Posts

April 21, 2015: Google Mobile Ranking Affects Hotels

Google Mobile Ranking Algorithm takes effect today.

You have heard it called “Mobilegeddon” and the “Mobile Ranking Showdown” and even “SEO-Pocalypse”.

Everywhere, the sky is falling as the “Chicken Little of SEO” appears in Google’s latest Mobile Ranking update.

What does it mean for your hotel website?

Why will this affect your hotel search engine rankings?

It should come as no surprise (to anyone with a website) that Google would eventually penalize website owners who are not up to date with the latest technologies, and here’s why:

  • Google’s mantra “Do No Evil” means they are looking out for the site visitor’s best interest. Is it in your best interest to find a website that you cannot see with your Mobile device? Of course not!
  • If you do not have a mobile website or are not in the process of designing one, you are missing out on more than one fourth of the global population (2 Billion Consumers Worldwide) according to eMarketer:

emarketer_MJBlog

  • If you look at the Global Digital Snapshot, there’s more to mobile rankings than just your website. Social media plays a huge part in driving site traffic. If your website is not responsive or designed for mobile, you are losing your chances to increase direct bookings, keep your current market base as well as gain overall market share.

was_MJBlog

What should you do if your hotel website is not mobile?

  • Create a responsive or mobile website. While there is no guarantee that it will help your Search Engine Rankings, you have to update your website to include the larger audience or you will be left in the dust.  This is no longer an option, but a MUST HAVE in the digital world of today.
  • Include social media marketing in your current strategy. Gone are the days when Social Media was an option.  Your guests want to hear from you and they want to be able to get instant responses (or as close to it as possible).
  • Remember that SEO is paramount. After all, you don’t forget how you found this article. SEO is essential to the implementation of your new mobile website design and higher search engine rankings.

While no one can guarantee you high search engine rankings, you will be guaranteeing that your competitors with mobile-friendly website will have the upper hand in at least one way. Don’t fall behind the standard when it can be prevented. Follow the above steps and contact us today. Lodging Interactive will help you stay in touch with your current guests and help you garner new ones as the digital marketing landscape changes.

Is Your Hotel Part of the Social Media Conversation?

Are you participating and/or encouraging conversation on your hotel's social media channels? Is your social media presence consistent? Do you know the right social networks to target for your audience and social search? If you're unsure, it's time to call CoMMingle. An outsourced social media marketing agency from Lodging Interactive, CoMMingle develops customized solutions for hotels, restaurants and spas to help craft their social media marketing messaging to keep travelers thirsting for more informational content . . . more dialog . . . and more fun.

"One of the first questions we get asked at CoMMingle is: What social networks do we need a presence on and how do we market to that audience without overselling ourselves?" said Rosella Virdo, Director of CoMMingle Social Media Marketing. "Creativity, posting content consistently, remaining fluid with the ever changing tides of social media, and having a message that is relative to each audience is the key to engagement and social media success.

"You don't have to win a popularity contest on social media to connect with your past, present and future guests," Virdo said. "Hotels should keep in mind the 'social' aspect of social media. In the last five years, social media has evolved from both the user standpoint as well as the business side. People interact on social networks to be engaging, without being bombarded by marketing and advertising."

The question becomes: “How does a hotel share its offerings, promotions, specials, location, etc. without strong arm marketing?” This is where the softer — or conversational  — side of marketing comes in.

"We are not standing on top of a mountain shouting our message and expect everyone to listen," Virdo said. "Climb down the mountain, mingle with the people and talk. It's simple. Just talk. Now is the time to softly market your property while adding a human voice to the business. These conversations will become an integral part of social search."

CoMMingle serves as a consultant to its customers, advising hotels how to deal with social media, reputation management on review sites, online issues that arise as more social media channels become an extension of customer service, and giving them tools to manage their social presence effectively. For instance, CoMMingle will nip a bad review in the bud by working with hotel management to learn the details of an issue, formulate the response to adhere to third-arty website policies and manage the conversation online for the client. A neglected Tweet can turn into a negative Facebook post and eventually turn into a devastating TripAdvisor review. CoMMingle assists in managing the reputation of the hotel in online conversations and comments, as well as enhancing reputation by addressing issues with the transparency needed on the social networks to remain authentic.

