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While researching ReviewPro’s most recent webinar, Top Social Media Strategies for 2014, I checked in with movers and shakers at the Big Four to find out. Their responses, below, provide rare insight from people who are helping to shape the future of social travel. I asked each the following questions:

- What do you think are essential social media strategies for hotels in 2014?

- Why are they important?

- What should hoteliers do about them?

Surprisingly, their answers contained a consistent message involving four concepts: shift more resources to online and mobile marketing; engage guests on social networks before, during and after trips; align social with marketing strategy and the guest experience; and use paid products to amplify visibility and reach.

Here are summaries of what they had to say, edited for clarity and brevity:

Google: Rob Torres, Managing Director, Travel

“The travel path to purchase is increasingly social,” said Rob Torres, Google’s managing director of travel. “An active social media presence is important for all marketers but particularly for those in travel, as it allows brands to participate at moments of influence throughout the travel journey. Social media has a place whether your brand is trying to build awareness, influence consideration, drive sales or grow loyalty.”

Torres cited recent Google research that shows that the internet is the No. 1 source for planning travel and that nearly half (46%) of respondents use social media to share travel-related experiences (Google and Ipsos MediaCT Travel Study, June 2013).

“Social media is a tremendous outlet for brands to get real-time feedback and drive engagement at scale,” Torres said. “While hoteliers don’t have control over everything that’s said about their brand online, they can leverage social media to be discovered, create deeper relationships with new and existing guests, and measure the impact of their efforts.”

Torres’ recommendations:

- Ensure that your brand is present across relevant channels.

- Surface rich, relevant content on a regular basis. Think about what matters most to your guests and how you can extend your brand’s hospitality and personality to online channels.

- Establish a consistent brand experience both online and offline.

- Experiment with content and types of engagement and measure the impact when possible.

- Align marketing efforts (SEM, email, social, offline, etc.) and take advantage of the unique capabilities of each platform.

To enhance the guest experience with social, advertisers have used Google+ Hangouts on Air to promote a concierge-like experience for travelers prior to arrival, he said. “This is just one feature of Google+, which helps brands establish a unified, consistent brand identity across the web. Today, Google+ content is amplified across the web—in Search, YouTube, and Gmail,” Torres told me.

TripAdvisor: Steve Kaufer, President and CEO

“I’ve spoken with quite a few hoteliers over the years,” said Steve Kaufer, TripAdvisor’s president and CEO, “and with even more travelers who rely upon sites like TripAdvisor for vacation planning. The most common disconnect I see is hoteliers who have trouble accepting criticisms, deserved or not, and travelers who are eager to hear hoteliers’ side of a story. Every hotelier likes great word of mouth recommendations, and I can appreciate how it is hard to see a criticism posted publicly.”

Kaufer’s recommendations:

- Leverage the free platforms that sites like TripAdvisor offer. Post photos, answer criticisms and thank positive reviewers. Engage with your past customers and leave a positive impression for future customers.

- Go where your customers are talking about you, and engage in the platform. Whether it’s TripAdvisor, Twitter, Facebook, Yelp or anywhere else, where there is a public comment about your product or service, respond in public. Don’t leave a complaint unanswered.

- Talk to your guests before, during and after their stay. Learn what might make their stay special before they get there, and try to exceed expectations in some way during the visit. Then ask them to share their experience.

- Advertise direct contact info and special offers with paid Business Listings and real-time rates and availability with the new TripConnect.

“The buzz of our times is social marketing, which is nothing more than old style word-of-mouth marketing on steroids because guests can share as easily with a single friend as with all of their friends,” said Kaufer. “It’s all about expectations, and when you can exceed them social media will let your quiet fans become brand evangelists.”

Read More at HotelMarketing.com

What words of advice do senior executives from Google, TripAdvisor, Facebook and Twitter have for hoteliers for 2014?

