Do You Have Interest in Pinterest?

Hotels looking to showcase their property, events, specials, and local area attractions plus express their culture or personality via social media are finding great success with Pinterest. Now one of the hottest and most frequently visited social media marketing channels, Lodging Interactive and its subsidiary CoMMingle are offering a turnkey service for creating and professionally managing this online bulletin board on behalf of hotels.

Lodging Interactive is an award-winning, interactive and social media marketing agency exclusively servicing the hospitality industry. CoMMingle by Lodging Interactive is an outsourced social media marketing agency that develops customized solutions for hospitality entities. Together, the companies are providing powerful new ways for hoteliers to interact with their guests and prospects and better grow and manage their use of social media channels.

Consider these statistics:

• Pinterest users spend an average of almost 16 minutes on the site per visit (compared to 12.1 for Facebook).
• As of January 2012, Pinterest had received just under 12 million unique visits.
• Pinterest receives almost 1.5 million visitors each day.
• Pinterest provides more referral traffic to other sites than Google+, YouTube and LinkedIn combined.

"Pinterest is giving hotels a place to organize images and information into boards for specific categories to make it easier for consumers to find what interests them most and then act upon it," said DJ Vallauri, Lodging Interactive Founder and President. "The boards are designed to highlight all the various aspects of the hotel, from the guestrooms and food-and-beverage areas, to recreation, social offerings and even local area attractions.

"Understanding how difficult it is for hotels to keep up with the growing social media landscape, Lodging Interactive and CoMMingle will take an active role in setting up each hotel's Pinterest account and managing it accordingly," he said. "We will develop boards on behalf of our customers, pin their photos and information, re-pin items as needed, engage with customers, identify relevant content and then sustain that content month to month, monitoring it and making sure that it stays fresh."

Rosella Virdo, Director of CoMMingle Social Media Marketing, explained that when information or photos are "pinned" on Pinterest, a hotel's followers will see it. Viewers can like, comment or re-pin it to their boards. Items of interest may contain links to the site where the image originated. Like Facebook content, Pinterest pins have the opportunity to go viral. Unlike Facebook, visitors don't need to be friends with someone to follow their board. The key is simply sharing a common interest.

"The social media phenomenon is exploding, and as such, hoteliers need to find new, and more powerful ways to interact with their guests and prospects," Virdo said. "Our team at CoMMingle becomes the eyes, ears and mouthpiece of the hotel, assisting them with planning their unique social media strategy based on their individual property goals. Then they will teach members how to socialize online, 'comingling' and managing their photos and message on the various channels, including Pinterest, blogs, Facebook, Twitter, You Tube and more. We ensure that each hotel's message is communicated smartly, efficiently and effectively, constantly measuring each plans' critical success factors and fine-tuning each strategy for long term success."

By leveraging the support of Lodging Interactive and CoMMingle, hoteliers are finding they can quickly and affordably become more successful than ever before. To learn more about how Lodging Interactive and CoMMingle can assist in your social media marketing program, call 877-291-4411 ext. 701 or visit www.LodgingInteractive.com.

BackBid lets hotels compete for your business – USATODAY.com

A new hotel-booking site, BackBid, turns hotel shopping on its head: As a potential guest, you become the pursued rather than the pursuer.

via travel.usatoday.com

Online Guest Reviews Gaining Momentum; Good News for Independent Hoteliers

Think guest reviews aren't that important to your ongoing web strategy? Think again. In a recent USA Today article titled "Hotel giants embracing guest reviews — good or bad," author Barbara DeLollis reports that some of the world's biggest hotel companies are adding customer reviews of their hotels to their own websites "betting that their best customers will put more faith in reviews that are on their websites because they — unlike TripAdvisor — have the ability to confirm whether a review writer really checked into that particular hotel." The good news for independent hoteliers is that an easy-to-use and extremely affordable Guest Review System is available from Lodging Interactive that enables them to mirror — and even surpass — these brand initiatives.

In the article, DeLollis reports that Starwood, Marriott and Four Seasons already have their own customer review-posting portals, and Hilton, IHG (InterContinental Hotels Group) and Radisson are in the processes of evaluating or launching programs later this year. IHG Marketing Vice President Michael Menis was referenced as saying . . . "reviews are important because they play 'an important role in helping a customer make their ultimate booking decision.'" Likewise, Hilton Senior VP of Global Online Services Chuck Sullivan, was quoted as saying: "Consumer reviews are a very positive thing. They help provide customers with a real understanding of a property. We believe that direct channels — specifically, our Web brand hotel pages — have to be seen by the guest as the ultimate source of truth."