"As CoMMingle clients, hotels are not buying Facebook 'maintenance,' but rather they receive a vast array of social media and reputation management services that can be adjusted to a client's specific needs as well as allow the client to stay visible where the conversation is taking place," Virdo said.

Lodging Interactive’s Guest Review System is Enhancing Hotel Bookings

A recent study conducted by the Cornell School of Hotel Administration confirms that online guest satisfaction has a direct impact on the financial performance of hotels. "The Impact of Social Media on Lodging Performance" report validates "a direct link between online customer satisfaction and a property's overall revenue performance." The study showed that "if a hotel increased its online review score by 1 point on a 5-point scale, the hotel can increase its price by 11.2 percent and still maintain the same occupancy or market share." Armed with this knowledge, hoteliers can immediately begin driving revenues while increasing loyalty, expanding their social media presence and improving their online reputations using the in-demand Guest Review System from Lodging Interactive.

Lodging Interactive is a leading interactive and social media marketing agency exclusively servicing the hospitality industry. The company's Guest Review System is a web-based tool that is successfully helping hotels verify, review and display customer comments directly on hotel websites. By allowing management to respond to comments in real time, hotels are improving two-way hotel-to-guest communications and boosting guest retention and loyalty. Based on the aforementioned Cornell research, hotels can also raise average daily rates and receive higher revenues per available room without any resistance from guests.

"Industry studies continue to show that travelers consider feedback from other travelers as valuable sources of information when researching and planning a trip, and many won't make a reservation until comments have been perused," said DJ Vallauri, Lodging Interactive founder and president. "Hotels that may have thought about adding a guest review program to their websites but didn't have the time or resources to manage it, should think again now that it has been proven that an interactive guest-review process has a direct impact on revenues. Being proactive when it comes to guest reviews, really does pay off."

With the Lodging Interactive Guest Review System, hotel managers receive real-time alerts advising when pending guest reviews pop up. This eliminates delays in addressing concerns and turns potential problems into new opportunities. The system also puts a stop to fake reviews posted by competitors or dishonest guests looking for refunds, helping hotels to maintain their reputations. More importantly, directing guests to the hotel's website to post comments and reviews keeps them from being redirected to an OTA where they will never come back to book direct. Removing OTA's from the equation and taking ownership of the guest-communication process also keeps more revenues in owners' pockets. Additionally, hotels that don't have the staff or flexibility to respond in a timely manner can count on Lodging Interactive to manage the reply on their behalf.

"It's important to note that unlike the Lodging Interactive GRS, some third-party websites restrict hotels on what they can and cannot include when responding to a review," Vallauri said. "Here are five tips when responding to guest reviews:"

1. Respond immediately to a review post. Good or bad, a hotel needs to put its best foot forward; that means never issuing a "canned" response. Consumers read more than one review; make sure the response is fresh and appropriate. If possible, personalize the response by referring to the reviewer by his or her proper name and not a nickname. This is possible with the Lodging Interactive GRS, but not with many of the third-party sites. If a guest is not happy, apologize, then offer a resolution and always ask the customer to come back. For example, Lodging Interactive's GRS enables hoteliers to offer a solution to an issue by sharing a package that would have been better suited to their needs. For example, if parking fees were an issue, the hotel can offer a package with parking included for the next stay. This type of customization is restricted on many of the major review sites as well as in OTA review responses.

2. Provide contact information for ongoing communication. Managers should never sign comments as "Management," but instead provide the responder's name. This builds consumer confidence and shows guests that someone cares. With the Lodging Interactive GRS, responses can be signed by any member of the management team, not just the third-party site log-in account names (example: F&B Manager when replying to a catering issue).

