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Lodging Interactive Expands Reach to Australia

Regardless where in the world you own or operate a hotel, the challenge of maintaining control over the guest experience and the property or brand reputation is universal. That's why Lodging Interactive is taking its in-demand Guest Review System to Australia and New Zealand. Through a distribution partnership agreement with Australian-based Technology 4 Hotels, travelers visiting the Oceania region will be able to post their comments and reviews about hotel stays directly on each properties' website, removing Online Travel Agents (OTAs) completely from the equation.

"You can't be online today without reading something about the success hotels around the world are having with Lodging Interactive's Guest Review System," said Technology 4 Hotels Founder and Director Brendon Granger. "This product can easily be utilized in the Australian and New Zealand markets to solve a really big challenge — getting out from under the thumb of the OTAs and companies like TripAdvisor as reputation managers. Back in the late '90s, while everyone was sleeping, OTAs took a tremendous amount of business away from hotels; and TripAdvisor has the potential today to do the same. It's time the industry wakes up and takes back control of their business and their online reputations. Utilizing a tool that enables guests to post reviews directly on the hotel's website is a great first step in regaining that control. Add in the ability for managers to be alerted to comments and instantly respond, and hoteliers are back in the drivers' seat. We at Technology 4 Hotels believes that no company does this better than Lodging Interactive, and we are proud to take their GRS to market."

With customers such as Accor, Hilton, Hyatt, Intercontinental Hotels Group, Langham Hotels International, Pan Pacific Hotels Group, Quest Serviced Apartments, Rydges Hotels & Resorts, Starwood Hotels & Resorts, Stamford Hotels and Resorts, Toga Hospitality and others, Granger said he believes adoption of the Lodging Interactive GRS will spread quickly.

"Hoteliers of the right mindset and who understand the importance of social media will quickly see the benefits of the Lodging Interactive GRS as a way to polish their online images, and use vehicles such as Facebook and Twitter to not only post reviews on their pages, but to quickly see those reviews shared among their network of friends," Granger said. "And because the GRS validates that each review is being posted by a legitimate guest and not an imposter, hoteliers can rest assured that reviews posted on these channels are valid."

Since 2001, Lodging Interactive has provided hotels, resorts, spas and restaurants in more than 35 countries with proven ROI-driven online services, including: website design and development, search engine marketing, social media marketing, and online reputation management. Today, the company has become the hospitality industry's leading provider of interactive Internet marketing services.

"We are delighted that Technology 4 Hotels has joined our distribution network," said D.J. Vallauri, Lodging Interactive Founder and President. "This hotel-based guest review system ensures there are no delays in communication, and the appropriate staff can immediately fix any pending problems before the guest leaves the property or has the opportunity to post negative reviews on third-party websites. It's a tool that hoteliers around the world have come to depend on, and we look forward to adding new properties and new brands across Oceania to our portfolio of satisfied customers."

Hotels need to stop losing business and sending potential guests to third-party review sites. Click here for a You Tube video that shows how to keep guests where they belong — writing reviews on the hotel's own 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, CoMMingle Adds Google+ Service to Enhance Hotels’ Social Media Strategies

The social media universe no longer rests solely with Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube. Today Google+ is quickly becoming an important Internet marketing player. Lodging Interactive, a social media marketing agency exclusively servicing the hospitality industry, and its subsidiary CoMMingle, a social media consultancy, is now offering a turnkey service for creating and professionally managing Google+ Business Pages.

According to Ancestry.com and FamilyLink.com Founder Paul Allen in his Google+ blog, the Google+ network will hit 400 million users by the end of 2012. Facebook currently has more than 800 million users. Google+ is adding 625,000 new users per day or 20 million per month on average.

"Social networking continues to be the least expensive way for hotels to market their brand, engage guests and build loyalty," said D.J. Vallauri, Lodging Interactive and CoMMingle Founder and President. "Taking advantage of all social media channels is critical. Today, only a few hotel companies have expanded their inner circles outside of Facebook to include Google+. Failure to do so can be detrimental in the long term."

Google+ Business Pages are socially enabled and allow members (hotels) to organize people (guests) into social groups referred to as "Circles." Then, hoteliers engage with their own circles of potential guests and build larger circles through social networking and marketing.

"We understand how difficult it can be to keep up with this rapidly accelerating social media scene," Vallauri said. "As such, we are offering to leverage all the opportunities available from Google+ to engage with guests on a hotel's behalf so the likelihood of their content will be picked up on travel related searches."

Vallauri explained that Google considers Google+ 1's ("likes") as social signals within its Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs). As the Google+ network continues to grow, the weight applied to +1's will receive more consideration, and the hotels with the most +1's will reinforce their search engine rankings.

Here's how it works:
Lodging Interactive will create a Google+ Business Page on behalf of its customers. Then, CoMMingle takes over. CoMMingle's fully managed social media marketing service ensures that each hotel is properly positioned on Google+ where potential and past guests "commingle" to discuss their destination, including the hotel. As an extension of a hotel's marketing department, CoMMingle takes a pro-active role in managing each hotel's online presence and communications to not only Google+, but to all social media networking communities.

"Lodging Interactive and CoMMingle work side by side to ensure maximum social media exposure for our customers," Vallauri said. "Think of us as a dating service. Lodging Interactive makes each hotel look good and lets travelers know that they are 'available.' Then it's CoMMingle's job to keep the conversation flowing and continually fill the date card. The more content created by Lodging Interactive and CoMMingle, the wider a hotel's social media circles expand. The end result is better exposure on Google and a much stronger overall social media strategy."

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  

Facebook Leaps Ahead of Yahoo in Video Referrals

"Facebook’s rivalry with Google seemed to attract the most headlines in 2010, especially when the social network stole the crown of site users were spending the most time on. But Facebook has also trounced Yahoo a great deal this year — first in display impressions and now in video referrals."

Read more by Gavin Dunaway at www.adotas.com