Your Next Customer is a Tweet Away

  • People are four times more likely to buy when referred by a friend to a particular business.1
  • 52% of Facebook users said their friends’ photos inspired their vacation choice and travel plans.2
  • 55% of travelers said they changed their travel plans after researching their trip on social media.3

To say that your next customer is a tweet away isn’t wordplay, but a reality that is increasingly becoming the norm. When booking travel, 89% of millennials plan travel activities based on content posted by their peers online. And your competitors know that social media is the marketing destination for the hotel industry. Starwood Hotels & Resort Worldwide created a 24/7 social care team that has a response time of less than 26 minutes, handled more than 12,000 customer service issues, and speaks 14 languages.

But Social Media is a difficult beast to grapple with. How do you establish your presence? Is it worth the effort/expense? Which platforms should you get on? How do they differ? Here is a visual ready-reckoner to kickstart your social media campaigns.

Platform Reach Tip
Facebook 1.86 billion active users Advertising can be expensive but the conversion rate is promising 1.85%. Incentivize likes and posts to make the most of FB. Offer a free mini bar, night’s stay, etc.
Twitter 284 million active users Tweets with images receive 18% more clicks. Hashtags are a great source of leads and they also build brand awareness and loyalty. Create custom hashtags and ask customers to tweet holiday photos with them.
Linkedin 300 million active users Connects you to an audience with a higher buying power. Great source of B2B leads
Flickr/Instagram/ Snapchat/Pinterest 300-600 million active users Pictures are really worth a thousand words! Works well for visual content and for targeting millennials. Returns may not be as immediate as with the other platforms.
Blogs 2.8 million posts a day Explore paid promotions with reputed travel bloggers
YouTube 1 billion active users The dark horse of hotel marketing. Embed YouTube videos that capture your hotel’s specialities: the spa, kids playroom, green initiatives, etc. on your website. Bookings are 67% more likely to happen when a video tour is available.

Socialize like a Pro with netisen

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From Good Reviews to Better SEO

You know the importance of customer reviews in the Hospitality Industry. You have been on top of your customer outreach. Your customer outreach program seems to be working well. You’ve got well-starred reviews. But it doesn’t seem to be giving you any SEO juice.

Good reviews, when optimized, not only help you to get on Google (open secret!), but they also improve your click through rate. Also, as the people clicking-through are going to be visiting with a positive mindset your bounce rate is reduced. SEO Heaven! Here are 3 steps to getting there…

Step 1: Increase your Review-ability

Make it easy for your customer to review your property with website widgets, tablet reviews at check-out, review apps, etc. Proactively create and manage your listings on Google (location-specific Google My Business profile), TripAdvisor, Facebook, Foursquare, Open Table, etc. Your review app should do the work of intelligently parsing the reviews, displaying the reviews on your website, integrating with the various rating/search websites, and then posting it to the various sites.

Step 2: Promote Reviews

You’ve got the great reviews, now put them out on the grapevine. Index your reviews on Google by adding them into your site schema to show up on Google search. Publicize your good reviews and ratings by tweeting about them and promoting them on your Facebook page. Encourage and reward your customers for “social promotion”. For example, if they like you on Facebook, share a positive experience on Twitter, blog about their stay on your property, share a photo from their stay on Instagram, rate you on TripAdvisor, Expedia, OpenTable, Foursquare, etc.

Step 3: Manage your Reviews

Steps 1 and 2 have to be constantly repeated and monitored. Encourage reviews, promote good reviews, respond to bad reviews and do that all in good time, before the reviews affect your overall rating. And you’ve got to monitor these reviews across all the sites – on Facebook, Google, Foursquare and Open Table. Netisen can do the hard work for you by setting up your own custom alerts for mentions about your brand from all major search engines.

Let Netisen simplify the SEO maze

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In the Hotel Industry, Online Reputation is Revenue

In today’s digital age, a hotel’s reputation is a fragile entity dancing to the tune of Facebook likes, tweets, Instagram pics, travel blog recommendations and ratings on TripAdvisor, Expedia, Priceline, Airbnb and Yelp. Managing your digital reputation is critical to gaining new customers and can make or break your business. A TripAdvisor® study revealed that more than half of travelers book a hotel only after they have read reviews, and 80 percent of travelers read at least six to 12 reviews before making a decision.