3. Double check responses for content accuracy and don't use over-complicated words. A big vocabulary is not important to guests; sincerity is. Check spelling, especially the reviewer's name.

4. Be kind, never defensive. Remember: the customer is always right. Be hospitable and thank the reviewer for his or her comment, good and bad. A demeaning tone could scare away future guests for good.

5. Verify that the reviewer was actually a guest before posting the response. Knowing if a review is legitimate or not is a critical step in managing an online reputation. Lodging Interactive has the processes in place to validate the authenticity of all posted reviews.
No matter what, managers and staff should always take the time to ask guests about their stay. Always encourage guests to visit the hotel's website at their convenience and post a review. If there has been a problem, this will prompt the guest to inform management prior to leaving the property. If the attempt at a resolve fails and a negative review is still posted, management can restate their resolution offer, thereby protecting the hotel's reputation and showing other potential guests that good customer service is a top priority.

Rallying Reviews on Facebook
"Remember the 1980s Faberge Organic Shampoo commercial in which actress Heather Locklear said: 'It is so good, I told two friends about it…and they told two friends…and so on, and so on….'" Vallauri said. "Now advance 30 years. Thanks to the world wide web and social media, that same commercial could go like this: 'It was so good, I posted on Facebook, and my 200 friends told their two hundred friends and so on, and so on…..

"An added benefit of the Lodging Interactive Guest Review System is that it enables travelers to share their reviews on Facebook with their network of friends, opening up avenues to new booking audiences, and again, more revenues," Vallauri said. "Last month, Lodging Interactive created a Facebook Widget that links comments from the hotel's website to its Facebook page in real time. This enables potential guests to read guest reviews on Facebook and enables past guests to leave reviews directly on Facebook as well. Leveraging social media as a communications platform for guest reviews is a natural extension for Lodging Interactive's solution. Better yet, there is no additional cost to implement the Guest Review System on Facebook and our team will even handle the set up for the hotel.”

Hotels looking to boost revenue performance can do so easily and affordably by calling Lodging Interactive today and getting a demonstration of the Guest Review System. A video showing the value of a GRS for hospitality is available on YouTube by clicking here. For more information on the Lodging Interactive Guest Review System, visit www.guestreviewsystem.com.

Lodging Interactive Introduces HD Video Service: ‘HotelWebShows’

Video marketing is fast becoming one of the most effective ways to get attention and drive guests to make bookings. As a result, Lodging Interactive, an award-winning, interactive and social media marketing agency exclusively servicing the hospitality industry, is launching a new program that will engage potential guests and visually communicate a property's unique benefits. "HotelWebShows by Lodging Interactive" enables hotel marketers to add a personal touch to their websites by using crisp HD Video.

"Video is a very powerful, yet often underutilized marketing tool within the hospitality industry," said DJ Vallauri, Lodging Interactive Founder and President. "Including video on website landing pages makes them 53 percent more likely to show up on the first page of Google, and it's estimated that a potential guest who watches a video is 85 percent more likely to book with your hotel (BoT Video).

"For these reasons, Lodging Interactive has partnered with one of the industry’s leading video production companies to offer videos of all types to hotels: Hotel profiles, guest testimonials, scripted ads, video news releases, event coverage and even professional feature stories," he said. "Using an easy, online video portal, along with dedicated producers and 24/7 customer service, hoteliers will quickly be able to market to travelers and get results. From ordering and production to delivery and approval, Lodging Interactive is making video production simple, affordable, and hassle-free."

Did you know . . .

• Videos are 50 times more likely to receive an organic first page ranking than traditional text pages (Forrester Research)
• Approximately 340,000 years worth of online video are watched every day (BoT Video)
• 500 video links are tweeted out every minute (BoT Video)
• 68% of viewers share video links (Sharing means more promotion for your brand) (BoT Video)
• More than 50% of the videos on YouTube have been rated or include comments from the community (A new way to engage with customers) (BoT Video)
• The average user’s visit to a text and image-based website lasts only 43 seconds; for a website with video, the average visit lasts 5 minutes and 50 seconds (BoT Video)

"Today’s Internet user has a limited attention span, therefore video marketing is a proven and effective way to grab a website visitor in the first few seconds," Vallauri said. "Adding videos to a webpage will not only help hotel marketers to engage their audience and deliver their messages more quickly and creatively, but more videos means more search results; more search results will result in more clicks; more clicks will result in more sales; and more sales delivers more bottom line revenue. Some recent studies have demonstrated that adding video to a website can increase purchasing rates by as much as 300%."

