Editorial Board   Guest Author

Ms. Johnson

Leslie Johnson

Director of Sales & Marketing, Grand Geneva Resort & Spa

Leslie Johnson is director of sales & marketing of Grand Geneva Resort in Lake Geneva, Wis. Managed by Marcus Hotels & Resorts, a division of The Marcus Corporation (NYSE: MCS). Ms. Johnson joined Marcus Hotels & Resorts in 2008 as director of restaurant sales and promotions, where she oversaw the management teams and organizational systems for the company’s Milwaukee-area restaurants. Most recently, she served as general manager at Timber Ridge Lodge & Waterpark in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin. Prior to joining Marcus Hotels & Resorts, she spent 12 years in various positions within the hospitality industry focused on sales, catering and marketing. Marcus Hotels & Resorts provides expertise in management, development and historical renovations. The company’s portfolio includes a wide variety of properties including city-center meeting hotels, upscale resorts and branded first-class hotels.

Ms. Johnson can be contacted at 866-636-4502 or lesliejohnson@marcushotels.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.