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Lodging Interactive Launches AI Powered Website ADA Compliance Service 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 AI-powered ADA compliance service for hotel websites which remediates website ADA compliance issues in real-time.

“There is so much confusion and noise in the marketplace regarding ADA compliance for hotel websites and hoteliers are confused by the numerous approaches (and cost models) towards meeting website compliance. We have developed a service that combines the latest in ADA compliance machine learning technologies with human oversight and management specifically to address the unique needs of the hospitality industry,” stated DJ Vallauri, Lodging Interactive’s Founder & CEO.

Hotel website ADA accessibility refers to a set of rules, behaviors, code standards and design guidelines that are meant to allow people with disabilities to effectively navigate through websites. To achieve this, the W3C (The World Wide Web Consortium) has created the “Web Content Accessibility Guidelines” 2.1 (WCAG 2.1) which are meant to explain and guide developers on how to make websites accessible. These guidelines have been adopted by governments around the world and are now a part of various legislations, such as the ADA, Section 508, EN 301549, and others.

Lodging Interactive’s solution utilizes two components that, together, achieve website compliance. The first is a foreground application, the accessibility interface, which is responsible for 30% of the requirements, mostly UI and design-related. The second is a background application (AI, Machine Learning powered), which is responsible for the remaining 70% of requirements, mostly related to blind people’s screen-reader adjustments, and keyboard navigation optimizations for people with motor impairments.

“The AI technology is session based and ADA compliance is triggered in real-time. This means the website’s design and navigation structure are not compromised for non-disabled browsers. The AI runs in the background and optimizes the accessibility level of the website every 24 hours. The AI engine remediates the website’s HTML accessibility issues as well as functionality and behavior, for people using screen readers and those with motor impairments using a keyboard,” added Mr, Vallauri.

Lodging Interactive’s AI Powered ADA Accessibility Compliance Service includes:

  • Initial website review and code compatibility audit.
  • Complete AI code implementation on your website.
  • Multi-browser testing.
  • Hotel website becomes ADA compliant within 48 hours.
  • Website scans every 24 hours to ensure any new content, images or pages are also rendered compliant with the WCAG 2.1 and ADA standards.
  • Accessibility Statement and certification of performance.
  • Fully GDPR compliant.
  • Monthly website review and internal audit to ensure ongoing ADA compliance.

The service is included at no additional charge for all new hotel websites developed by Lodging Interactive and can be purchased for an existing website. For more information, please visit https://lodginginteractive.com/products-services/hotel-ada-compliance/ or call us 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, 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
Fax: 877-833-7375

May 17, 2019 Issue: What’s New in Social Media This Week and What it Means for Hotels

In the last few weeks, the Facebook empire has made some big developments to their platforms that are directly relevant to hotels, resorts, and other businesses in the hospitality industry. In this week’s social media updates, we’ll look at each one and how you can expect for it to impact you.

Facebook’s New Interface Prioritizes New Features 

Facebook has recently released a new mobile app that is a little more user-friendly and runs a little quicker. It also puts emphasis on Stories, Groups, and Events, drawing users’ attention to these popular features.

No alt text provided for this image

Image source: BusinessInsider 

The mobile app is already rolling out, and the matching desktop interface will likely soon follow.

What This Means for Hotels & Resorts: This is good news, because Facebook is prioritizing interactivity and community-building features that users are drawn to. For hotels and resorts who are creating communities on the social media network in the form of groups, using events to generate interest, and leveraging Stories to extend your reach, you’ll be ahead of your competition and able to stay relevant in your audience’s feed.

Messenger’s Interface Gets an Update 

Just like Facebook, their Messenger app has been updated with a simplified, faster version that’s been a little decluttered. Facebook has been working on rebuilding the platform “from the ground up” so that it’s more functional and a lot faster for users. The new version has a heavy focus on chat, but also offers video co-watching capabilities to keep people interacting within the app.

