Editorial Board   Guest Author

Ms. Verrill

Ashley Verrill

Market Analyst, Software Advice

Ashley Verrill is a Market Analyst at Software Advice, a website dedicated to providing detailed reviews, comparisons and research to help organizations choose the right software. As an analyst on the marketing team, she publishes researches, blogs and reviews on new and emerging software. She focuses primarily on CRM, contact management software, customer service software, help desk software, social media applications, business telephony and hotel management software. She regularly interviews top thought leaders in the space, including R “Ray” Wang, Denis Pombriant, Brent Leary, Esteban Kolsky, Brian Vellmure and Paul Greenberg. Additionally, Ms. Verrill serves as the Managing Editor for the Customer Service Investigator, a blog dedicated to research and reports on customer support and customer experience strategy. There, she manages a network of guest contributors, along with posting her own material. Ms. Verrill is also a regular contributor to CIO.com and GigaOM, including a recent feature on the future of social customer service technology. Her work has been cited in myriad top-tier publications including Forbes, The New York Times, Yahoo! News, Business Insider and Inc. She has been participated in several notable speaking engagements, including a presentation at Hewlett Packard’s 2013 Social Support Summit in Orlando, Fla. Previous to her current position, Ms. Verrill worked for five years as a Web Editor and Reporter for the Upstart Business Journal, the Austin Business Journal and the North Bay Business Journal. Her beats at that time included entrepreneurship, healthcare, hospitality, insurance, employment and nonprofit. She also spent time in sales management and advertising with an Austin-based startup. Ms. Verrill graduated from the University of Texas with a bachelor's degree in journalism.

Ms. Verrill can be contacted at 512-582-2314 or ashleyverrill@softwareadvice.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.