Posts

#AskDJV – Episode 19: How to Get Twitter Followers in 5 Easy Steps

In this week’s episode of the #AskDJV Show, I’m talking about some of the best and most effective ways to grow your Twitter followers.

Want more #AskDJV? Visit our website to view all of the episodes we’ve posted.

You can also check back here each Friday for the latest episode.

Do you have a question for me?

Tweet me @DJVallauri using the hashtag #AskDJV, and your question could be featured on the show!

Thanks for watching!

#AskDJV – Episode 18: Is Your Hotel Using Meerkat Streaming Video to Increase Bookings?

On this week’s episode of the #AskDJV Show, I am talking about emerging technologies and Meerkat, a new application that will help humanize your hotel.

*Update: Emerging technologies change quickly! Between shooting the latest episode and sharing it with you Twitter cut off Meerkat‘s ability to access its social graph, but Meerkat released an update that added a number of new features including search functionality.*

Want more #AskDJV? Visit our website to view all of the episodes we’ve posted.

You can also check back here each Friday for the latest episode.

Do you have a question for me?

Tweet me @DJVallauri using the hashtag #AskDJV, and your question could be featured on the show!

Thanks for watching!

 

Why We Love These Twitter Engagement Tips (and You Should, Too!)

Hoteliers: Learn how to get more out of your social efforts with some of our top Twitter engagement tips.

Twitter Engagement Tips

With over 288 million active users, it is imperative that hotels know that they can’t take a backseat approach to this ever-growing social channel. It isn’t enough to simply have a Twitter account anymore. We are in an era of instantaneous and immediate. Twitter users are frequently taking to their computers, tablets and smart phones to share ideas, reviews and learn more about the businesses they deal with. In the hotel industry, the difference in your Twitter engagement strategy can be the difference in converting Tweeters into guests.

Not sure where to start? Try out our favorite Twitter engagement tips.

  • Feedback: Always reply to people tweeting to or about your hotel. Never leave a question unanswered or an issue unresolved. People love not only to be heard, but they value the connection with a real, live person at the other end.
  • Follow: Follow influential Twitter accounts and retweet their content. You don’t need to always recreate the wheel – but you can increase your brand awareness simply by following those who have something to say that pertains to the travel industry, your city, local attractions, and more. Simply retweeting content from influential users can increase your property’s visibility to a host of new Twitter users. Be sure to give credit back to your source.
  • Share: Use the right kind of content at the right time. Warm weather destination while the rest of the county is dealing with a cold snap? Use it to your benefit and tweet out a sunny image poolside at your hotel with some fun hashtags.
  • And Reshare: Have a successful tweet? Congratulations! Now go out there and reshare your own tweet! Tweets have a fairly short life expectancy – resharing what works for you can often reach a new audience of people that will enjoy your tweet as well.

Twitter can be a powerful social network for your hotel. Response to guests and future guests, as well as increasing your brand awareness through social engagement, can help create new fans of your property.

Want more on why engaging on Twitter is vital to your property’s success? Download our white paper.
Learn more about our 24/7 social customer care service, SocialVoices, on our website.

Lodging Interactive Offering FREE Social Media Analytics Reporting Tool

According to Social Media Examiner, the world's largest online social media magazine, marketers today are placing high value on social media, with 83 percent rating the network as being important for business. As hoteliers prepare for 2013, it's important to have a solid understanding on the value that social media is bringing to each property and/or brand, and how to measure its return on investment. CoMMingle by Lodging Interactive is offering a FREE social media reporting tool to hoteliers that delivers weekly analytics about a hotel's activity on the top social media networks, including: Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Google+ and blogs. This offer is made to the first 100 hotel marketers that sign up.

"The importance of building a social media presence is growing across all hotel segments," said DJ Vallauri, Lodging Interactive Founder and President. "Hotels that are active and visible on the social network will certainly have a competitive edge. But how does a hotelier know if his or her social marketing efforts are paying off? How many people are talking about the hotel or promotion on Facebook? What is your weekly total reach? Are fans engaged? Are they talking about your posts? Who are 'they'? Do you know who likes you . . . or dislikes you and how often daily? Do you know the country or city where your fans originate from?  The analytical questions are endless.”