What This Means for Hotels & Resorts: Facebook announced earlier this year that they’re planning on integrating their messaging apps– including Messenger, Instagram direct, and WhatsApp– for a seamless user experience, and this may be part of it. A new and improved messenger could mean that more of your guests will use this messaging platform to get in touch, so make sure you’re paying close attention to these channels.

Messenger Offers New Lead Generation Tools 

Facebook’s Messenger is gaining a few new features designed to make it easier for businesses to drive meaningful results through the platform. This includes appointment-booking, lead generation templates, and clickable CTAs that can drive actions. These features are currently being beta tested, and will roll out to those who don’t have them later this year.

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What This Means for Hotels & Resorts: Increasing numbers of guests are using Messenger to get in touch with hotels and resorts, and this trend will likely continue with the new and improved mobile app. These features can be used to encourage users to take actions like heading your site to book rooms, and booking reservations for your in-resort restaurant or spa.

Instagram Releases Stories’ Quiz Stickers 

Instagram’s new Quiz Stickers allow users and brands to ask their followers a multiple-choice question. You can choose the correct answer, and you can see which answers your followers are choosing.

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What This Means for Hotels & Resorts: This is a versatile sticker when it comes to connecting with guests. One great use may be to offer users who answer a question about your location or your resort correctly a chance to win a prize, like a free extra night or a discounted spa service. This will generate a lot of hype and engagement, which is always great for bookings.

Even if you aren’t using it as part of a giveaway opportunity, guests love interactive Story features, and this is one that will be sure to catch their attention and help you build brand awareness– especially if they want to know whether or not they answered right. Follow up the quiz sticker with a short video explaining the correct answer if possible.

What Just Happened in Social Media and what it Means for Hotels – March 14, 2019

The hospitality industry never sleeps and social media doesn’t, either. This week’s edition of our biweekly newsletter discusses new changes to Facebook groups, expanded Promoted Pin access, clarification of YouTube policies, and some news about what Instagram is working on next.

Facebook Releases New Management Tools 

Facebook has just released a flurry of new formatting updates and management tools for Page and group admins. These new changes include:

●     The expansion of subscription groups, which allow businesses to create paid, subscription-only groups

●     Searching membership requests by name, so you can ensure certain audience members are granted fast access to your group.

●     Page admins can respond to Instagram private messages through their Facebook inboxes

What This Means for Hotels & Resorts: Improved ease of use for Page and group admins is an asset for hotels and resorts and any of the social media managers that work for them. Groups have become a strong marketing strategy, and having the ability to better manage branded groups that center your hotel or resort can provide a better experience for you and your guests.

And take note of the Instagram messaging showing up in the inboxes of Facebook Pages. There are also rumors that Instagram is testing messaging on the desktop version of their site, and all of this lines up with their grand plan to integrate the messaging apps from Messenger, Instagram Direct, and WhatsApp by early next year.

Pinterest Expands Ad Access to Four New Countries 

Pinterest has released ad access to four new countries, including business accounts in Austria, Germany, Italy, and Spain, who previously didn’t have this feature available to them yet, even though countries who did have the ads already were able to target audiences in those countries.

What This Means for Hotels & Resorts: It’s not uncommon for hotels or resorts to have businesses in multiple countries. If this applies to you, and one of your business accounts is located in Germany, Italy, Spain, or Austria, you now have the opportunity to run Promoted Pin campaigns. They can be an effective way to generate site traffic, especially if you target keywords like “dream vacation” or “mountain resort.”

Instagram Releases Follower-Sorting Feature 

Instagram is testing and slowly releasing a new follower-sorting feature on the mobile app. Business profiles can sort their follower list by who has been there the longest, and who was most recent to join.

Image source: Social Media Today 

What This Means for Hotels & Resorts: While this feature may not seem too impressive at a first glance, it actually has huge potential for hotels and resorts.Your most long-term followers, for example, could be potential brand advocates. Your most recent followers, on the other hand, may benefit from some active relationship-building, like an effort to reach out through a private DM to welcome them to your channel or offer a special coupon code for booking.

