Tag Archives: Hotels

10 Blog Idea’s for your Hotel

A blog is where it all begins and where a deep customer connection can be made with your customer. Below are 10 idea’s that might spur your brain into action to start writing some fun blogs for your hotel website. Limiting myself to just 10 is a chore so whatever I leave out, feel free to add!

  1. The history of your hotel. Guests love to know the history of the hotel they are staying in, and what the building used to be, who used to own it, and any major renovations that have happened. You may be asking yourself, I am in a brand new hotel – this building has NO history!! I would beg to differ. What is the history of the land you built upon? How fast was the structure built? Was there any major weather events during construction? Get creative, your guests want something to talk about when they arrive.
  2. Famous people who have stayed with you. Nothing excites a guest more than knowing that Simon Cowell, Lady Gaga, or Elvis have slept in the same building they are sleeping in. It provides the guest a bit of hope that they may see someone famous too! A client of mine recently had Bruce Springsteen staying in their property while he was on tour. A guest was in the hotel restaurant eating lunch and sharing with the bartender how much he loved Bruce Springsteen and how he traveled just to see the show that night. Little did the guest know, Bruce was standing behind him, and tapped him on the shoulder to ask “Mind if I grab a burger with you?” That my friends, is blog material.
  3. Weekly concierge updates. Your concierge is the key to your city. He or she knows what is going on, and where it is happening. Allow them to have a weekly “concierge corner” where they can write about what is going on in the city and what restaurants not to miss.
  4. Video of anything behind the scenes. Your guests love to feel like they have been given a behind the scenes pass to anything doing with your hotel. What about a quick 30 second video blog entry about your valet staff where they describe the best car they have ever parked? How about a video of your chef making his famous lobster macaroni and cheese? Perhaps your bartender making a tasty Old Fashioned. Keep them short, informal, and fun!
  5. Hotel etiquette training. We have all been through hotel etiquette training, why not blog about it? Talk about the more proper things in life, the people skills training your staff receives, and who does a great job with it.
  6. Local restaurant stars. Living in Portland, Maine – I am lucky. The old port district offers a vast array of restaurant scene rock stars. (Here are few links for you to check out: 5 Portland Chefs, Food Across America) Perhaps your city does too. Do a showcase of the best chef’s within walking distance. It is great exposure for that chef’s restaurant and great value added information for your guests.
  7. How to’s. What does everyone love about going on a cruise? Is it the food, the drinks, or the giraffe made out of towels waiting for you on your bed? In my opinion…the giraffe. 24 hour pizza follows with a close second. Show your guests how to fold napkins properly, with pictures. Do you use napkin art? Show your guests how to do if for their Christmas dinner! All of this adds value to the relationship you have with a potential guest and builds connection. Remember the connection starts at their head, moves to their heart, and then their wallet.
  8. Housekeeping profiles. Does your staff increase in the summer’s with some very talented citizens of Jamaica or other area’s? Your guests would love to know their story, pictures, and something about what they love about their home. Make your guests feel connected, and make your staff realize how special they are.
  9. Guest Blog. Have a local celebrity do a guest blog and you write one for them. This provides great cross promotional opportunities and also will give your readers a touch of zest to their everyday reading.
  10. Decorating secrets. Who does the decorating during Christmas or other major holidays? Interview them, and show a picture slide show around your property. Guests love to see hotels all dressed up and they love to gain idea’s for their own home.

One final note about all this blogging. Have fun! Have personality with your writing and realize that the people reading your blog are potential customers who are not looking to read a QVC sales pitch. Relax, take a deep breath, and write!

What did I miss? What do you like to blog about for your property?

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Social Media, Christmas, and Hospitality

It is the most wonderful time of the year for hospitality professionals! This is the time of year when our budgets get filled with holiday parties, Thanksgiving Dinners, and Christmas cocktail hours! From mid-November until December 26th, let the dollars fall from Santa’s sleigh! This is also the most wonderful time of year to utilize your social media to the best of your abilities. Below are a few idea’s and example of fun social media things to do, Enjoy and Merry Christmas!