While researching ReviewPro’s most recent webinar, Top Social Media Strategies for 2014, I checked in with movers and shakers at the Big Four to find out. Their responses, below, provide rare insight from people who are helping to shape the future of social travel. I asked each the following questions:

- What do you think are essential social media strategies for hotels in 2014?
- Why are they important?
- What should hoteliers do about them?

Surprisingly, their answers contained a consistent message involving four concepts: shift more resources to online and mobile marketing; engage guests on social networks before, during and after trips; align social with marketing strategy and the guest experience; and use paid products to amplify visibility and reach.

Here are summaries of what they had to say, edited for clarity and brevity:

Google: Rob Torres, Managing Director, Travel

“The travel path to purchase is increasingly social,” said Rob Torres, Google’s managing director of travel. “An active social media presence is important for all marketers but particularly for those in travel, as it allows brands to participate at moments of influence throughout the travel journey. Social media has a place whether your brand is trying to build awareness, influence consideration, drive sales or grow loyalty.”

Torres cited recent Google research that shows that the internet is the No. 1 source for planning travel and that nearly half (46%) of respondents use social media to share travel-related experiences (Google and Ipsos MediaCT Travel Study, June 2013).

“Social media is a tremendous outlet for brands to get real-time feedback and drive engagement at scale,” Torres said. “While hoteliers don’t have control over everything that’s said about their brand online, they can leverage social media to be discovered, create deeper relationships with new and existing guests, and measure the impact of their efforts.”

Torres’ recommendations:

- Ensure that your brand is present across relevant channels.
- Surface rich, relevant content on a regular basis. Think about what matters most to your guests and how you can extend your brand’s hospitality and personality to online channels.
- Establish a consistent brand experience both online and offline.
- Experiment with content and types of engagement and measure the impact when possible.
- Align marketing efforts (SEM, email, social, offline, etc.) and take advantage of the unique capabilities of each platform.

To enhance the guest experience with social, advertisers have used Google+ Hangouts on Air to promote a concierge-like experience for travelers prior to arrival, he said. “This is just one feature of Google+, which helps brands establish a unified, consistent brand identity across the web. Today, Google+ content is amplified across the web—in Search, YouTube, and Gmail,” Torres told me.

TripAdvisor: Steve Kaufer, President and CEO

“I’ve spoken with quite a few hoteliers over the years,” said Steve Kaufer, TripAdvisor’s president and CEO, “and with even more travelers who rely upon sites like TripAdvisor for vacation planning. The most common disconnect I see is hoteliers who have trouble accepting criticisms, deserved or not, and travelers who are eager to hear hoteliers’ side of a story. Every hotelier likes great word of mouth recommendations, and I can appreciate how it is hard to see a criticism posted publicly.”

Kaufer’s recommendations:

- Leverage the free platforms that sites like TripAdvisor offer. Post photos, answer criticisms and thank positive reviewers. Engage with your past customers and leave a positive impression for future customers.

- Go where your customers are talking about you, and engage in the platform. Whether it’s TripAdvisor, Twitter, Facebook, Yelp or anywhere else, where there is a public comment about your product or service, respond in public. Don’t leave a complaint unanswered.

- Talk to your guests before, during and after their stay. Learn what might make their stay special before they get there, and try to exceed expectations in some way during the visit. Then ask them to share their experience.

- Advertise direct contact info and special offers with paid Business Listings and real-time rates and availability with the new TripConnect.

“The buzz of our times is social marketing, which is nothing more than old style word-of-mouth marketing on steroids because guests can share as easily with a single friend as with all of their friends,” said Kaufer. “It’s all about expectations, and when you can exceed them social media will let your quiet fans become brand evangelists.” – See more at: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/what_advice_do_google_facebook_twitter_and_tripadvisor_have_for_hotel_marke#sthash.2CY3jLfg.dpuf

What words of advice do senior executives from Google, TripAdvisor, Facebook and Twitter have for hoteliers for 2014?

