Social Media: A Brave New World

By Michael McKean CEO, The Knowland Group | August 21, 2011

The idea of making money with social media is like an abstract dream. Everybody talks about it but nobody is doing anything about it. Applications such as Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn are low cost ways of reaching people and clients. No matter where someone is they can be reached with social media. A sales team that is integrated with social media has a huge advantage over teams that rely on outdated forms of media to communicate and build relationships.

With social media there are plenty of ways for hotels to connect with meeting planners. Let's log on and get started...

Making money with Social Media

By correctly using social media your hotel can make money. Social media is not just a wave that will eventually die out. Instead it will just keep evolving into something better, just like when laptops first hit the scene. When laptops were first available they could really only be used to type up documents. Otherwise they were large and inconvenient. That is, until someone discovered that the laptops could be connected to form a network. This eventually evolved into the Internet. The future of sales is tied to the world of social media.

Start making connections with Facebook

Facebook has more than 500 million active users with 250 million accessing their Facebook account from a mobile device on a daily basis. From these numbers alone it is obvious that by actively using Facebook, a hotel can reach a lot of people. Never miss an opportunity to engage! Your hotel sales team will be able to monitor brand hotel's mentions, industry key words, competitor names and more with Facebook.

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Sales & Marketing: Selling Experiences

There are innumerable strategies that Hotel Sales and Marketing Directors employ to find, engage and entice guests to their property, and those strategies are constantly evolving. A breakthrough technology, pioneering platform, or even a simple algorithm update can cause new trends to emerge and upend the best laid plans. Sales and marketing departments must remain agile so they can adapt to the ever changing digital landscape. As an example, the popularity of virtual reality is on the rise, as 360 interactive technologies become more mainstream. Chatbots and artificial intelligence are also poised to become the next big things, as they take guest personalization to a whole new level. But one sales and marketing trend that is currently resulting in major benefits for hotels is experiential marketing - the effort to deliver an experience to potential guests. Mainly this is accomplished through the creative use of video and images, and by utilizing what has become known as User Generated Content. By sharing actual personal content (videos and pictures) from satisfied guests who have experienced the delights of a property, prospective guests can more easily imagine themselves having the same experience. Similarly, Hotel Generated Content is equally important. Hotels are more than beds and effective video presentations can tell a compelling story - a story about what makes the hotel appealing and unique. A video walk-through of rooms is essential, as are video tours in different areas of a hotel. The goal is to highlight what makes the property exceptional, but also to show real people having real fun - an experience that prospective guests can have too. The June Hotel Business Review will report on some of these issues and strategies, and examine how some sales and marketing professionals are integrating them into their operations.