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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.

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 Removes Mashable, Sesame Street & Other Prominent Accounts From Google Plus

"Some of the biggest company/brand accounts on Google+ have now — finally, some might say — been removed.

The Google Plus pages for Mashable, Ford and Sesame Street are all gone. Our own Search Engine Land page has also been removed. Mashable was, according to SocialStatistics.com, the No. 4 most popular account on Google+ with more than 103,000 followers.

All of those accounts have been replaced by a 404 error message. (Update: see postscript at the end of this article.)

Google has been removing business/brand accounts for more than a week now, but some users were unhappy with the random nature of the process. Some accounts were zapped early on while others seemed to get special treatment, or at least were ignored, and continued to increase their following."

Read the full article at searchengineland.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

The Continued Rise of Blogging – More than half of web users will read blogs this year

"Social
networks and microblogs have in recent years nudged blogging off the
social media pedestal. For some consumers, who have more communication
tools at their fingertips than they did a few years ago, Facebook and
Twitter have supplanted blogging as life-streaming outlets.

But blogs continue to be important. eMarketer estimates that this
year more than half of internet users will read blogs at least monthly.
By 2014, readership will rise to more than 150 million Americans, or
60% of the internet population in the US. One reason for the rise in
readership is that blogs have become an accepted part of the online
media landscape." 


Read more on www.emarketer.com

Google’s Chief on Social, Mobile and Conflict

"Lately, stories about Google often seem to be stories about conflict — Google knocking heads with China or the Justice Department or Facebook.

For Eric E. Schmidt, Google’s chief executive, that is a good sign.
“This is winning,” he said this week, speaking to a group of reporters
at Google’s Zeitgeist conference in Arizona. “If we were losing, we
would not have these problems.”

Mr. Schmidt gave a few updates on those conflicts and rivalries, as
well as some others. Expect to see social tools from Google this fall,
he said, but do not expect a brand new social network. Instead, Google
will add social components to its core products."

Read more by Claire Cain Miller at http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com