YouTube Updates Its Penalty System

YouTube has updated and simplified their penalty system for creators and community members. Now, if users violate a rule, they’ll be given a warning with no immediate penalty on their channel aside from the removal of the offending content. After the warnings, if violations are still made, YouTube will freeze the ability to upload new content twice, before terminating the channel on the third strike.

What This Means for Hotels & Resorts: All brands on YouTube should be following their guidelines as is, and most hotels and resorts do that well. The majority of guidelines focus on things like language, inappropriate content, and scams or misleading information. As long as your external links are taking users exactly where you say they will, you’ll pretty much be in the clear.

YouTube Confirms Crackdown on Giveaways 

The YouTube community has recently noticed that videos featuring on-platform giveaways have been flagged more often, and YouTube has confirmed that while giveaways and contests aren’t being banned, they’re cracking down more on certain violations. Specifically, giveaways cannot be used to link to external websites that are solely designed to increase engagement metrics.

What This Means for Hotels & Resorts: If you want to host giveaways or contests on YouTube to promote your hotel or resort, make sure that you’re following all of their community rules. You can still use giveaways to increase brand awareness and generate engagement on-platform with on-platform videos.

Latest Social Media Changes Affecting Hotels and Resorts

Happy 2019, everyone! As we move into the new year, it’s time to take a look at our social media strategies to assess what’s working and how we can better connect with our guests. This includes assessing all the new social media that impact hotels and resorts, so take a look at everything that’s happened over the holiday break so you can get your campaigns up to speed.

Two New Features Arrive in Facebook’s Business Manager 

Image source: Matt Navara 

What This Means for Hotels

This isn’t a huge change, but if you find yourself regularly adding new team members or third party partners to your Facebook accounts, this could make it a little easier and give you more control. It doesn’t seem to have rolled out to everyone at this point, so if you don’t have it yet, you hopefully will soon.

Facebook Group Admins Can Share Feedback on Removed Posts 

Facebook Groups have offered a new moderating tool for admins, allowing them to offer private feedback to the author of a removed post. The member will be notified that their post was deleted, and they’ll be given information from an anonymous admin (not a specific one) about why that was the case.

What This Means for Hotels

Facebook Groups are an excellent community-building tool, and when it comes to Groups that are centered around your hotel or resort, it’s important to stay on top of its moderation. Using the feedback tool to keep your members following group rules without running the risk of accidentally publicly shaming someone can keep your community growing and moving in a positive direction.

Instagram Rolls Out Video Scheduling

Post scheduling through third-party software has been available for a while, but it was only available for images. Instagram updated its API towards the end of last year to allow the scheduling of videos on Instagram, too. Social media scheduling software is starting to catch up and offer this feature to subscribers, so keep an eye out for this one.

What This Means for Hotels

The ability to schedule video content to Instagram will be a game changer, especially considering that video has proven to yield high engagement rates on the platform. Now, you won’t have to worry about taking time away from your guests to ensure that your Instagram videos go live at peak posting times. Keep an eye on your social media scheduling software, as they’ll likely be releasing this feature soon if they haven’t already.

YouTube Ads Updated in Response to Changing User Patterns

User video consumption and behavior continually evolves, and YouTube ensures that they’re adapting frequently. Their ad system is being updated as a result of changing viewing patterns. These changes include:

●     The testing of two back-to-back stacked ads, which reduces the frequency of ad breaks for viewers watching long-form videos.

●     The rollout of the ability for advertisers to target TV screens with their ad campaigns, which accounts for the increased number of ad views happening on television sets.

●     More ad placements on the home feed, which allow users to see ads for video recommendations targeting them and encourages self-directed discovery.

Image source: Google 

What This Means for Hotels

YouTube’s dedication to change its ad offerings alongside evolving user behavior is a huge advantage for advertisers. By stacking ads, for example, users will have fewer ad breaks and are therefore more likely to watch the full video– and all of its ads. This is good for both the content creator and all the advertisers trying to bid on those competitive placements.