Putting on a Show
The benefits of video marketing, when tied to a social media campaign, are far reaching. YouTube, for example, is helping travelers visualize their stay before they make a reservation. Whether it's a video showcasing an exceptional convention facility, a hotel's "green" program that encourages guest participation, spa services, loyalty club member testimonials, and even in-room technology or mobile app demonstrations, each provides engaging content to the right social media audience. When these videos are embedded on the hotel's website and within social networks such as YouTube and Facebook, they will drive bookings and revenues. When tagged and optimized for search engines, videos dramatically increase a property's visibility and improve search rankings.

Through HotelWebShows by Lodging Interactive, hoteliers will be assigned a personal video production portal where they will be guided through the video process. From there they will order the video, complete a simple online questionnaire, schedule the shoot and review the footage. The online interface makes the process simple and hassle free. Then, within 48 hours, a producer will be assigned to the project. This person becomes the hotel's single point of contact, responsible for handling every detail. The video will then be uploaded onto the video production portal for review and feedback. It's that easy!

All video produced through HotelWebShows by Lodging Interactive are 1080i quality and delivered in TV, Web and Mobile formats. Videos are available in 30 second, 60 second and 90 second lengths, and will include music and graphics.

FREE Whitepaper
Hotels that act now can receive a White Paper titled: "Destination Visibility: How Hotels & Resorts Market Online" absolutely FREE.

Lodging Interactive Offering FREE CMS & Mobile Website

With all the ongoing changes in search engine algorithms and social media sites seeking fresh and relevant content to index, it is increasingly important for hotels to stay on top of their website content in order to remain relevant. Lodging Interactive makes it easy for hotels to stay relevant through the use of its premium hotel Content Management System (CMS). For a limited time, new customers that sign up for full digital marketing services will receive a free Content Management System and a free mobile website; Offer  ends October 31.

"These days hoteliers need to take a real-time, hands-on approach to managing website content, guest reviews, and their overall reputations," said DJ Vallauri, Lodging Interactive Founder and President. "The best way to do this is to partner with a digital agency that can offer the content management tools to empower the hotel to be involved with their website content. Our award winning agency is uniquely positioned within the hospitality industry and offers the latest website management tools to maximize results for our clients.”

The Lodging Interactive Content Management System will enable hoteliers to:

• Manage website text content
• Add, delete and modify pages
• Manage header/footer navigation items
• Manage website images and photo gallery images
• Manage the entire site’s Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
• Instantly create updated XML site maps

"With this tool, all website updates are performed in real time," Vallauri said. "The CMS is browser-based, with no software to download and no technical skills required to operate it. The Lodging Interactive CMS gives hotels total control over web content and it enables them to continually find new ways to redirect travelers from third-party sites to their proprietary websites."

In addition, and for a limited time only, new clients will also receive a mobile website at no additional cost. Lodging Interactive will develop and host up to 10 mobile pages which can include details of the property, including description of rooms, amenities, premise, packages, restaurants, spas, recreation facilities, loyalty programs and online reservations. Additional features may include mapping and directions, click-to-call functionality, photo gallery, embedded video capability, convention and/or meeting listings, social media links, guest reviews and more.

"Any hotel that partners with Lodging Interactive for website design and development, search engine marketing, social media marketing, and online reputation management — September 15 through October 31 — will receive our easy-to-use and extremely comprehensive CMS at absolutely no cost and we will even include a free mobile website," Vallauri said.

