Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. MacKenzie

Josiah MacKenzie

Vice President , ReviewPro

Josiah MacKenzie is the founding owner and marketing brain of the Gradigio Group, a San Francisco-based collection of media properties catering to discerning tastemakers in the hospitality industry around the globe. He also holds various roles in other ventures, with business interests in North America, Europe, Southeast Asia and Australia. Mr. Mackenzie has published over 100 articles in industry publications, and has appeared in the Washington Post, MSNBC.com, and Entrepreneur magazine. His Hotel Marketing Strategies blog currently has over 15,000 monthly readers. Mr. Mackenzie's formal education took place at Cedarville University and the Dublin Business School, but his real education has come from working closely with thousands of clients and partners around the world for the past 12 years. "I love taking theory and putting it into real-world environments to see how it holds up."

Mr. MacKenzie can be contacted at 415-671-9629 or josiah@reviewpro.com

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.