Hotels and resorts should carefully consider whether or not they want to exclusively target TV viewers for their campaigns, as the inability for users to click on a link while watching could potentially decrease the effectiveness of ads meant to drive conversions. Ad campaigns that are focused on brand recall, however, could see great results from this.

YouTube Creates Their Own Version of Stories

It feels like 2018 was the year of Stories, and now YouTube is catching up to Facebook and Instagram to offer their own unique take. Their short-form video format– titled “Reels”– has been rebranded into YouTube Stories and recently released with a new set of creator tools to accounts with more than 10,000 subscribers.

Image source: Google 

Unlike on other platforms, these Stories will be available for a full seven days before they disappear to maximize views. They can show up in the home feeds of both subscribers and non-subscribers.

What This Means for Hotels

The Stories feature has been hugely popular on both Instagram and Facebook, and it may see the same engagement from YouTube followers, too. If you have those 10,000 subscribers, test them out to connect with past, present, and future guests. The community-building features that are focusing on engaging with your audience could be a huge asset for this, giving you the ability to publicly respond to comments with photos or videos to keep the conversation going.

6 Latest Social Media Changes Affecting Hotels and Resorts

The holidays are here, and there are few busier seasons for those of us in the hospitality industry. We know you’re busy, so we’ll get right to our last edition of our newsletter in the 2018 year so you’ll be up to date on all the social media changes that matter to you.

Facebook Releases New Watch Party Features

The Watch Party feature allows you to play video content at a set time, where everyone will watch it in “real time” together, like seeing a movie with friends. This feature has now been released to all Pages and profiles. They also have new updates to the feature, including threaded comments for improved interaction, and Live Commentating, which allows the host to go live within the watch party and deliver commentary live.

Image source: Facebook 

What This Means for Hotels & Resorts 

If live videos are a staple part of your marketing and you’re running low on ideas, or if you want to share content in a particularly engaging way, Watch Parties are a great opportunity. Hotels and resorts could showcase a video of what to do near their location and have someone from the team deliver personalized commentary and recommendations based on user questions. Many users aren’t familiar with Watch Parties yet, so promote what you’re doing ahead of time so your followers can make sure to get on board.

Instagram Says Changes Are Coming 

Instagram just recently announced that “over the next few weeks” users may see interface changes within the app, including new navigation and icons. The actual photos and videos that people have shared will not be affected.

What This Means for Hotels & Resorts 

Hotels and resorts won’t be heavily affected by this, but if you’re seeing a change in how your business profile looks, know that this is to be expected. Make sure that all of your information is displayed correctly and organized well, and you’ll be good to go.

Instagram Adds Alternative Text Descriptions 

Instagram has just released two new accessibility features designed to make the platform better suited for visually impaired users. Users can create their own text descriptions of their photos, which will be read through screen readers when someone scrolls through or clicks on the photo. There’s also the option to use automatic alternative text, utilizing object recognition technology to provide audio descriptions of your image or video.

What This Means for Hotels & Resorts 

Increased accessibility means more access to your target audience, and ensuring that all potential guests have the best experience possible when interacting with your brand. Add alt text to all images and videos; it just takes a few seconds, but for some of your guests it will make a world of difference.

You can access “alt text” under the “Advanced Settings” of your post before you publish it.

Instagram Cracks Down On “Inauthentic” Actions 

Instagram announced last month that they’re doing something about “inauthentic” actions on the platform, including fake likes, followers, and comments. They’ve gotten serious about weeding out bots and third-party services designed to artificially inflate social proof, and they are utilizing machine learning tools to find them.

What This Means for Hotels & Resorts 

Twitter and Facebook have already undergone their own purges for the same purpose, and now it’s Instagram’s turn. If you’re using any third-party service to get more social proof, remove them immediately. We recommend that our clients never use these services to begin with, as they may give you more followers, but typically product spam-like engagement if any that doesn’t do your brand any favors.

LinkedIn Company Pages Get An Update 

LinkedIn has just announced that the “next generation” of Company Pages have been created. There are new features that are focusing more heavily on community building, and will include content suggestion tools for admins, more advanced analytics, and improved mobile capabilities.

