News We Noted: Stepping Up Your Social Media Strategy

The following post is in response to a recent article found on HotelMarketing.com.

The Article
Starwood launches new Twitter, Facebook and iPhone applications
Article from HotelMarketing.com – October 20, 2009
 
“According to the company, Starwood Preferred Guest is the first hotel loyalty program to establish a presence in these leading social media and mobile networks. What’s more, the SPG program sees social media as a key platform for further engaging an influential and rapidly growing segment of its members.

 Starwood Preferred Guest® (SPG) launched a new suite of Twitter, Facebook and iPhone applications. The move comes as part of the SPG program’s overall commitment to providing insider access for its loyal guests by tapping into the power of social media.  SPG is the first hotel loyalty program to establish a presence in these leading social media and mobile networks. And the SPG program sees social media as a key platform for further engaging an influential and rapidly growing segment of its members.

According to research, SPG members are highly active social media participants with 50 percent indicating frequent involvement – and those particular members book and stay more frequently. In fact, SPG members engaged in social networks are nearly 20 percent more likely to book a Starwood hotel than other SPG members. And SPG members who create blogs are nearly 80 percent more likely to book.”

(Click here to read the full HotelMarketing.com article)

TIG Global Response
New stats from Nielsen Online show that by the end of 2008, social networking had overtaken email in terms of worldwide reach. According to the study, a total of 66.8% of Internet users across the globe accessed “member communities” last year, compared to 65.1% for email. (March 2009: Global Faces and Networked Places by Nielsen)  In order to keep up with the competition, now more than ever, it is essential to engage this audience by incorporating social media into your hotel’s online marketing strategy.

Social media continues to experience growth, and with major brands already in the game, hotels of all sizes should be ramping up their social marketing efforts in order to grab a share of the attention from the millions of captive users found on social networking sites. In order to reap the full benefits of social media platforms for your hotel, it is important to learn which channels fulfill your specific needs. Some of the major players include:

-Facebook is a great medium for building relationships by talking with your consumers, posting promotions and packages, sharing photographs of your property and engaging them through contests. Additionally, when a Facebook user becomes a fan of your hotel’s Facebook page, his or her Facebook friends will most likely catch a glimpse of your page as well, thus creating an added viral marketing aspect for your property.

-Twitter is the perfect platform for sharing up-to-the-minute promotions, travel tips, events, etc. that are happening at or near your hotel as well as any relevant articles or press releases.

-Have videos to share? YouTube is the world’s second largest search engine and is great place to display viral content that will entice consumers to get a first-hand look at your property or destination. Consumers will likely be more inclined to book a trip once they have had the chance to virtually experience all that your property has to offer.

-Flickr, the online photo-sharing site, houses over 4 billion photos. Use Flickr to build albums with optimized photos of your accommodations, meeting spaces and additional features unique to your property to drive qualified consumers directly to your site.

-Social media allows you to not only speak to your consumers, but also have two-way conversations with them. Monitor what people say about your brand on TripAdvisor, Twitter and Facebook and respond in a timely manner. Make sure to address both positive and negative feedback. Responding to comments shows that you are interested in what your consumers have to say.

However, it is important to note that building a social media following won’t happen overnight. To grow your presence on social media sites, add clearly visible buttons to your website, links in your email signatures and promote it through word of mouth. Use social media to engage and interact with those attentive consumers across the world, and experience the rewards in your bottom line.

Interested in ramping up your Social Media strategy? TIG Global offers a full suite of services to get you interacting online. Click here or give us a call at 301-841-4700 to learn more.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

* Copy This Password *

* Type Or Paste Password Here *