Editorial Board   Guest Author

Ms. Van Leunen

Diane Van Leunen

Director of Digital Marketing, Flip.to

Diane Van Leunen is the Director of Digital Marketing at Flip.to, the advocacy marketing platform that helps hotels reach, inspire and convert entirely new global audiences of travelers every day. Ms. Van Leunen began her career as a designer in advertising and branding. Soon after, she was propelled into the world of hospitality. She took a position in art direction at Plan A PR and Marketing, a public relations firm specializing in the B2B hotel technology space. Following agency life, Ms. Van Leunen moved client-side, tackling hotel marketing with a creative role on the corporate team at The Kessler Collection—a boutique hotel group that provides curated experiences to discerning travelers. In Ms. Van Leunen's role at Flip.to she leads the development of communication and brand strategies for the growing platform. Her unique background gives her the right mix of skills to make an impact across the entire organization, collaborating on a daily basis with the creative, marketing, sales and account management teams to drive success. In all, Ms. Van Leunen has spent over 8 years gaining intimate knowledge in global travel technology while being introduced to many of the best and brightest minds in the industry. She’s as passionate about learning as in her beginnings as a designer, and is today immersed in thoughtful product design and marketing on a world-class team of innovators. Her work has been published in Print Magazine’s Regional Design Annual and she has earned numerous industry accolades while also being named the Employee of the Year in 2016 at Flip.to. True to her roots in travel, her free time is spent exploring new destinations worldwide alongside friends and her furry, four-legged companion. Please visit http://www.flip.to for more information.

Ms. Van Leunen can be contacted at 321-234-2086 or dvanleunen@flip.to

Coming up in February 2018...

Social Media: Engagement is Key

There are currently 2.3 billion active users of social media networks and savvy hotel operators have incorporated social media into their marketing mix. There are a few Goliath channels on which one must have a presence (Facebook & Twitter) but there are also several newer upstart channels (Instagram, Snapchat &WeChat, for example) that merit consideration. With its 1.86 billion users, Facebook is a dominant platform where operators can drive brand awareness, facilitate bookings, offer incentives and collect sought-after reviews. Twitter's 284 million users generate 500 million tweets per day, and operators can use its platform for lead generation, building loyalty, and guest interaction. Instagram was originally a small photo-sharing site but it has blown up into a massive photo and video channel. The site can be used to post photos of the hotel property, as well as creating Instagram Stories - personal videos that disappear from the channel after 24 hours. In this regard, Instagram and Snapchat are now in direct competition. WeChat is a Chinese company whose aim is to be the App for Everything - instant messaging, social media, shopping and payment services - all in a single platform. In addition to these channels, blogging continues to be a popular method to establish leadership, enhance reputations, and engage with customers in a direct and personal way. The key to effective use of all social media is to find out where your customers are and then, to the fullest extent possible, engage with them on a personal level. This engagement is what creates a personal connection and sustains brand loyalty. The February Hotel Business Review will explore these issues and examine how some hotels are successfully integrating social media into their operations.