Where is Social Location Marketing Headed?

By Ann Manion President, Hotel Advantage | April 22, 2012

Social Location Marketing is when a business uses location-sharing apps as a marketing channel. With the steady rise of U.S. smartphone use, more hotel guests are downloading geo-social apps so they can share their location, connect directly with brands, and search for real time rewards.

Check-Ins Create a Powerful Brand Impression

When socially minded consumers share their location they are in effect creating a powerful impression for a brand. Their message announces, "Look where I am right now" and suggests that those in their network should be there too.

By using a social location app to announce their presence, they are recommending your property to their trusted network. And, when they leave tips on your page, they're contributing to user-generated content for your hotel.

Depending on a person's scope of social influence, often classified as Klout, a consumer can cast potentially thousands of brand impressions in a single message. By connecting their foursquare account with their Twitter or Facebook accounts, consumers turn an online message into an advertising campaign with exponential results for the brand.

The Social Location Apps Landscape

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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.