage services,” added Mr. Vallauri. “Customers don’t want anything to do with ‘big data’ and ‘technology stacks’, they want real-time customer service and assistance on their time and their messaging platform of choice. commingle:engage brings customer service back as a property differentiator and competitive advantage.”

 

commingle:engage offers 24/7 guest review monitoring and hotel website engagement.

 

According to HubSpot Research, consumers are impatient and 82% expect fast responses to their inquiries. Additionally 90% of consumers rate immediate responses as very important when having a sales question. commingle:engage provides hotels with 7 day a week website live chat services, staffed by USA based company employees. “The ability to engage with hotel website visitors 7 days a week, truly takes customer services to the highest level and presents a compelling competitive differentiator for any property,” added Mr. Vallauri.

 

commingle:engage is powered by proprietary technologies.

commingle hotel reputation management services

 

Through the use of proprietary technologies that leverage social media platform API’s and integration with IBM’s Watson Supercomputer, commingle:engage uses the power of Artificial Intelligence (AI) to analyze thousands of top performing social media posts to determine common engagement characteristics. This provides valuable insights which help to increase customer engagement levels.

 

For more information please visit https://commingleengage.com or call 877-291-4411 extension 701.

 

 

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 has established itself as the largest provider of reputation management services for the hospitality industry, handling over 200,000 guest review responses annually. The Company also offers fully managed Live Chat services for hotel websites through its LiveChatForHotels.com operation and comprehensive social media marketing services.

 

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.

Facebook, Instagram, YouTube: Announcements & New Features Impacting Hotels and Resorts

Hospitality Social Media News

 

As we ramp up for the holiday season, multiple social media sites have proved that they’re not slowing down just because it’s near the end of the year. In the past two weeks we’ve seen big announcements and new features from platforms including Facebook, Instagram and YouTube, all of which can impact hotels and resorts.

Instagram Rolls Out Quick Replies & GIFs in Messaging 

Instagram has rolled out new direct messaging features, including quick replies for business accounts and GIF sharing. Quick replies allow business accounts to save messages that answer commonly-asked questions such as resort checkout hours, pricing, or amenities available.

Both new features are available in the latest versions of Android and iOS.

What This Means for Hotels & Resorts

The ability to share GIFs will allow hotels and resorts to showcase their personality when interacting with guests if they see fit, but the true shining star here is the quick replies feature.

Hotels and resorts can save canned responses to everything from “Hi, we’ll respond to your message shortly!” to “Thanks for asking. Our in-resort restaurant does take reservations but they’re not necessary.” This can save you a lot of time without needing to rely on chatbots while still answering guest questions promptly.

Instagram Stories Accepts Longer Videos

Instagram Stories is now letting users post videos longer than fifteen seconds… sort of. They’ll now accept videos for uploading that are longer, but they’ll then break them down into multiple sections. The different sections will be played one after another.

This feature is currently only available on Android devices. It’s not known if or when it will come to iOS.

What This Means for Hotels & Resorts

Many hotels and resorts are already using multiple short Stories to tell a longer story arch and keep users engaged. Now, however, you won’t have to manually break them down with another tool before you upload them, which will save you a significant amount of time.

If you do use this tool, make sure to check and see how the video is broken down; in some cases, it may be more beneficial to do it yourself manually to ensure that different sections of videos begin and end at the exact right times. If you’re featuring videos of your hotel, for example, each individual Story could show your lobby, your waterfront views, and a suite in individual Stories; you’d want to ensure that these were broken down into distinct sections for maximum impact.

New YouTube Ad Extensions & Reporting Announced

YouTube will soon be rolling out new types of actionable ad extensions. Soon, you’ll be able to add extensions to your TrueView in-stream ads that allow users to take actions like downloading an app or book a trip to you.

Image source: Google

YouTube will also be releasing new metrics to show the overall impact of your ad campaigns, including a groundbreaking “lifted users” metric that will tell you how many users were influenced by the ad even if they don’t convert immediately.

What This Means for Hotels & Resorts

The ability to make YouTube video ads more effective and to better understand how they’re working will make YouTube video ads more valuable. If you’re utilizing video ads for your hotel and your guest demographics are on YouTube, check out the new “book a trip” extensions to see how they work for you.