Your online visibility and reputation is going to either get you the next booking or not.

Don’t just Embrace Digital, Exploit it.

Digital is not the enemy, but a valuable untapped goldmine. Harness it with a well-designed website, interactive social media presence and responsive communication with reviewers on travel comparison websites. Here are some pointers to get you started.

1 Get Online

Your website is your digital face. Keep it simple and helpful with high-resolution pictures, prominently placed online chat/booking phone numbers, embedded rating widgets and a simple online booking form. Offer discounts for direct bookings and put a strategic referral program in place.

 

2 Get Social

According to research from Nielsen, people are four times more likely to buy when referred by a friend to a particular business. Train your employees and encourage you, customers and partners, to tweet about press releases, “like” Facebook promotions, post photos from the hotel property on Instagram, etc.

 

3 Get Starred

Gain customers by increasing your reviews and rating on travel comparison websites. Encourage and if possible provide incentives to guests to review and rate your property. Engage with all reviewers – thanking positive reviewers and encouraging them to visit again and alleviating the concerns of negative reviewers.

How do you manage your hotel’s online reputation?

Let netisen pave your way to reach for the five stars

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4 Ways to Boost Referral Marketing in the Hospitality Business

65% of all new business comes from referrals says The New York Times. Well-planned referral marketing can ensure that you are not missing out on two-thirds of your customers. Furthermore, referral marketing boosts lifetime value (LTV) with far lower customer acquisition cost (CAC) than conventional marketing and with considerably lower churn. Check out these compelling statistics:

  • In 2009 DropBox started a referral program that led to referrals accounting for around 35% of their daily signups, with a 60% permanent increase in Dropbox sign ups.
  • HotelTonight has grown by 300% in two years because of their “key pillar” of word-of-mouth publicity.
  • Airbnb’s new referral program could potentially double its member base.
  • Uber used referrals to expand its base to 50 countries in 3 years.

Ready to get started? Here are a few tips to help shape your referral marketing strategy.

#1 Tap into the Enemy

You’ve heard it before – every problem is an opportunity for success. Those third-party hotel sites are not tapping into your share of the business but instead are providing you a goldmine of referral opportunities for you to tap into. Proactively listen in on the reviews, respond to them and alleviate any concerns. Add widgets from rating websites to your website. Explore cross-promotion by partnering with travel and hospitality websites.

#2 Ask and you shall be Referred

According to research from Nielsen, people are four times more likely to buy when referred by a friend to a particular business. Train your employees and encourage you customers and partners to promote press releases, blogs and case studies. Be it on social media or by word-of-mouth.

#3 Incentivize Referrals

A well-structured referral program is worth its weight in hotel bookings. Adopt a point-based system for a larger hotel chain and cashback/discounts that are for smaller properties. As Sam Shank, CEO of HotelTonight said, “We see people really wanting to tell other people about their HotelTonight experiences, but we wanted to give them an incentive to do so, to really encourage them, to accelerate it, and to provide a catalyst for this viral marketing.” Incentivizing referrals allow you to gain customer loyalty without entering into a self-defeating price war.

#4 Socialize Referrals

We all know that we can’t neglect social media in these days when the right tweet can do what a billboard could. Prompt customers to share hotel booking details with their Facebook friends and Twitter followers. Don’t waste those valuable referrals by not linking them back to your own hotel website. Post press releases, case studies, blogs with customer quotes on your website. And only promote the links that refer back to your website.

Need to kickstart your company’s referral marketing program?

netisen’s customized Referral solution will get you revved up in days.

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What’s your Social Intelligence?

The cacophony of tweets, reviews, blogs and Facebook posts can be overwhelming. Overwhelming enough to just dismiss it all as noise. Don’t make that mistake. A one-star rating increase on major review website can lead revenue to a revenue increase up to 9% according to an independent report by Harvard Business Review. Companies are now discovering that behind the noise is the most valuable symphony of customer insights. Imagine if you could find out what’s on your customer’s wishlist, maximize reviews and referrals, predict trends accurately and be given concrete pointers on improving your product/service.

Social Intelligence does just that. It uses algorithms to dynamically interpret the buzz on social media to provide red-flag alerts, optimize referrals and make data-based business suggestions. Social intelligence can help you to drastically improve customer engagement, identify new market trends, and suggest ways to grow your business.

