Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Jost

Benjamin Jost

Co-Founder & CEO, TrustYou

Benjamin Jost is co-founder and chief executive officer of TrustYou. Since 2008, TrustYou has set the standard for reputation management with solutions for hospitality-industry businesses to analyze online reviews, tweets and posts across the social web, to gather trusted reviews directly from its customers, and to use the authentic conversations to successfully market online reputations. TrustYou monitors over 400,000 hotels, providing an extensive base for competitive analysis, capturing sentiment and opinions from millions of comments in one easy-to-view place from sources like TripAdvisor, Facebook, Google+, Twitter, Yelp and more across 23 different languages. Mr. Jost is an expert on social semantic search and is leading the big data revolution in hospitality. As CEO he has been instrumental in the company's growth from two to 70 people with more than 13,000 customers in 60 countries. TrustYou's clients include individual hotels, independent boutique chains, destinations and major global brands such as Accor, Marriott, Starwood, Hard Rock Cafes and Best Western Hotels. Started in Munich, Germany, TrustYou is now a global company with USA headquarters in Dallas, Texas and offices and sales representation in U.K., the Netherlands, France, Central Europe, Asia and Australia. Mr. Jost is extremely hands-on with TrustYou's international team hailing from 23 countries and speaking more than 20 different languages. He oversees product development, as well as all PR and marketing for TrustYou. Mr. Jost personally interviews all engineers for the research & development team and less than five percent make the final cut. Mr. Jost has was a driving force in the acquisition of USA-based ReviewAnalyst in 2011 and the company's partnerships, spanning an impressive variety of organizations; from tech companies like Google, Trust and Micros, to destination-specific alignment with Germany and Switzerland to develop the countries' official star-rating systems for hotels. Prior to TrustYou, Mr. Jost spearheaded the Southern European M&A team for one of the world's leading renewable energy providers and oversaw hundreds of investment cases covering a profusion of renewable technologies. He started his career in venture capital at Siemens Venture Capital and Xange Capital. During his studies he conducted extensive research into the security aspects of mobile applications systems and organic RFID. Mr. Jost holds a MsC in engineering from the University of Technology in Munich and conducted research at the ENST Paris and the University of Washington Business School, Seattle.

Mr. Jost can be contacted at 011 49 89548 02925 or benjamin.jost@trustyou.com

Coming up in February 2019...

Social Media: Getting Personal

There Social media platforms have revolutionized the hotel industry. Popular sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Snapchat, YouTube and Tumblr now account for 2.3 billion active users, and this phenomenon has forever transformed how businesses interact with consumers. Given that social media allows for two-way communication between businesses and consumers, the emphasis of any marketing strategy must be to positively and personally engage the customer, and there are innumerable ways to accomplish that goal. One popular strategy is to encourage hotel guests to create their own personal content - typically videos and photos -which can be shared via their personal social media networks, reaching a sizeable audience. In addition, geo-locational tags and brand hashtags can be embedded in such posts which allow them to be found via metadata searches, substantially enlarging their scope. Influencer marketing is another prevalent social media strategy. Some hotels are paying popular social media stars and bloggers to endorse their brand on social media platforms. These kinds of endorsements generally elicit a strong response because the influencers are perceived as being trustworthy by their followers, and because an influencer's followers are likely to share similar psychographic and demographic traits. Travel review sites have also become vitally important in reputation management. Travelers consistently use social media to express pleasure or frustration about their guest experiences, so it is essential that every review be attended to personally. Assuming the responsibility to address and correct customer service concerns quickly is a way to mitigate complaints and to build brand loyalty. Plus, whether reviews are favorable or unfavorable, they are a vital source of information to managers about a hotel's operational performance.  The February Hotel Business Review will document what some hotels are doing to effectively incorporate social media strategies into their businesses.