“Great…another lame social networking site. I don’t have time for this stuff! Heck, I hardly use my Facebook account…how do people manage to keep these things updated anyway?” exclaims a fellow hotelier. On some days and with certain social networking offshoots I’d be inclined to agree. However Twitter is truly something else.
Although it’s hard to take a count, there are at least 140 ‘popular’ social networking sites, varying in community focus, from business networks to friend feeds to photo enthusiast platforms. MySpace and Facebook lead the pack, with Compete.com ranking Twitter the 3rd largest, with a population of approximately 6 million users and 55 million visitors per month.
Continue reading “Social lessons from Twitter”
Very early on this month, a colleague (thanks Lola!) sent me a copy of Peter Kim’s collaborative compilation of thoughts by bloggers on Social Media. I loved the format and the power that collaboration could harness…bringing together the thoughts, ideas and best practices of those defining the field.
The following document was subsequently born – I reached out to about 18 prominent industry bloggers, writers and industry leaders in online hospitality marketing. 6 came back…here are their thoughts on the main trends the hotel industry is likely to see this year, plus tips on how hoteliers can survive and thrive in the recession. The contributors include:
- Professor Dimitrios Buhalis, Deputy Director at the International Centre for Tourism and Hospitality Research (ICTHR), School of Services Management at Bournemouth University.
- Todd Lucier, creator of Tourism Keys Internet Marketing for Tourism blog, podcast and learning materials
- Patrick Landman, Hotel Revenue Management, Online Distribution and Internet Marketing Guru and the Founder of Xotels
- Jan Tissera, President, TravelCLICK International (Europe, Asia Pacific, Middle East, and Africa regions)
- Guillaume Thevenot, French Londoner based at Amadeus and founder+editor of Hotel-Blogs.com
- Jitendra Jain (JJ), Online Marketer at Starwood Hotels and founder of The Talent Jungle Network, YoungHotelier.com and HoteleMarketer.com
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Travel and Hotel Reviews…love ‘em or hate ‘em, they’re here to stay. The question just begs to be asked though…just how long will the user-generated model of referrals really last?
TripAdvisoris used as an example in this article because its simply too big and too well established to ignore. However this piece is not aimed at the company (to be perfectly fair, I love TripAdvisor and have used it on many occasions to find and book accommodations in strange and foreign lands). There are various other travel and hotel booking websites, guides and online travel agencies that also incorporate user reviews to add an element of trust and ‘referral credibility’ to their products.
Image Source: Compete Inc. “Consumer Generated Content in Travel” 2007. Not surprisingly, 82% consumers in the survey indicated they trust other consumer opinions over what a hotel had to say about itself. But interestingly enough, even now, less than 70% really trust the information and barely 51% feel that TripAdvisor content is unbiased.
Continue reading “Will Artificial Intelligence spell the end of the TripAdvisor Model?”
The world has been ‘atwitter’ for quite a while now, and the thousands of people join Twitter by the day…and even more ‘tweet’ about their lives, their work, their passions and in some misguided cases, even their bowel movements. So just what IS Twitter, you ask?
In the simplest terms, Twitter is a social networking and microblogging service that allows to send and read others updates in the form of short text messages (140 characters max). It’s kind of like blogging by sms. So who’s doing it? Kids, Professionals, Marketers, Bloggers…and even President Elect Barack Obama, while he was on the campaign trail!
For most hoteliers and indeed most people Twitter is a tough one to relate to, unless you happen to be obsessed with Facebook and updated your status 50 times a day. But there is more to Twitter than meets the eye. At the very basic level, here’s what Twitter can allow you to do as hoteliers or hotel internet marketers:
Continue reading “Do Hoteliers Tweet? A Hotel Industry introduction to microblogging with Twitter”
As the world gets harder, better, faster, stronger in many respects, so do the ripple effects of world events. The recent attacks in Mumbai are a prime example – hotels the world over are now scrambling to take a re-look at their security measures. In terms of broader trends, the worrying shifts in climate pales in comparison to the economic downturn now upon us. Experts claim that this recession is the worst since World War II. The world has always gone through natural economic cycles where every decade or more we take a step back and reevaluate just where we’ve been going wrong…but with increasing interconnectedness, reliance on virtual financial models and technology, the house of cards has become ever so precariously balanced.
The great thing about tough times is that it separates the boys from the men! It’s a cleansing process so to speak…one that rids us of old inefficiencies and forces us to look at better, smarter ways of living and doing business.
Continue reading “Hotel Recession Marketing – When the going gets tough, Hotel eMarketers play harder”
Article published under the name “The million dollar hotel marketing idea that’s been staring you in the face!”
I’ve been racking my brain for the last few weeks over what to write about. The interesting thing is that it’s not lack of choice that’s been the trouble…it’s too much of it! From the excitement caused by US underdog Barack Obama’s win and the promise of a brighter political future… to CNN’s Wolf Blitzer causing a buzz with his first-ever “holographic” interviews in the newsroom, there’s been plenty going on to keep techies and armchair futurists abuzz. And while CNN’s holograms weren’t really holograms when you cut to the chase…one development is very real…the advancing global recession that we’re slowly coming to grips with.
Hospitality media has been filled with reports about dropping profits margins, especially in hard hit areas and suggestions to hoteliers on how to best tackle the market situation, i.e. tough it out, work smart and dust off your selling shoes. What surprises me, though, is that while the hotel industry continues its distribution war with online 3rd parties with super-deep advertising pockets, it still continues to ignore its most lucrative booking distribution channel…its guests!
Continue reading “Hotel Referral Marketing – Hotel Guests are a key Distribution Channel of the future”
5 Future Developments that will revolutionize Online Hotel Marketing: “For tomorrow belongs to the people who prepare for it today”, says a famous proverb…and what better fit to apply this than in the world of technology and marketing?
The breakneck speed of tech evolution is inspiring (and often scary) but the two keywords that will set winning developments apart from the ‘also ran’ are ‘love’ and ‘simplicity’. It doesn’t take a degree to understand that people adopt technologies that fuel their imagination & passions…and the rate of adoption is in close sync to the simplicity of its interface and operation. Great technology needs to adapt to the needs of the user and future breakthroughs will bear testament to this.
Continue reading “5 Future Internet trends that will change Hotel Internet Marketing”