Truth in Advertising
With so many brands either leaning towards a proprietary web-based guest review program, or already implementing one, Vallauri said consumers will soon expect it to be a standard part of every hotel's website. Lodging Interactive’s Guest Review System is leveling the playing field for independent hotels by giving them a tool that is quick to implement today and enables them to compete with the big boys while also enhancing their web strategy.

"Recent studies confirm that more than 60 percent of online shoppers and travel planners visit and seriously consider peer-written reviews prior to making their online purchase," Vallauri said. "Being able to monitor what people are saying about their individual property 24/7 is important, but enabling guest reviews to reside on your website gives hoteliers the opportunity to respond in real time to posted reviews — good or bad — thereby keeping potential problems in check.

"Through the Lodging interactive Guest Review System, any independent hotel that wants to validate and respond to reviews today can do so on their own website, and with no capital investment," he said. "Our Guest Review System makes it easy for travelers to share their reviews on Facebook with their network of friends. It's a tool that independent hoteliers need for their properties, but without the cost of development."

7 Big Privacy Concerns for New Facebook and the Open Graph

It’s not always clear how Facebook apps interact with the data you share on the social network. Are they allowed to broadcast it? Sell it? Compile it in a way that you never intended?

via mashable.com

Lodging Interactive, CoMMingle Capitalizing on 10 Years of Success

German Philosopher Albert Schweitzer said: "Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success. If you love what you are doing, you will be successful."

 

Lodging Interactive, an interactive and social media marketing agency exclusively servicing the hospitality industry, and its subsidiary CoMMingle, a social-media marketing consultancy, is proof that happiness and success go hand in hand. Coming off a banner year of accomplishments and award winning web designs for its customers in 2011, the 10-year young group is elated over incremental company growth, and each attributes its successes to the winning online campaigns created by a team of dedicated hospitality professionals. New business partnerships, financial service models, mobile website offerings and content management toolkits to be unveiled in 2012 position Lodging Interactive and CoMMingle for another monumental year.

"It takes a team to be successful, and at Lodging Interactive and CoMMingle, we are fortunate to have a team of more than 50 highly skilled web experts who truly like working with our customers and each other," said D.J. Vallauri, Lodging Interactive President and CEO. "Couple that with more than 650 hotels, resorts, spas and restaurants around the world who depend on us for website design and management, social media marketing, mobile marketing, and measurement and accountability services, and it's easy to see why we are happy to come to work every day. Sprinkle in top honors achieved, such as the 2011 Interactive Media Award and Travel Weekly's 2011 Magellan Award for website designs, and we are ecstatic. 2012 is truly going to be the year of social media and mobile marketing, and Lodging Interactive and CoMMingle are eager to serve."

According to Vallauri, both companies grew substantially in 2011, over 2010. Lodging Interactive acquired 50 new clients in 2011, and CoMMingle followed close behind with 40 full service clients.

It's an exciting time to be a Lodging Interactive and CoMMingle partner," Vallauri said. "In 2012 we will introduce new services for both lines of business, as well as launch new breakthrough business models for hotels. Anyone looking to better plan, socialize, engage and measure in 2012 will find that we have the focus, expertise, longevity and results they need. It's going to be a very Happy New Year with Lodging Interactive and CoMMingle as your online marketing partner."

Lodging Interactive Podcast Reveals What’s Hot in Social Media & Marketing

Looking for the latest digital marketing predictions and mobile trends data? Then click on HotelCast 2.0, a free podcast produced by Lodging Interactive that is delivering hot information on search engine optimization, including new Google incentives and options for advertisers, and Facebook's plan to add social likeability and sentiment measurements to improve ad relevance. In addition, hear how Lodging Interactive's Guest Review System is helping hotels take control of their guest reviews by stopping potential guests from using third-party review websites where they may never return or worse, book a competitor’s property.

"HotelCast 2.0 is the best 10 minutes a hotelier can spend getting up to speed on social media
marketing and search engine optimization," said D.J. Vallauri, Lodging Interactive President and CEO. "This podcast has quickly become a hospitality hot spot that enables busy hoteliers to get the information they need quickly to stay in the know and 'in the now' about the ever-growing,
ever-changing world field of online and social marketing.

