Editorial Board   Guest Author

Ms. Poling

Monica Poling

Online Editor, TravelAge West

Monica Poling is the online editor at TravelAge West, a leading B2B travel trade publication distributed to retail travel agents throughout the Western United States. She is also edits TravelGlitter.com, a website promoting the importance of community, culture and sustainability in travel. Additionally she provides marketing and social media advice at MonicaPoling.com. Ms. Poling has worked in the hospitality industry for more than 20 years, and in addition to her writing portfolio, she consults for tourism boards, hotels and tour operators on such issues as online promotions and social engagement. Ms. Poling's recent speaking engagements have included the Los Angeles Travel & Adventure Show, the Home Based Travel Agent Forum, the Outside Sales Support Network (OSSN), and the Travel & Tourism Marketing Association (TTMA). Her work at TravelAge West magazine has won numerous awards, including “Top 25 Feature Articles of the Year” by the Trade, Associations and Business Publications International organization and a Bronze Award from the American Society of Business Publication Editors. She has also been published in Bespoke magazine (St. Regis Hotels), Montage magazine, and Preferred Lifestyles. Ms. Poling received her undergraduate degree in Mathematics from the University of California at Riverside, while also pursuing a minor in English.

Ms. Poling can be contacted at 323-466-7019 or editor@travelglitter.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.