Drowning in a Sea of Social Media Mayhem? ‘CoMMingle Social+’ Comes to the Rescue

Just as hoteliers get comfortable with social media giants Facebook, Twitter, and You Tube, new sites are emerging, such as Google+, Pinterest, Instagram and Wikipedia to name just a few, that are making an equally big online marketing impact. To ensure hotels are covered across all social media channels, Lodging Interactive and its subsidiary CoMMingle are announcing a new level of service called CoMMingle Social+. CoMMingle Social+ serves as an extension to the hotel’s core social presence on Facebook, Twitter and You Tube plus it provides a fully managed presence on additional emerging social media marketing and engagement channels.

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.  

"CoMMingle Social+ is a service for hoteliers who already manage their own Facebook and Twitter accounts but also want to get involved in the new, emerging social engagement channels but do not have the resources in-house to handle it," said DJ Vallauri, Lodging Interactive Founder and President. "In addition, CoMMingle Social+ will add weekly postings on Facebook and Twitter for hotels that have pages but find it hard to consistently post during the week."

Through the CoMMingle Social+ program, team members will work with hotels to initially establish, and then manage on an ongoing basis, the following social networks & engagement channels:

• Google+ Business Page – CoMMingle will set up the page if needed and maintain weekly postings on the page and engage with consumers as needed;

• Pinterest – CoMMingle will create a Pinterest hotel account, relevant pin boards, and then pin images weekly to the boards. CoMMingle will also monitor and engage with consumers as needed;

• Facebook – CoMMingle will create additional apps for the property, above and beyond what is presently being managed by the hotel. Apps could include promotions, specials and contests;

• Ongoing Facebook & Twitter postings – CoMMingle will go a step further and assist hotels that have don't have the time to post content consistently to Facebook and Twitter by posting content weekly on the hotel’s behalf and engage with consumers as needed;

• Wikipedia – CoMMingle will set up a Wikipedia listing if one does not exist and create social links. CoMMingle will also monitor the Wikipedia listing quarterly and check content for accuracy.

With social media increasingly becoming an integral part of consumers' global travel habits, hotel operators are struggling with finding the internal resources to manage social networks and establishing effective social media marketing campaigns. CoMMingle is designed to assist hotels in engaging online with social media strategic planning, growing and managing social media channels, word-of-mouth marketing and experiential marketing, reputation and consumer sentiment monitoring, and social search engine optimization.

"The challenge for hoteliers is not just being visible via the various social channels, but being engaging, constantly monitoring content and keeping the conversations going," said Rosella Virdo, Director of CoMMingle Social Media Marketing. "That's where the success or failure of a social media marketing program comes to play. If a hotel does not have numerous dedicated staff members serving as its social media watch dog, it's easy for the plan to fall apart. With so many consumers being drawn to these new, relevant social media sites, it's near impossible for hoteliers to keep abreast of the chatter. With CoMMingle Social+, we become the eyes and ears of the hotel, monitoring conversations and posting instant replies if desired."

Does Guest Review Management Really Pay Off?

Does posting guest reviews and using social media to air travel grievances really make a difference? Lodging Interactive, an interactive and social media marketing agency exclusively servicing the hospitality industry for the past 10 years, knows that it does. Together with its subsidiary CoMMingle, a social-media marketing consultancy, the two companies have spent the last five years helping hoteliers grow and better manage their use of social media channels for hotel marketing, of which monitoring and managing guest reviews is a big part.

Consider this scenario. In a recent USA Today column titled "Airing your hotel problem on Twitter can pay off," Travel Columnist Barbara DeLollis recaps a story shared with her by one of her "Hotel Check-In" readers:

