Editorial Board   Guest Author

Ms. Smith

Stephanie Smith

Founder & CEO, Cogwheel Marketing

Stephanie Sparks Smith, the founder and digital matriarch of Cogwheel Marketing and partner at Cayuga Hospitality Consultants is a hotelier first, marketer second. She went from operations at Hyatt Hotels to agency life to client side as VP of eCommerce and Techology at a large hotel management company of over 100 hotels.

Ms. Smith has served as a board member for both IHG and Marriott brands. Because she has worked for and with dozens of hotel digital marketing agencies, she knows that each client is unique and provides only strategic account management and comprehensive online marketing advice. Her passion is seeing her clients' business success by providing proactive online marketing strategies with a focus on cost effective results. Strategic account management and comprehensive online marketing advice, not silo marketing, is also her focus.

Ms. Smith specializes in hotel openings, with over 40 under her belt. Since starting Cogwheel Marketing, Ms. Smith uses her hospitality and marketing experiences to help hotels drive incremental exposure and revenue to their websites and online channels through digital marketing advertising. The expertise of her agency is openings and conversions along with knowing the intricacies of the brand systems of Marriott/Starwood, Hilton, and IHG.

In her spare time, Ms. Smith serves as a volunteer and uses her marketing skills to plan events for her alumni association and fundraise for non-profit groups. She loves continuing to learn about new digital marketing strategies and digital technologies. She also loves sharing what she has learned through blogging, teaching, and being a podcast guest.

Please visit https://www.cogwheelmarketing.com/ for more information.

Linkedin Profile: https://www.linkedin.com/in/stephanie-smith-a421a133/

Ms. Smith can be contacted at +1 540-239-1052 or stephanie@cogwheelmarketing.com

Coming up in February 2020...

Social Media: Social Listening Tools

The reach and influence of social media is staggering. Nearly 3 billion people use social media daily, posting a range of messages, selfies, images, and everything in-between. According to HubSpot, almost 4 million posts are uploaded to the major social networks every single minute! That's an astounding amount of content and it is crucial for hotels to skillfully use social media in order to effectively compete. From establishing a suitable brand identity and voice to creating content across all the major networks (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, etc.), the goal is to actively engage consumers and to eventually convert them to customers. Some hotels are initiating online contests as a way to attract new customers, while others are rewarding customers with discounts who subscribe to the their email lists or follow their social media pages. Another recent strategy is to employ social media listening tools that track what people are posting online about their businesses. These tools allow hotels to monitor - or listen to - what's being said about a brand across the entire social web, and this can prove to be very valuable, unfiltered information. Social listening permits hotels to be aware of people's opinions about their business, industry or competitors, and some of these tools even listen beyond social media platforms. They also monitor publicly available information on blogs, forums, news outlets and websites. Some listening tools are more focused on gathering and analyzing data, while others offer more engagement-oriented features, which allow hotels to interact with people right from the platform. Often the information that is gleaned from these listening tools ends up being the most authentic, unbiased insights a business can get. The February Hotel Business Review will document what some hotels are doing to successfully integrate social media strategies into their operations.