"At Lodging Interactive, we understand how taxing social media tracking can be," Vallauri said. "According to the 2012 Social Media Marketing Industry Report, 59% of marketers are using social media for six hours or more each week, and 33% invest 11 or more hours weekly posting and monitoring mentions. However, only 30% of businesses are outsourcing some portion of their social media marketing. That means, many hoteliers are attempting to manage and analyze their social media programs on their own. To aide in their efforts, CoMMingle will provide a weekly analytical report to track performance. Hotel marketers simply need to sign up to start receiving these free reports. There is no log-in required to view the data. It's simple, it's no cost, and it brings all analytics together into one report delivered direct to the hotel." 

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 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.  
The social media reporting tool being provided by CoMMingle free of charge to hoteliers includes (but is not limited to):

Facebook Management:
• Weekly total reach and the number of people talking
• Total likes, Friends of Fans, People Talking About This During the Past Week, and Weekly Total Reach
• Page Post Report
• Fan Report by Country, City, Language, and Like Sources
• Who was Reached and How
• Who is talking about your page and How they are talking

 Twitter Management:
• Number of tweets
• Number of replies
• Number of retweets
• Number of Followers
• Number of those Following

YouTube:
• Number of video views
• Which video was viewed the most (if hotel has more than one video)

"There is valuable information for everyone through this free reporting tool," Vallauri said. "Social media novices will quickly see if their commitment is paying off (or not paying off). Those more experienced can use the data to develop more comprehensive plans across more channels. The bottom line is, social media is key to increasing online exposure, building traction, driving traffic, developing market intelligence, generating leads, maintaining loyalty, improving search rankings, growing business partnerships, reducing marketing expenses and boosting sales. Hoteliers who may be struggling with analyzing the effectiveness of their social media strategy to reach these goals can rely on CoMMingle to help in a variety of ways. This free report is a good first step."

To sign up for the FREE Social Media Analytical Reporting Tool, click here.

Lodging Interactive Becomes Best Western Preferred Vendor

As a Best Western Preferred Vendor, Lodging Interactive, an interactive and social media marketing agency exclusively servicing the hospitality industry, will introduce new pricing plans, financial service models, mobile website offerings and content management toolkits exclusive to members of THE WORLD’S BIGGEST HOTEL FAMILY® during the 2012 Best Western Supply Products Showcase, to be held October 11 to 13 at The Venetian in Las Vegas. 

"Maintaining an up-to-date website and monitoring the various social channels for visibility and engagement is critical to brand success today," said DJ Vallauri, Lodging Interactive Founder and President. "Industry reports show direct bookings via the hotel's proprietary website are on the rise, and unprecedented numbers of travelers are being drawn to new and established social media sites — from Facebook, Twitter and You Tube to Google+, Pinterest, Instagram and Wikipedia — to name just a few. Lodging Interactive not only has the team in place to design prized hotel websites for Best Western properties, but our proficiency in managing those sites, along with establishing brand presence on all social media marketing and engagement channels, is unsurpassed."

Through Lodging Interactive's preferred vendor status, Best Western members will receive fresh and enhanced website content, effective social media marketing campaigns, reputation and consumer sentiment monitoring, social search engine optimization, and assistance with online engagement of social media strategic planning via its social media marketing agency, CoMMingle. In addition, Best Western hotels will have the direct benefit of featuring Lodging Interactive's Guest Review System directly on their Websites, giving travelers a place to post comments and score their hotel experiences based on service attributes. In turn, hotel managers will receive real-time alerts advising when pending guest reviews pop up, eliminating delays in addressing concerns and turning potential problems into new opportunities.

Lodging Interactive is comprised of a team of more than 50 highly skilled web experts. Since 2001, the company has provided more than 650 hotels, resorts, spas and restaurants in over 35 countries with proven ROI-driven online marketing services. In May, Lodging Interactive was recognized by the Interactive Media Council Inc., winning three Interactive Media Awards™ for Outstanding Achievement in the Hotels/Resorts category for its website design services. This is the third consecutive year that the interactive and social media marketing agency exclusively servicing the hospitality industry has been recognized by the IMC for its aptitude in designing, developing, managing, supporting and promoting hotel websites. 

"We are honored to be part of Best Western's preferred vendor program and look forward to meeting with members in October," Vallauri said. "Our unique online marketing techniques, combined with our social media marketing services, wins online business for hotels and resorts. Whether Best Western members need to supplement their current Internet marketing programs or establish new social media engagement programs, Lodging Interactive and CoMMingle will deliver proven services that are measured by clear definitive results."

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."

How Good Is Your Hotel’s Social Media?

