Editorial Board   Guest Author

Ms. Derby

Elizabeth Derby

Vice President of Sales & Marketing, Hotel Equities

Elizabeth Derby serves as Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Hotel Equities, an Atlanta-based, full-scale hotel management, development and consulting firm. She sits as a member of the Hotel Equities Strategic Alliance Leadership Team, the executive committee that casts the company vision and orchestrates its growth. Ms. Derby holds responsibility for all revenue generation for the portfolio including hotel sales and marketing, revenue management and e-commerce. She assists the hotels with setting overall sales and marketing strategies to maximize revenues. Recently, she spearheaded the revitalization of the company logo, the firmís website and all marketing materials. She oversees the firmís public relations strategy and implementation, including media relations and the quarterly company newsletter. Ms. Derby joined Hotel Equities 15 years ago as Director of Sales & Marketing for the companyís portfolio that numbered only four hotels at the time. Today, the firm includes 25 sales directors serving more than 40 properties in five states from Virginia to Louisiana. With more than 29 years in the hotel business, Ms. Derby held sales positions at the The Mills House Hotel in Charleston, the Memphis Marriott, the Lowell Sheraton, and the Charlotte Marriott Executive Park before taking her present post. She began her career at the Kiawah Island Resort near Charleston, South Carolina. Ms. Derby holds a B.S. degree in Administrative Management from Clemson University.

Ms. Derby can be contacted at 678-578-4444 or ederby@hotelequities.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.