"About 18 months ago, I checked into the [hotel] for staycation when a friend was visiting from Seattle. When I opened the mini-fridge, to my horror and disgust, there was a leftover box frozen solid into the freezer section, with strong odor of what may have been a lovely Mexican meal gone bad. I immediately took a picture with my iPhone and Tweeted [the hotel] before heading out to dinner with my friend. In the middle of our appetizer, I received a Tweet apologizing for the mishap and an offer of free breakfast for two the next morning. When I arrived back in my room, a bottle of wine and a hand-written note were waiting for us. Needless to say, the frozen dinner was gone. Since then, I have used [the Twitter handle for the hotel] for everything from confirming early check-in to ordering room service. The consistent, immediate and non-intrusive service of [the hotel's Twitter handle] is probably the No. 1 reason I've remained loyal to the chain. Since the above-mentioned incident, btw, I have made Diamond status with [the brand] and will probably be a customer for life."
Lin told USA Today's DeLollis that he believes "Twitter is almost always faster than calling the front desk or corporate to get results." The biggest bonus, he said, is that "he can just type a quick message while on the go instead of taking the time to get someone on the phone and talk."

While this situation was resolved via Twitter, Lodging Interactive professes that using a hotel's own website to enable guests to post reviews works equally as well, and it helps to better manage channel shift from third-party sites to the brand or property site. In addition, for hotel managers who may not be as social media savvy, being able to reply to guest reviews via a laptop or desktop onto the hotel website makes the response process that much quicker and easier.

"Social media is more about psychology than marketing," said Rosella Virdo, Director of CoMMingle Social Media Marketing. "When guests take the time to post a review on Twitter or the hotel's Facebook page, for example, someone needs to be monitoring the channel ready to post a response. It's a way to take online marketing to the next level. Frequent traveler Lin who corresponded with USA Today was fortunate that he stayed at a hotel that had social media monitoring tools in place. Most hotels don't; but that's where Lodging Interactive and CoMMingle come in."

Lodging Interactive has developed an easy-to-use and extremely affordable Guest Review System that enables guests to post reviews directly on the hotel's website. By allowing management to respond to comments in real time, hotels are improving hotel-to-guest communications and boosting guest retention and loyalty. The Guest Review System alerts management in real time when reviews are posted. This ensures that there are no delays in communication, and the appropriate staff can immediately fix any pending problems before the customer leaves the property. Additionally, consumers can share their guest reviews on their Facebook wall and to their network of friends. Hotels are notified in real-time of new guest reviews and have the ability to validate guest stay information before reviews are posted on their website.

With Lodging Interactive's low-cost, turn-key Guest Review System, hotels can be up and running in 10 minutes. If finding the time to respond is an issue, Lodging Interactive is staffed to reply on the hotel's behalf.

"It's important for hoteliers to know that they can easily and affordably compete with brand guest review programs and take control of their online reputations today through Lodging Interactive," said DJ Vallauri, Lodging Interactive Founder and President. "Those that want to go the extra step and also monitor the various social media channels, including Facebook, Twitter, Google+, YouTube and blogs can benefit by partnering with CoMMingle. This group is designed to assist hotels with social media engagement via strategic planning, growing and managing social media channels, word-of-mouth marketing and experiential marketing, reputation and consumer sentiment monitoring, and social search engine optimization."

The challenge for hoteliers is not just being visible via the various social channels, but being interactive and engaging, constantly monitoring content and keeping the conversations going, Vallauri said.

"If a hotel does not have a dedicated staff member serving as its social media watch dog, it's easy for the plan to fall apart," he said. "That's where CoMMingle comes in. We become the eyes and ears of the hotel, monitoring conversations and posting instant replies if desired. So the next time your hotel gets a Tweet from a disgruntled guest like Mr. Lin, management will have a team in place to Tweet a reply and turn the negative situation into a positive one. Easier yet, by adding the Lodging Interactive Guest Review System to the hotel website, management can monitor reviews and respond to complements or concerns in a format that they are more comfortable with."

FREE OFFER!
Lodging Interactive is offering a free trial of its Guest Review System. There is no contract to sign and hotels can cancel anytime. For more information, visit http://www.guestreviewsystem.com. The offer is being made available now through June 28 at the conclusion of the Hospitality Industry Technology Exposition & Conference (HITEC).