Instagram Is Testing Hashtag-Free Posts

According to The Next Web, Instagram is testing a type of format that would allow users to publish posts that have hashtags attached, but not included in the captions. It looks like instead of being placed in captions, the hashtags may appear in blocks underneath posts. This hasn’t been officially confirmed by Instagram, but Twitter user Jane Manchun Wong was able to snag a few screenshots.

What This Means for Hotels & Resorts

Right now this feature is still in testing, but it could mean a big change in Instagram best practices if it gets approved. Hashtags will still be just as important, giving you the powerful reach potential they do now, though you’ll need to be careful to make sure your branded hashtag is placed in a way that guests will see it like on your profile or in the caption itself if possible. We’ll keep an eye on this one and update you as more information comes out.

Facebook Announces Premieres & Video Polls 

Facebook has just announced a globe launch of their new Premieres, which is new video format that’s more interactive. Creators can record a video for fans ahead of time, release it at the time of their choosing, and then allow users to engage with it in real viewing time.

Image source: TechCrunch

Facebook is also releasing Facebook Live video polls, which can be used to increase engagement and make the videos more dynamic in real time.

What This Means for Hotels & Resorts

Premieres have all the advantages of Facebook Lives, but they come with the added bonus of no unpleasant surprises. You won’t have to worry about technical glitches, someone swearing loudly in the background, or getting stumped by a difficult guest question. These videos will be created ahead of time and can be edited, but you can still engage with users as they watch your video in real time, making them more engaging than typical non-live videos and thus more impactful.

Video marketing is only going to continue to be an important part of marketing moving into 2019, so use all the tools at your disposal– including Premiers and video polls– in order to help your content stand out and build relationships with your fans.

Forget Loyalty Programs: Customer Service Matters Most to Travelers

Most hotels and resorts offer some sort of loyalty program, allowing guests to accrue points based on stays and purchases that they can later use for free or discounted bookings. Publix’s BOGOs are great, after all; why not set up something similar for hotels?

 

While many guests are avid users of your hotel’s rewards program, they’re likely avid users of your competitors’ rewards programs, too. It’s almost a guarantee, after all, that almost all of your competitors will have their own similar programs in place.

 

Think with Google recently conducted a study  to find what matters most to high value travelers and see which factors will affect where they choose to stay. Loyalty programs were a factor, but not a major one, ranking fourth on the list of considerations that high value travelers focused on.

 

So what was the number one factor that guests took into consideration when choosing where to stay?

 

Customer service.

 

Why Customer Service Comes in First

Many hotels may automatically assume that if their loyalty program is superior to their competitors, that’s all it will take to create true loyalty, but we already know that isn’t the case. So why is customer service so important?

 

Image source: Think with Google

 

There’s several answers to this. The most obvious is that the market is now saturated with loyalty programs that are all so similar that they’re no longer unique; they’re almost expected in many cases. Customer service has become the true differentiator.

 

Excellent customer service will also directly impact a guest’s entire experience with you, from the pre-booking research all the way to the checkout and beyond. It will be the difference between whether they struggle (or fail) to book a reservation with you, get the accommodations they need, and have a positive experience, or whether they walk away dissatisfied (or worse).

 

How quickly and personably you can resolve any concerns will be what sways them, because when it comes to where they’re staying, they need to know they’re in good hands. Strong customer service builds trust, and trust can begin to foster true brand loyalty.

 

Meanwhile, loyalty programs don’t actually impact a guest’s experience at all; it just affects their wallet. And since only 21% of most high value travelers— the kind you really want to get on board– will sacrifice comfort for a lower cost, those savings only amount to so much when they can find something similar elsewhere.

How You Can Offer Exceptional Customer Service to Every Guest

While it goes without saying that being warm and accommodating in person is an important part of customer service, true customer excellence needs to start long before they show up at the check-in desk with their bags in hand.

 

Every guest– and every potential guest– not only expects but demandstop of the line customer service at every turn, and if they don’t see it from the get-go then you’ve already lost their booking. And in today’s world, that means focusing on your website’s online communication with guests.

