Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Jacobs

Craig Jacobs

Senior VP Group Sales, Preferred Hotel Group

With more than 30 years experience in hospitality sales and marketing, Senior Vice President of Group Sales Craig Jacobs leads Preferred Hotel Group’s worldwide group sales efforts, overseeing a team of more than 20 sales executives. Since joining Preferred in 2004, Mr. Jacobs has achieved dramatic growth of group sales production for member hotels across the company’s five brands, which includes an all-time record in future contracted room revenues for hotels in February 2013, and played a critical role in the creation and implementation of PHGMeetings.com, a comprehensive online RFP management system.

Mr. Jacobs can be contacted at 949-719-3340 or cjacobs@preferredhotelgroup.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.