Technology + People = Reputation Management

Is your hotel using its reputation management software to its fullest potential? Are you responding to guest reviews in a timely manner? Are the reports you are generating being analyzed to correct issues in operations or guest services? For the majority of hotels, the answer likely is "no." Adopting social media technologies that monitor a hotel's or brand's online reputation is critical today to better connect with travelers. But unless those tools are being maximized, reputations and business practices can still suffer.

CoMMingle by Lodging Interactive has teamed up with leading hospitality reputation-management companies to supplement their technology applications whereby CoMMingle will provide the human resources necessary to answer guest reviews and manage guest responses on behalf of the hotel.

Consider this data provided by ReviewPro:

• A negative review or comment on the Twitter, Facebook or You Tube Web sites can lose companies as many as 30 customers (Convergys Corp)
• 92% of Internet users read product reviews and 89% of people say that reviews influence their purchasing decision. (e-tailing group)
• 85% of executives use social media during a purchase decision (Forrester research)
• TripAdvisor reviews are viewed three times more often on partner websites than on TripAdvisor.com (Tnooz)
• 69% of online shoppers said they trusted the Internet for advice, vs. 43% for magazines and 35% for TV (Yahoo)

"With guest review management becoming critical to the success or failure of a hotel's social media program — and its online marketing campaign overall — hotels would be remiss not to dedicate a full time team to social media monitoring," said DJ Vallauri, Lodging Interactive Founder and President. "But let's face it, unless you are a mega brand or luxury resort, finding the financial or human resources to monitor social channels to their full potential and creating effective responses to guest reviews in a timely fashion, is increasingly difficult. That's where CoMMingle comes in.

"We have spent the last few years building relationships with guest-review companies so that we can complement their technology with 'our people,'" Vallauri said. "Hotels that are using systems such as Revinate, for example, can outsource social media monitoring and guest review responses to us. Our teams log in as the hotel, and reply to guest reviews accordingly, always keeping the hotel apprised of comments and alerting it to concerns. It doesn't matter what type of guest-review technology platform a hotel is using; CoMMingle can work within the tools to maximize the messaging and deliver more consistent responses. Hotel General Managers especially appreciate this service, since it saves them considerable time in personally responding to reviews."

Lodging Interactive is an award winning interactive agency exclusively servicing the hospitality industry. CoMMingle by Lodging Interactive is an outsourced social media marketing agency that develops customized solutions for hotels, restaurants and spas. The company works with its customers to grow and better manage their use of social media channels, provide reputation and consumer sentiment monitoring, and social search engine optimization. CoMMingle is designed to assist hotels in engaging online with social media strategic planning, growing and managing social media channels, word-of-mouth marketing and experiential marketing, reputation and consumer sentiment monitoring, and social search engine optimization.

Technology + People = Success
Revinate is a software platform designed exclusively for the hospitality industry that makes it easy for hotels to take control of their online reputation by using online reviews and social media to learn from and connect with travelers. CoMMingle works side-by-side with Revinate customers to provide staff to respond to the reviews.

"As a software company, we provide software, extensive training and best practices, but look to partners for managed services," said Marc Heyneker, Revinate Co-Founder and VP of Sales. "Having partners such as Lodging Interactive’s CoMMingle division handling the social media at hotels makes it a very robust solution for online reputation management — as well as using data to drive operational changes and engage with clients. Revinate provides the technology backbone, while CoMMingle serves as the eyes, ears and mouthpiece of the hotel, monitoring conversations and posting instant replies if desired."

CoMMingle has been providing social media assistance to hundreds of hotels since 2009. The company works closely with each property to understand its goals and objectives, then crafts a strategic plan, backed by proprietary technologies and experienced social media marketers.

"Hoteliers need to understand that just because they purchase reputation management software, it can only do so much to improve communication between the property and its guests," Vallauri said. "While hotels receive a dashboard of information as to how the property and its service is perceived by travelers, it also needs to interpret that data and respond to reviews to manage their ongoing relationships with guests. That alone can get overwhelming. CoMMingle, however, is able to help."