 

More and more guests prefer to find questions about a potential booking online, whether that’s through your site’s information or through a live chat service. They want the information fast, and they want it without a big hassle or having to wait on hold or go through an automated phone system.

 

It’s no surprise, therefore, that while customer service was the first priority for guests when considering where to book, an easy-to-use website came in at second place. The two now go hand-in-hand for many guests, so in order to deliver outstanding customer care, you need to do so in the communication of their choosing. That means improving your live chat services immediately if you haven’t already.

 

Live Chat for Hotels & Resorts: No Longer Optional

The writing is on the wall here, and with websites and customer service both valued so highly by high-value, high-spending travelers, you can’t afford to skimp out on live chat for your site.

 

And when we say live chat, we’re not talking about robotic, badly-programmed chatbots. We’re not even talking about chatbots that have been programmed really well, because customers don’t want to go through anykind of automated process; they want to be put in touch with an actual human representative who they feel cares about them and can help them immediately. No chatbot can offer the kind of personalized help and attention that high value guests have come to expect, so they’ll let you down in the long run.

 

Instead, human-to-human live chat through your site is the only way to go. While it may sound like a lot to tackle, it doesn’t have to be.

 

CoMMingle Live Chat, for example, offers full, 24/7 live chat management for hotels and resorts so we can pick up the slack while you focus on the guests who are actively staying with you. Potential guests will receive immediate responses from real, highly trained representatives who all have experience in the hospitality industry and will learn the in’s and out’s of your specific hotel to deliver personalized customer service just like you would.

 

Whether you invest in a service like CoMMingle or take on the process yourself, immediate-response live chat isn’t so much a great option as it is a necessary one. It will only become more important moving forward, so stay ahead of your competition and adapt now if you haven’t already. Your loyalty programs, after all, can apparently only help you so much, so it’s best to make investments where they’ll matter post: the actual experience of the guests themselves.

Restaurant Reputation Management Services

Lodging Interactive Launches Reputation Management for Restaurants

. Fully managed service for restaurants.

PARSIPPANY, NJ, August 1, 2018 – Lodging Interactive, an award-winning digital and social media engagement agency exclusively serving the hospitality industry, today announced it has expanded its CoMMingle reputation management services into the restaurant industry. During the last 10 years CoMMingle has established itself as the hospitality industry’s leading provider of guest review management services and has partnered with hundreds of hotels worldwide.

 

 

“Providing our CoMMingle reputation management services to restaurants is a natural extension of our very mature and proven hospitality services,” stated DJ Vallauri, Lodging Interactive’s Founder and CEO. “As Google, Yelp and TripAdvisor restaurant review volumes continue to grow, it is critical for restaurant owners to provide timely management responses.”

 

According to ReviewTrackers, 63.6 percent of consumers say they are likely to check reviews on Google before visiting a business — more than any other review site.

 

 

Additionally, according to Illumen’s Top 50 Digital Marketing Stats for The Restaurant Business:

 

  1. Over 1 billion restaurant visits by consumers are influenced by online marketing (Monetate).
  2. Out of all industries, consumers read restaurant reviews more than any other industry (Bright Local).
  3. Since 84% of people trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations for dining decisions, it’s key you have a bunch of positive reviews (Bright Local).
  4. A half-star difference on a Yelp review rating can swing restaurant business by a whopping 27% (Foodbeast).
  5. Restaurants who respond to customers on social media will win as 71% say they’re more likely to recommend a company that responds quickly to them on social media (Forbes).

 

Please click for more information or contact us on 877-291-4411 extension 704 or email info@lodginginteractive.com.

 

 

About Lodging Interactive

 

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

 

CoMMingle has established itself as the largest provider of reputation management services for the hospitality industry, handling over 200,000 guest review responses annually. The company also offers fully managed Live Chat agents for hotel websites through its LiveChatForHotels.com division.

 

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.

 

For more information, please contact sales@lodginginteractive.com, 877-291-4411 or visit the company’s website.

 

Contact: DJ Vallauri

 

pressreleases@lodginginteractive.com / 877-291-4411

 

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