While researching ReviewPro’s most recent webinar, Top Social Media Strategies for 2014, I checked in with movers and shakers at the Big Four to find out. Their responses, below, provide rare insight from people who are helping to shape the future of social travel. I asked each the following questions:

- What do you think are essential social media strategies for hotels in 2014?
- Why are they important?
- What should hoteliers do about them?

Surprisingly, their answers contained a consistent message involving four concepts: shift more resources to online and mobile marketing; engage guests on social networks before, during and after trips; align social with marketing strategy and the guest experience; and use paid products to amplify visibility and reach.

Here are summaries of what they had to say, edited for clarity and brevity:

Google: Rob Torres, Managing Director, Travel

“The travel path to purchase is increasingly social,” said Rob Torres, Google’s managing director of travel. “An active social media presence is important for all marketers but particularly for those in travel, as it allows brands to participate at moments of influence throughout the travel journey. Social media has a place whether your brand is trying to build awareness, influence consideration, drive sales or grow loyalty.”

Torres cited recent Google research that shows that the internet is the No. 1 source for planning travel and that nearly half (46%) of respondents use social media to share travel-related experiences (Google and Ipsos MediaCT Travel Study, June 2013).

“Social media is a tremendous outlet for brands to get real-time feedback and drive engagement at scale,” Torres said. “While hoteliers don’t have control over everything that’s said about their brand online, they can leverage social media to be discovered, create deeper relationships with new and existing guests, and measure the impact of their efforts.”

Torres’ recommendations:

- Ensure that your brand is present across relevant channels.
- Surface rich, relevant content on a regular basis. Think about what matters most to your guests and how you can extend your brand’s hospitality and personality to online channels.
- Establish a consistent brand experience both online and offline.
- Experiment with content and types of engagement and measure the impact when possible.
- Align marketing efforts (SEM, email, social, offline, etc.) and take advantage of the unique capabilities of each platform.

To enhance the guest experience with social, advertisers have used Google+ Hangouts on Air to promote a concierge-like experience for travelers prior to arrival, he said. “This is just one feature of Google+, which helps brands establish a unified, consistent brand identity across the web. Today, Google+ content is amplified across the web—in Search, YouTube, and Gmail,” Torres told me.

TripAdvisor: Steve Kaufer, President and CEO

“I’ve spoken with quite a few hoteliers over the years,” said Steve Kaufer, TripAdvisor’s president and CEO, “and with even more travelers who rely upon sites like TripAdvisor for vacation planning. The most common disconnect I see is hoteliers who have trouble accepting criticisms, deserved or not, and travelers who are eager to hear hoteliers’ side of a story. Every hotelier likes great word of mouth recommendations, and I can appreciate how it is hard to see a criticism posted publicly.”

Kaufer’s recommendations:

- Leverage the free platforms that sites like TripAdvisor offer. Post photos, answer criticisms and thank positive reviewers. Engage with your past customers and leave a positive impression for future customers.

- Go where your customers are talking about you, and engage in the platform. Whether it’s TripAdvisor, Twitter, Facebook, Yelp or anywhere else, where there is a public comment about your product or service, respond in public. Don’t leave a complaint unanswered.

- Talk to your guests before, during and after their stay. Learn what might make their stay special before they get there, and try to exceed expectations in some way during the visit. Then ask them to share their experience.

- Advertise direct contact info and special offers with paid Business Listings and real-time rates and availability with the new TripConnect.

“The buzz of our times is social marketing, which is nothing more than old style word-of-mouth marketing on steroids because guests can share as easily with a single friend as with all of their friends,” said Kaufer. “It’s all about expectations, and when you can exceed them social media will let your quiet fans become brand evangelists.” – See more at: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/what_advice_do_google_facebook_twitter_and_tripadvisor_have_for_hotel_marke#sthash.2CY3jLfg.dpuf

What words of advice do senior executives from Google, TripAdvisor, Facebook and Twitter have for hoteliers for 2014?

