Interactive Digital Signage Strategies

By Eric Henry President, Tightrope Media Systems | November 05, 2017

Hotel guests can have a lot of questions, and the front desk staffers who get quizzed all day, every day, dont always have the time or right information to be helpful.

Imagine how useful an interactive screen, along with a range of other on-premise screens, would be in boosting guest experiences. Also ponder how such screen can remove pressure and demands off those already busy customer-facing staff members.

Larger hotels may have dedicated concierge staff, but thousands of smaller properties dont have the foot traffic or staffing budget to put that level of guest services in place. That means hotel guests looking for advice on where to eat, where to shop, local transport, directions, running routes, and on and on all tend to ask the front desk.

A virtual concierge would handle all that an always-on, always-ready, hyper-informed know-it-all that can field and expertly answer a long list of questions on demand. Typical interactive concierge screens are loaded with information tied to all the questions that tend to come up including local dining, shopping and services options, as well maps and local tourism guides.

Mounted on a wall or free-standing on a lobby pedestal, these kiosks are showing up in more and more chain properties, and theyre just one of the ways digital display technology is improving the guest experience and bottom lines for hotel operators.

Filling a Void

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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.