Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Burton

Brent Burton

President & Founder, Burton Energy Group

A 20-year energy industry veteran, Brent Burton founded Burton Energy Group in 2001 to assist commercial businesses with their energy and water conservation needs. He started the company with a three month contract, working as the energy consultant for a large hospitality REIT. That initial contract led to subsequent opportunities with other hotel ownership and management companies responsible for portfolios in geographically diverse markets, and eventually an expansion into the retail, banking, healthcare and restaurant verticals. Mr. Burton has led the company to continuous profitability with no debt since its inception. Before forming Burton Energy Group, Mr. Burton worked as Vice President of Marketing at Retx Energy Services, an energy information application service provider specializing in distributed generation solutions. Previously, he spent three years as a Director at Enron Energy Services, and seven years as a Market Research Analyst and Project Manager at Entergy Corporation Mr. Burton obtained his MBA from Mississippi State University with a concentration in Marketing, and BS degrees in Economics and Geology.

Mr. Burton can be contacted at 678-829-4018 or bburton@burtonenergygroup.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.