Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Chastan, CMP

John Chastan, CMP

General Manager, Kalahari Resorts

John Chastan grew up surrounded by the hospitality business in a family that owned an independent restaurant. He followed this profession into college studying Hotel and Restaurant Management at the University of Wisconsin Stout. For six years in the 1990's Mr. Chastan held both operational and sales positions with Residence Inn by Marriott in several locations around the country. For several years he gained experience at convention properties with Hilton Hotels. Following this Mr. Chastan represented Monona Terrace Convention Center and Alliant Energy Center for the Greater Madison Wisconsin Convention and Visitors Bureau. He joined the Kalahari Resort, Wisconsin Dells in 2003 and has held the positions of Director of Sales and General Manager. Mr. Chastan is a past board member and Vice President of Finance for Meeting Professional International - Wisconsin chapter. Currently he is the Chairman-Elect of the Wisconsin Hotel and Lodging Association. He has also participated in the original creation of a two-year associate's degree program in meeting and event planning at Madison Area Technical College.

Mr. Chastan, CMP can be contacted at 608-254-3314 or wigroups@kalahariresorts.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.