What This Means for Hotels & Resorts 

The goal of the new LinkedIn Company Pages is to improve community building capabilities with your employees and your followers. Share content to keep your staff members engaged and up to date about what’s happening and engage guests and potential followers.

Twitter Is “Rethinking Everything About the Service 

Twitter has made a few big changes this year, and now it looks like they’re considering several more. According to Twitter, they’re “rethinking everything about the service,” so we could see some massive updates to the platform and how it’s used next year.

For now, here’s some of the rumored and in-testing features:

●     Timeline toggle, which is in testing and allows users to switch between the chronological and algorithmic timelines.

●     Eliminating the like button, which Twitter has not confirmed or denied, but may be done in an attempt to improve the quality and authenticity of interactions.

●     Edit buttons for published Tweets, which is being considered but may not be implemented because the platform doesn’t necessarily want people to be able to change tweets “all the way back in time.”

What This Means for Hotels & Resorts 

If you’re marketing on Twitter, there are no immediate changes to made aware of now, but it’s important to know that there are clearly changes coming. Be prepared, and make sure that your other social channels are built up just in case.

Hotel Social Media News Platforms Shifting to ‘Authentic’ Usage to Encourage Community Building

There is an apparent trend showing social media platforms are shifting more towards “authentic” usage of the platforms that encourage community building, and we’re seeing more features and changes coming as a result. Staying on track with these changes will be important for the long-term success of your campaigns.

Twitter Cuts Access to Third Party Apps 

Twitter has shut down API access to a number of third-party apps and ended support for Twitter for Apple Watch and Twitter for Mac. This includes popular tools like Tweetbot, which are not officially run by the social media site. Official mobile apps and those run by Twitter, like TweetDeck and Periscope, are still fully functional and will remain so.

What This Means for Hotels

Twitter has made a lot of changes this year in order to try to reduce clutter and make room for more meaningful engagement. We saw this with their restrictions on automated or cross-promoted retweets, and this is just another step down that path.

If you’re using any software to enhance your Twitter marketing with features like scheduling or content creation, keep an eye on your profile to make sure things are working as expected. If not, you’ll need to cut the app loose and see if you can find Twitter-run alternatives, like TweetDeck.

LinkedIn Relaunches Groups 

LinkedIn groups have been around for a while, but they’re now being relaunched. According to TechCrunch, LinkedIn will be adding groups to their main app. They’ll also be focused on reducing spam and making the groups more efficient. They’re doing this with temporary removal of features like sending posts as emails to the entire group.

Image source: TechCrunch 

What This Means for Hotels

LinkedIn groups have always had enormous potential but fell a little short. They become too self-promotional, but with new developments, that could change. If groups pick up on LinkedIn, this could be a great asset for hotels and resorts. You can network with and learn from other industry experts, find potential employees, and even occasionally mention your conference or lodging services to professionals looking to make bookings.

Facebook Allows Admins to Link Pixel with Groups 

Group admins can now link Facebook’s tracking pixel to their group, allowing admins to better track user growth and engagement on their actual websites off-platform. This information will be anonymous, and it will only be available to groups that have at least 250 members.

Image source: Facebook 

What This Means for Hotels

Facebook Groups are a powerful community-building tool, but the ability to anonymously track group member’s relationship to your hotel or resort as a whole outside of the actual group is a huge advantage. Now you can more accurately assess whether the group is driving more leads or bookings, or building stronger relationships with your guests.

Facebook Group Admins Can Pin Comments 

Matt Navarra found a feature Facebook is testing that will allow group admins to pin comments in discussion threads. This will push that comment to the top of the comments section in the conversation thread, ensuring that it’s the first thing people see.

Image source: Matt Navara

What This Means for Hotels

If you have groups for your hotel or resort, you have likely already seen how conversations can spiral amongst members. People veer off course with the discussion, or you (or someone else) ends up clarifying the same thing many times over. The ability to pin comments will give you additional moderation control so that you can keep things on track and hopefully framing the group and your hotel in a positive light.

