Editorial Board   

Mr. Carr

Bob Carr

Chairman & CEO, Heartland Payment Systems

Bob Carr founded Heartland Payment Systems, the nation's fifth largest payments processor in 1997. Under his guidance, Heartland has been named a FORTUNE 1000 company; climbed the rankings from #62 to #5 in the nation and #9 in the world; from 25 to 3,400 employees; from 2,500 to 250,000 business locations and from a portfolio of $0.4 billion in bankcard volume to more than $80 billion. Heartland is the official preferred provider of card processing, gift marketing, check management, payroll and tip management services for the American Hotel & Lodging Association and 38 state lodging associations. Mr. Carr spearheaded The Merchant Bill of Rights (www.merchantbillofrights.org) - a revolutionary public advocacy initiative to promote fair card processing practices on behalf of all business owners. He has been a driving force in the enhancement of payment card security and at the helm of the development of “E3™, (www.E3secure.com) Heartland's end-to-end encryption technology that is designed to protect cardholder data at rest and in motion throughout the lifecycle of card transactions. Mr. Carr received his Master of Science degree in computer science and his Bachelor of Science degree in mathematics from the University of Illinois (Champaign-Urbana), as well as an honorary PhD from Lewis University.

Mr. Carr can be contacted at Bob.Carr@e-hps.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.