Does trying to manage your social media presence have you in a tail spin? Are you still unsure of the value that social media brings to your hotel's online marketing program? Would you like add social marketing expertise without adding overhead? If "yes," than it's time to CoMMingle. 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.

"Social media is more about psychology than marketing," said Rosella Virdo, Director of CoMMingle Social Media Marketing. "Those in charge of managing social media need to understand the mindset of each audience on each network. It's a job that requires the wearing of many hats. It's not just about selling a hotel experience or product. It's about engagement. Content is important. Social channels exist for communication. When guests — past and present — post on your 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."

In a recent article titled "Top 10 hospitality industry trends for 2012," Robert Rauch reported: "By 2016, half of the travel industry will be using social media as a way of generating revenue and bookings. Currently more than one-fifth (22 percent) use social media as a revenue generating tool with a further 27 percent planning to do so over the next five years. Plus, social media will become more of a key component of Search Engine Results Page (SERP) algorithms. Facebook's posts are already integrated into Bing search and Google+ emerged with native integration into Google search. Hotels can no longer afford to linger over adding social media to their marketing mix. It's now a necessary element of traffic-driving success."

Peter O'Connor, Professor of Information Systems at ESSEC Business School in France, recently said: "2012 will be the year when hotels wake up to the power of social media." In an article titled "Hotels Start Putting Their Own 'Social Media House' in Order," O'Connor wrote: "Since travelers enjoy talking about their experiences, discussing future plans and seeking the recommendations of others, social media sites such as blogs, social networks and review sites have become important information resources. Such sites provide consumers with easy access to a pool of high-quality, topical and most importantly, unbiased information, generated not by commercial interests but by other consumers, thus helping to reduce, if not totally eliminate, the aforementioned credibility issue. As a result, social media have had an almost immediate and dramatic effect on how travel is researched, planned and bought."

Engaging with Social Media
With social media becoming such an integral part of consumers' global travel habits, hotels are struggling with finding the internal resources to manage social networks and establish 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 — including Facebook, Twitter, Google+, YouTube and blogs — but being interactive, constantly monitoring content and keeping the conversations going," CoMMingle's Virdo said. "That's where the success or failure of a social media marketing program comes to play. 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. That's where CoMMingle comes in. We become the eyes and ears of the hotel, monitoring conversations and posting instant replies if desired."

Not only does CoMMingle become an extension of a hotel's Public Relations and Marketing teams, but the company also serves as a consultant to its customers, advising hotels how to deal with social media reviews and giving them tools to manage their social presence effectively. For instance, CoMMingle will nip a bad review in the bud by contacting the hotel and having the appropriate person address the situation — or CoMMingle can manage the conversation. A neglected Tweet can turn into negative Facebook post and eventually turn into a devastating TripAdvisor review.

"As a CoMMingle customer, hotels are not buying Facebook 'maintenance,' but rather they receive a vast array of services that can be adjusted hourly, daily, weekly or monthly," Virdo said. "We literally go with the social-media flow, identifying for the hotel where its strength lies. If a hotel is strong on Twitter, CoMMingle will suggest a campaign that addresses the Twitter audience; If the hotel's strength is on Facebook, then we will suggest posts that drive traffic back to the hotel's Website and/or blog and also continue the conversation on Facebook and Twitter."

According to travel market research firm PhocusWright, social networking is one of the most powerful forces driving travel planning today. The firm found that social media use among travelers is growing far faster than the travel industry itself. A survey conducted by travel social network WAYN for the World Travel & Tourism Council and carried out in conjunction with Frommer's Budget Travel magazine, asked nearly 3,580 people (780 U.S., 2,800 non-U.S.) a range of questions about how they plan, book and use technology with travel. The study revealed that 38% percent of U.S. travelers and 64% of non-U.S. travelers are using social networks while travelling. Of those, 32% of U.S. and 22% of non-U.S. travelers frequently blog about their experiences.

"Social media marketing must be part of every hotel's strategic marketing plan," said DJ Vallauri, Founder and President of Lodging Interactive. "But it's important to note that one size social media marketing does not fit all. CoMMingle takes the time to understand each hotel's overall goals and objectives, then the team crafts a social media strategic plan for that specific property, backed by proprietary technologies and experienced social media marketers. With experts predicting that social media will continue to grow by leaps and bounds through 2016 and beyond, there is no better time than the present to CoMMingle."