Sounds too good to be true? Well, the catch is this – Social intelligence has got to be really smart for it to deliver. It has to be intricately complex to be able to navigate through the labyrinth of social media. And it has to be sophisticated enough to understand customer sentiments, cultural trends and location-based influences. netisen’s intelligent algorithms got you covered on both fronts.

  • netisen monitors reviews from a number of channels – Facebook,  Google, OpenTable, FourSquare, Blogs, etc.
  • It provides graphical analysis at a macro and micro level with word clouds, trend timelines, and advanced filtering support.
  • Then comes the really smart bit – netisen does data cleansing, sentence analysis and intelligent sentiment scoring for each review. Thus helping you make the most of every star.
  • netisen’s easy-to-use dashboards allows you to drill-down to the customer level, so you can engage with customers and respond to their feedback.
  • You heard it on the netisen-vine! Increase your business foresight and improve data-based planning with a snapshot of market trends and location-based analysis of your competitors to give your business the edge.

Up your Social IQ with netisen

Connect with the customer. Tap on Trends. Increase Ratings.

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Better your Online Ratings. Gain Customers.

Improve your Hotel’s Online Ratings. Gain Customers.

In this digital age, people are increasingly reliant on travel/hotel comparison websites to pick the right hotel or travel experience. Online ratings and reviews are essential to gaining new customers.

  • TripAdvisor found that 93% of the people use online reviews when determining which hotel they want to stay at and 53% of the people surveyed would not book a hotel that didn’t have online reviews.
  • A one-point increase in a hotel’s average user rating on a 5-point scale makes potential customers 13.5% more likely to book that hotel (Cornell University’s Center for Hospitality Research).
  • 80% of people use the internet as their main travel planning source in a study (Google and Ipsos MediaCT).

Reputation is Revenue

In the highly competitive hotel industry, online reputation directly affects hotel revenue. However, the surprisingly minimal amount of effort is spent in monitoring ratings in Online Travel Agencies (OTAs). Only between 30% and 40% of businesses manage their online presence on the world’s leading hospitality rating website TripAdvisor which gets 260 million unique visitors per month. What an opportunity to pass up!

5 Tips to Reach for the Stars

#1 Claim your Online Presence

Proactively create and manage your listings on TripAdvisor and other popular travel comparison websites. Create social media accounts on Twitter, Facebook, Yelp, etc. Publicize your online presence, both digitally – with rating widgets on your website, in email campaigns to your guests, etc. and physically – using frames in the hotel lobby, cards in guest rooms, etc..

#2 Don’t miss out on the 5 Star Customers

Ensure that your delighted guests can easily get to a social platform or OTA to express their delight ASAP. Travel comparison websites typically give far more weightage to reviews with 4-5 star ratings when compiling the overall rating for a property.

Some ways include giving a customized gift on checkout (who can resist candy!) with OTA QR codes and social media handles, sending email reminders to leave a review with key travel-comparison websites, providing brochures/welcome gifts/internet access cards with social media links and visibly framing positive OTA ratings and feedback.

#3 Respond to Reviews: Good and Bad

An appropriate response to reviews from hotel management is more likely to make TripAdvisors book (57%), improves their overall impression of the hotel (84%) and makes them feel the hotel cares (78%). (PhoCusWright, September 2012)

Don’t fear the negative review and especially do not ignore it. Use it as an opportunity both to soothe the unhappy customer and to assure a future customer that you have taken constructive steps to respond to the negative feedback.

#4 Automate Review Management

Save time and effort and increase your ROI with automated online review collection, analysis and management (ReviewPro, Get Five Stars, Reinvate, Rankur, RateGain, Guestfolio, etc.). These tools can assist you with customized post-stay surveys integrated with TripAdvisor and other OTAs, suggest ways to improve your ratings, design email marketing campaigns, and provide you competitor insight.

#5 Take Feedback Seriously

Analyze negative feedback and glean pointers from constructive criticism. It will help you to look at your property through the guest’s eye and to budget for data-based improvements. For instance a majority of complaints about street noise may warrant an investment in sound-proofing. Or something as simple as installing more power sockets or improving the Wifi strength.

 

Would you like to improve your online ratings?

Let netisen pave your way to reach for the five stars

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