How Many Stars are Too Many?

By Rob Rush CEO, LRA Worldwide | August 07, 2010

Do you remember the arguments you had when you were six years old about anything involving numbers? It could have been about a batting average, who could count the highest or who was going to collect the most Halloween candy - it didn't really matter. The one-upsmanship would volley back and forth until someone dropped the ultimate argument-stopper:

Little Rob Rush: "I can count to a million!

Little Friend: "Well, I can count to a billion!"

Little Rob Rush: "Oh yeah...well I can count to INFINITY!"

Once the I-Bomb had been dropped, there was little the recipient could do, other than stammer and sputter something about "Infinity plus one"...which was very lame, as everyone knows that infinity is the highest.

Which leads me to wonder...are we headed in this direction in the hospitality industry? With the proliferation of self-proclaimed six- and seven-star resort properties, are we hurtling forward in the race to infinity? Will Steve Wynn's grandson step onto a construction site in Dubai in 2032 and proclaim it the world's first Infinity Star property, leaving the fuming grand-niece of Donald Trump to lamely announce her property in Macau is Infinity...plus one?

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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.