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 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.