6 Big Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest Changes Affecting Hotels & Resorts

Hospitality Social Media News

 

Are you up to date with all six of the big changes that happened in social media in the last two weeks? Know how they’ll directly affect your hotel or resort?

If you aren’t sure, don’t worry; we know it’s a lot to keep up with.

Let’s take a look at the most recent social media changes that are relevant to the hospitality industry and how they’ll affect you.

New Look & Features for Pages on Mobile 

Facebook Pages are getting a new look, with recommendations taking center stage and being featured more prominently. There will also be new features that will make it easier for your guests to view menus, book reservations, or take other actions more easily than they can now.

There will also be new local browsing options, which allow users to look for local businesses and events near them. Facebook will include recommendations based on users’ preferences and histories, and ratings from other viewers will likely impact these recommendations heavily.

What This Means for Hotels & Resorts 

Reviews are now called Recommendations. They are no longer a Star-Rated scale (1-5 Stars). The visitor can either Recommend or Not Recommend, with or without a comment. Recommendations are even more important than ever before because of their heightened visibility, so do what you can to get more reviews on Facebook directly. Consider prioritizing Facebook when asking users to leave reviews, placing it above Google or TripAdvisor if you’re lacking them on Facebook.

As the new booking features roll out, make sure that your Pages are optimized and utilizing them. The ability for guests to book reservations through your site or view your resort’s menu can make everything a little more convenient for them, resulting in increased bookings.

Facebook Releases Image-to-Video Ads 

Facebook’s Creative Shop has released a new tool called “Create to Convert,” which allows advertisers to add motion and animation to two still images. You can make your logo, product, use cases, and benefits come to life by just uploading two still images, no animation experience required.

What This Means for Hotels & Resorts

If you’re on a budget and don’t want to shell out the big bucks to a video agency, or looking for a way to make your ads more compelling in a scalable way, this is a tool you’ll want to utilize. Use these image-to-video ads to showcase your gorgeous resort and everything you can do there, and watch the bookings come rolling in.

Facebook Starts Rolling Out Stories Ads 

Facebook started testing Facebook Story Ads in May for select advertisers in the U.S., Mexico, and Brazil. These Ads are now slowly rolling out to more advertisers and will appear in the Ads Manager once you have access. These ads will consist of 5 to 15 second videos that resemble Instagram Story Ads, with “Click to Learn More” CTAs now available.

Image source: Ana G.

What This Means for Hotels & Resorts 

Plenty of hotels and resorts have had great luck using Instagram Story Ads, and it will be interesting to see if Facebook’s counterpart works just as well. If more of your guests are on Facebook than on Instagram, this could open more doors for you.

Instagram Testing Recommended Posts  

Instagram is currently testing recommended posts in users’ feeds. These posts will appear at the bottom of a user’s feed. The content will come from accounts that the user doesn’t already follow, but which Instagram thinks they’d like based on the accounts and content they interact with most frequently.

Image source: Instagram 

What This Means for Hotels & Resorts 

This feature is only in testing, but this could be a great new way to get more reach on Instagram. At this point, there’s no way to influence whether or not you appear in a recommendation aside from having strong engagement rates, but you can diversify the types of content you post (mixing it up with videos, unique topics, multi-image posts, and more) to increase the likelihood of creating content different guests like to see.

Pinterest Releases Maximum Width in Promoted Video 

In May, Pinterest started testing maximum width for their Promoted Video Pins, and it’s now available for all advertisers. These new pins are 4x wider than the standard pin, taking up the full range of space in Pinterest’s mobile two-column feed and practically demanding user attention. This feature can be found in the Pinterest Ads manager.

Image source: Pinterest 

What This Means for Hotels & Resorts 

Promoted Video Pins are already a great way to stand out on mobile, and this new maximum width feature is a big opportunity. Videos of your gorgeous hotel and all the activities that can be done there will be even more powerful at a larger size. Several case studies from Pinterest’s initial tests have found that these specific video pins have higher rates of engagement and ad awareness than even other types of promoted pins.