"One of the biggest things we are truly excited about in 2012 is our Guest Review System," Vallauri said. "Market research shows that more than 75 percent of online travel buyers will consider consumer reviews prior to making their online travel purchase. Lodging Interactive's GSR is a web-based review-management system that empowers hotels to collect their own guest reviews and post management responses on their websites. Hear how hotels are benefitting by letting consumers post their comments and score their hotel experiences based on service attributes, and learn why sharing guest reviews on Facebook and other social media channels can keep hotel management and owners better protect their online reputations in real time."

Podcast Promotes Predictions

Also on HotelCast 2.0, Matt Lawson, vice president of marketing for Marin Software, serves up five digital marketing trends to watch out for this year. Topping his list is Google's new offerings to advertisers created to counteract Facebook's rising popularity. Hear how Google continues to innovate its advertising products to maximize online advertising dollars.

Finally, Greg Sterling, a contributing editor at Search Engine Land, makes 12 Mobile predictions for 2012, including: Smartphones penetration will rise to 65% by year end in the U.S.; Google and Microsoft will beef up their voice offerings to better compete with Siri; Apple will launch its own mapping service for iOS; Tablet computer sales till top out at 100 million units this year, with the iPad taking 65 percent of the market; and Amazon will purchase a mobile ad network.

"Greg's predictions in 2011 came true, so it will be very exciting to see if his '12 for 12' will be equally as insightful," Vallauri said. "To hear how your hotel can leverage the power of social media, including how CoMMingle by Lodging Interactive is helping hoteliers avoid pitfalls and risks associated with online marketing, tap into HotelCast 2.0."

The next edition of HotelCast 2.0 will broadcast in April 2012.

Lodging Interactive Offers 5 Tips to Making Web Strategies Fresh

If visitors to your website are receiving stale information from random search engines, Google's new "Freshness Update" (which effects how the popular search engine brings up results for searches) may be your hotel's new best friend. Lodging Interactive, an award winning interactive and social media marketing agency exclusively servicing the hospitality industry, is offering five simple strategies that hotels can incorporate into their online marketing plan that will make it easier to obtain or maintain a high Google status. By using these strategies and publishing accurate and entertaining date-stamped material, hotels will increase their Google ranking and be at the top of a user’s search results.

"Just because a hotel updates or makes corrections to its webpage doesn't automatically increase its freshness value," said D.J. Vallauri, Lodging Interactive President and CEO. "Google determines the freshness the first time it crawled the page. The goal of Freshness Update is to deliver the most recent or current information to users when they enter a query. It does this by searching for web pages that are time stamped, which indicates when the information or webpage was created. Sometimes web pages can be time stamped in days or even in minutes. This is crucial for businesses in the hospitality industry that covet the top spots in Google’s search results because it underlines the importance of presenting and maintaining up-to-date information on their websites."

To take advantage of Google's Freshness Update, Lodging Interactive offers five strategies to incorporate into an online marketing plan:

1. Publish more press releases
2. Create a blog for your website
3. Become familiar with popular social media
4. Get picked up by Google News
5. Contact CoMMingle by Lodging Interactive for a free social media marketing audit

For details on each of the five strategies, click to read more: https://lodginginteractive.com/press2012-Lodging-Interactive-5-Tips-To-Making-Web-Strategies-Fresh.shtml

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Veteran’s Day – Thank You for Your Service

11/11/11

Our thanks to all Veterans and their families for the sacrifices you have made and the service you have given our country.

Happy Veteran's Day

Facebook Climbs To No. 3 Video Site In U.S.

"Facebook is already the largest photo site in the U.S., and now it is climbing up the charts for online video. Facebook now ranks as the third largest video site on the Web in terms of unique viewers according to comScore, with an estimated 51.5 million people on Facebook watching a video during the month of July. The month before it was No. 6. It passed Microsoft, Yahoo, and Viacom. Only Vevo (with 62 million monthly viewers) and YouTube (158 million) are bigger."

Read the full article on techcrunch.com  

Google+ Changes Game for Gaggle of ‘Not Facebook’ Startups

"Features That Facebook Left Out Once Looked Like Opportunities. Then Along Came Google+

Google's new social network Google+ may never dent Facebook's dominance, but its entrance into the fray is scrambling the emerging market of startups billing themselves as Facebook alternatives.

The current crop isn't looking to take down Facebook, now 750 million users strong. Rather, they're offering a more intimate social networking experience in the vein of Google+, positioning themselves as another option for Facebook users who might be tired of sifting through status updates from hundreds of so-called "friends" and navigating the site's sometimes cryptic privacy settings but who would never abandon it altogether."

Read the full article on AdAgeDigital