Editorial Board   Guest Author

Ms. Garretson

Cara Garretson

Media Supervisor, McKee Wallwork & Company

Cara Garretson is a Media Supervisor with McKee Wallwork & Company, a strategic integrated marketing firm. Ms. Garretson has approximately a decade of marketing experience and has been with McKee Wallwork & Company since 2006. She is responsible for the development and management of strategic media plans. Specializing in channel planning, her expertise covers everything from traditional to digital media channels. Ms. Garretson's travel and tourism experience ranges from resort advertising to state and city level marketing efforts, and has focused on both leisure and convention strategies. Having dedicated much of her career to the travel and tourism industry, Ms. Garretson has enjoyed staying on the cutting edge of emerging media technologies and opportunities in the space. With a taste for all things digital, she loves finding new and interesting ways to target in both the desktop and mobile spaces. While the ever-changing digital landscape brings innovative ways to communicate to prospective travelers, it also brings challenges and complications to marketing that didn't exist just a decade ago. Naturally data driven, Ms. Garretson focuses on the constant analysis and optimization of her campaigns to ensure her clients' messages are reaching their target markets and driving conversions. Ms. Garretson's work has been recognized nationally, receiving Media Magazine's Creative Media Award in the Outdoor or Place-Based Media category. A native to New Mexico, Ms. Garretson enjoys life in the beautiful foothills of Albuquerque's Sandia Mountains with her husband and Australian Shepherd.

Ms. Garretson can be contacted at 505-314-7745 or crogers@mwcmail.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.