Not sure where to start? You can always run retargeting campaigns based on website traffic, and utilize those extra-big videos to increase bookings with potential guests.

Latest Social Media Updates: Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram

We’re nearing the end of summer vacation season, but that doesn’t mean it’s time to take your foot off the marketing breaks! Instead, take a look at all the new changes happening on social media that can directly affect the hospitality industry and see how to incorporate them to better serve and understand your guests.

Facebook Updates Video Ad Metrics to Remove Redundancies 

Facebook recently updated its video ad metrics to better match actual viewer behavior. The changes include:

●     Video play metrics, which tell advertisers how often video ads are played instead of just seen (impressions)

●     The measuring of unrepeated seconds, which changes how Facebook evaluates watch time on video ads

●     Removal of redundant metrics like video watched percentage and 30-second video views

Image source: Facebook

What This Means for Hotels

Many hotels and resorts use video ads on Facebook and Instagram to connect with their audience, build brand awareness, and increase reservation bookings. Be on the lookout for these changes. The new video play metric will be particularly helpful, because when compared against impressions, you’ll be able to gauge initial interest. If necessary, this can help you make changes to your video campaigns to get more interest early on, getting more results.

Facebook Releases New Mobile Ad Creation Tools 

Facebook’s Ads Manager app now has a whole suite of new creative tools that allow you to create more dynamic ad campaigns right on your mobile device.

New features include abilities to:

●     Add logos or text overlay to your ad images

●     Check to make sure there’s no more than 20% text on your ads

●     Crop images

●     Add stickers

●     Apply color filters

●     Use ad templates to improve appearance

Image source: Facebook

What This Means for Hotels

The ability for hotels and resorts to better create more visually appealing ads on the go is always an advantage. We no longer need to rely on third-party apps or designers to add text overlay, logos, or adjust the color on our ad images, saving us a few steps along the way.

Facebook Restricts Cross-Posts from Twitter

As of August 1st, Facebook restricted posting access to the platform. Tweets and Retweets are no longer automatically cross-posted on Facebook, even if you had that feature enabled. This is due to the new API restrictions Facebook has been putting in place.

Image source: TechCrunch 

What This Means for Hotels

Best practices have already dictated not to cross-post tweets to your hotel’s professional pages on Facebook, so not many hotels and resorts will see a lot of change here. That being said, if you use any kind of software to automatically post your Tweets to your Page, shut it down immediately.

Facebook Updates Workplace 

Facebook has been aggressively updating their Workplace over the past few months, and they just rolled out a few more features. The new additions focus on improving team collaboration and improving personalization capabilities to boost relationship building. They include:

●     One-click connection to facilitate chat

●     Highlight team members’ birthdays

●     Directory search, which makes it easier to find team members

●     Workplace profiles to share personal information

●     Admin control over what’s shared in Workplace profiles

Image source: Facebook 

Facebook’s Workplace has also required an email startup, messaging, and calendar app called Redkix, and there are rumors that this will be used to improve communication abilities in Workplace further.

What This Means for Hotels

Facebook’s Workplace seems to be positioning itself to attempt to replace Slack, and larger hotels and resorts with larger teams (either internal or external) typically need software like this for communication, project management, and distribution of important messages. If you’re in need of software like this for your hotel, keep an eye on Workplace and all the new features– it may be the right fit for you.

WhatsApp Releases Business API 

WhatsApp’s launch of the Business API is an expansion of their business tools, and it allows larger businesses to send non-promotional messages to customers like reservation reminders or shipping information. You can do this for a fixed rate. The new API is currently only available for 90 specific companies, but it will be rolled out on a more widespread basis soon.

What This Means for Hotels

The ability for hotels and resorts to be able to send reservation reminders or arrival instructions is another great way to engage guests before they even set foot on your property. This is also a great way to jumpstart conversations; guests can respond with any questions they have, and you can address them right away, providing top-notch customer service.

Instagram Tests Emoji Reactions to Stories 

Thanks to marketing sleuth Matt Navarra, we know that Instagram is testing new Facebook-style emoji response options for Instagram Stories. The Facebook counterpart just rolled out last month, so there’s a good chance we’ll see this soon.

