The Battle for Social Dominance

By Janet Gerhard Partner & CXO, Inquizo | January 17, 2016

Over the last several years, we've all been witness to or participated in the awkward transition of building a social business. Most brands participate in all the major social sites: It's comparative to how the average traveler has memberships in multiple hotel loyalty programs. Some brands seem to favor one channel over others and their approaches differ slightly, e.g., more visual images versus more promotional. It's difficult for any brand to claim excellence in a landscape that is constantly shifting.

Who is More Effective on the Social Battlefield?

According to Seventh Art Media, five years ago the most valuable hotel Twitter account was @Cosmopolitan_lv with 9.3k followers. Today, this single operation sits at 423k followers with a mere 1.7k likes. I've updated the top 20 list with January 2016 comparisons but are the numbers any more meaningful?

Evaluating Seventh Art Media's Top 20 Hotel Twitter Accounts by Valuation from the Tnooz piece published on February 24, 2011 against today's numbers provides a glimpse into just how much the landscape has changed.

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In 2011, the Twitter account for Hilton used was @HiltonOnline. Today, it has 339 followers as it was phased out to @HiltonHotels. The original @StanDarde has been replaced with @StandardHotels. @TheAceHotel swapped out to @AceHotel and the @sofitelMiami is now the @PullmanMiami.

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Coming up in June 2019...

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.