While researching ReviewPro’s most recent webinar, Top Social Media Strategies for 2014, I checked in with movers and shakers at the Big Four to find out. Their responses, below, provide rare insight from people who are helping to shape the future of social travel. I asked each the following questions:

- What do you think are essential social media strategies for hotels in 2014?
- Why are they important?
- What should hoteliers do about them?

Surprisingly, their answers contained a consistent message involving four concepts: shift more resources to online and mobile marketing; engage guests on social networks before, during and after trips; align social with marketing strategy and the guest experience; and use paid products to amplify visibility and reach.

Here are summaries of what they had to say, edited for clarity and brevity:

Google: Rob Torres, Managing Director, Travel

“The travel path to purchase is increasingly social,” said Rob Torres, Google’s managing director of travel. “An active social media presence is important for all marketers but particularly for those in travel, as it allows brands to participate at moments of influence throughout the travel journey. Social media has a place whether your brand is trying to build awareness, influence consideration, drive sales or grow loyalty.”

Torres cited recent Google research that shows that the internet is the No. 1 source for planning travel and that nearly half (46%) of respondents use social media to share travel-related experiences (Google and Ipsos MediaCT Travel Study, June 2013).

“Social media is a tremendous outlet for brands to get real-time feedback and drive engagement at scale,” Torres said. “While hoteliers don’t have control over everything that’s said about their brand online, they can leverage social media to be discovered, create deeper relationships with new and existing guests, and measure the impact of their efforts.”

Torres’ recommendations:

- Ensure that your brand is present across relevant channels.
- Surface rich, relevant content on a regular basis. Think about what matters most to your guests and how you can extend your brand’s hospitality and personality to online channels.
- Establish a consistent brand experience both online and offline.
- Experiment with content and types of engagement and measure the impact when possible.
- Align marketing efforts (SEM, email, social, offline, etc.) and take advantage of the unique capabilities of each platform.

To enhance the guest experience with social, advertisers have used Google+ Hangouts on Air to promote a concierge-like experience for travelers prior to arrival, he said. “This is just one feature of Google+, which helps brands establish a unified, consistent brand identity across the web. Today, Google+ content is amplified across the web—in Search, YouTube, and Gmail,” Torres told me.

TripAdvisor: Steve Kaufer, President and CEO

“I’ve spoken with quite a few hoteliers over the years,” said Steve Kaufer, TripAdvisor’s president and CEO, “and with even more travelers who rely upon sites like TripAdvisor for vacation planning. The most common disconnect I see is hoteliers who have trouble accepting criticisms, deserved or not, and travelers who are eager to hear hoteliers’ side of a story. Every hotelier likes great word of mouth recommendations, and I can appreciate how it is hard to see a criticism posted publicly.”

Kaufer’s recommendations:

- Leverage the free platforms that sites like TripAdvisor offer. Post photos, answer criticisms and thank positive reviewers. Engage with your past customers and leave a positive impression for future customers.

- Go where your customers are talking about you, and engage in the platform. Whether it’s TripAdvisor, Twitter, Facebook, Yelp or anywhere else, where there is a public comment about your product or service, respond in public. Don’t leave a complaint unanswered.

- Talk to your guests before, during and after their stay. Learn what might make their stay special before they get there, and try to exceed expectations in some way during the visit. Then ask them to share their experience.

- Advertise direct contact info and special offers with paid Business Listings and real-time rates and availability with the new TripConnect.

“The buzz of our times is social marketing, which is nothing more than old style word-of-mouth marketing on steroids because guests can share as easily with a single friend as with all of their friends,” said Kaufer. “It’s all about expectations, and when you can exceed them social media will let your quiet fans become brand evangelists.” – See more at: http://hotelmarketing.com/index.php/content/article/what_advice_do_google_facebook_twitter_and_tripadvisor_have_for_hotel_marke#sthash.2CY3jLfg.dpuf



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