(no image source picture tag because it’s a tweet)

What This Means for Hotels

More reaction options means that hotels and resorts can get more potential engagement when using Stories. You can increase the number of responses you get by asking users outright how they feel, or to share their opinions by selecting certain emojis.

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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Latest Hotel Social Media Changes

We’re in the middle of summer’s busy season, but that means it’s more important than ever to stay up to date on all the latest social changes. This month we’ve got new updates that will allow us to continue making more engaging content with a little less hassle. Let’s take a look.

Facebook Adds a Stories Archive Feature

Facebook has been testing and slowly rolling out an Archive feature for their Stories, and it works differently than Instagram’s Stories Highlights. Users who have this feature can now save their Facebook Stories once they expire so they can repost them again later if they choose.

What This Means for Hotels

The expiration of Stories after 24 hours has always been a setback of the feature, because it can be difficult to create content that has such a short shelf life. The ability to save the content and reuse it is a huge advantage if it’s evergreen.

Want to simplify things further? It would also work to just download stories after you create them on Instagram, add them to your Instagram highlights, and then upload it to Facebook, too.

Facebook Rolls Out Crossposting Ability with Instagram 

We’ve had the ability to share Instagram posts directly onto Facebook for a very long time, but now we have a new feature that lets us do the reverse, too. Pages can now crosspost to Instagram as long as their Facebook post contains a single image. Multi-image and video posts are not currently supported.

What This Means for Hotels

Being able to easily distribute content to two platforms at once can save you time, especially if you aren’t already using social scheduling software. One thing to keep in mind, however, is that Instagram best practices don’t always line up with Facebook’s. You’ll want to add hashtags, for example, to your Instagram posts so that potential guests have a better chance of finding you.

It will be better to post individually in most cases, but if you ever have something you need to distribute quickly, this feature will work for that.

Instagram Launched Question Stickers 

Instagram has just released a Questions Sticker to its Stories. This is another interactive sticker that allows users to ask their followers questions. The replies their followers submit will be shown to you privately, but they can be shared within the Stories feed. It is now available for both iOS and Android users with the latest update of the app.

Image source: Instagram 

What This Means for Hotels

This new sticker is another way to get engagement through Stories, but it also gives you a way to build and leverage social proof. Ask your guest questions about their stays or their dream vacations, or even what types of events they’d like to attend or host at your resort. Share some of the best answers to your Stories in order to demonstrate social proof and build relationships with your guests and followers.

Instagram Tests In-App Verification 

In-App verification has been available on Instagram for a while for high-profile brands and users, a coveted blue checkmark you’ve also seen on Facebook and Twitter. However, the company has approved an incredibly low amount of accounts for verification. Instagram is currently testing a new in-app verification option, where public figures, celebrities, and brands can submit a form to apply, which requires usernames, full names, and photo identification. Currently, the in-app form for verification is only available to iOS users in a selected test group, but will soon be coming to Android.

Image source: Mashable 

What This Means for Hotels

The blue checkmark automatically signals that your hotel or resort is established enough to be recognized on social media, and you risk losing credibility if you’re the only one without it. Users may be more likely to go to a website and book reservations through Instagram profiles with that blue checkmark, so keep an eye out and do what you can to apply as soon as possible.

LinkedIn Announces In-Feed Translations 

LinkedIn is slowly releasing a new translations feature similar to Facebooks. This feature will allow users to see a “See Translation” button on posts that are written in languages different than what they speak. There will be more than 60 languages included in the translation feature, including German and Japanese. More languages will follow.

What This Means for Hotels

If your hotel or resort hosts professional events or has a large number of traveling professionals, LinkedIn could be a valuable marketing channel. Even if you don’t, most hotels and resorts may benefit from using the platform to find new employees or vendors. The ability for your posts to have more reach just with a click of a button on the user’s part is a huge advantage, no matter what specific goal you’re using LinkedIn to accomplish.