 

Facebook

Since by now your property/restaurant definitely has an active Facebook page that you post to at least 5 times a week (riiiiight??), it is time to start using it to promote how beautiful your establishment looks for the holiday season! Why not take a few before and after shots of a function space before a holiday party set-up and after? Your followers will love to see the changes and don’t forget those pictures are larger in size now than they used to be!

Has your lobby decked the halls? Take some pictures and share it with your network, let your followers feel like they are getting a look behind the curtain. Now may be a great time to ask what their favorite holiday toddy is. Why not do a survey question?

Colorful Lobby Shot of the Portland Harbor Hotel

Twitter

Planning on some great holiday events? Why not create a custom Hashtag (#) so all of your Twitter followers can keep up to date? The hotel I work for has an event every year called “Ice Bar.” During this event we bring in over 2,000 pounds of ice and create bars out of ice, vodka louge, and scupltures. Since this event is very well known, and brings in roughly 9,000 people over the last weekend of January – we created a hashtag of  #IceBarME (The ME stands for Maine). Go ahead and check it out on Twitter, follow our fun and keep up to date. We plan to announce when the new vodka arrives for the Ice Bar, when the ice sculptures arrive, and of course up to date info while the party is happening. We also gave our Twitter followers first notice of when the tickets went on sale. What events do you have that could benefit from a Hashtag?

Google+

First off, do you have a Google+ business page yet? I really hope so! For the sake of the length of this article I’m going to operate on the assumption that you do. Google+ offers you a fantastic platform for sharing photo’s and video’s. With Google+ your photo’s appear larger in the feed than they do on Facebook.

Notice the brightness and size of this great Google+ photo

 

I hope some of these examples give you some fun idea’s for your property! What establishments do you follow that do a great job with Social Media? Would love to hear from you and have a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!!

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Social Media and Hospitality

 

Would you like to increase customer loyalty, customer connection and brand recognition? If not, you need to find a new job. If you would like to do these things then understanding, utilizing and capitalizing on social media for your property is a must.

As many general managers are finding out, gaining fans and followers isn’t as easy as just posting a sales pitch onto their Facebook page and sitting around waiting for the “likes” and “shares” to come barreling in. There is an art to social media and it does not consist of the same old techniques you used for your most recent magazine or newspaper advertisement.

Social media marketing consists of three main components that eventually branch off into infinium. The first thing you must do is to decide on your brand’s voice. Are you a large 4-star full-service hotel who has a brand already? Or are you a small boutique property who can make changes fast and reply with the freedom of not running it by corporate officers? Either way, a decision must be made.

Let’s start with this piece of advice: No matter what voice you choose to use, don’t be a salesman. No one likes to be sold, especially on Facebook and Twitter. If a client or potential guest has taken the time to follow you on Twitter or like you on Facebook take that as a sign that they already know what you do. There is no need to try and sell them on your services again.

Think of it like this: When you get home from a long day at work and your significant other is waiting for you do you walk in and re-introduce yourself again? Do you tell your significant other all about who you are, why you’re the best choice and why they should be glad they didn’t choose someone else? The better question is this: What would happen if you did?! I’m fairly certain your partner would either slap you, ask you to leave, or tell you to get lost!

Why then would you start a Facebook page, gather a decent following and then abuse everyone by stroking your ego and telling them about your amazing pool, beds or workout center? Guess what, they already know!!

Am I saying that you should never share your property’s features and benefits? No. I am saying to do it in a fun way. Instead of saying, “Come stay at XYZ Hotel and enjoy our amazing salt water pool.” Why not say, “While staying with XYZ Hotel take a dip in our salt water pool; we promise, there won’t be any sharks!”

Your objective is to gain attention, trust and conversation. If you pitch your followers in the same way you pitch a client you will loose the people you worked so hard to gain. By deciding on the voice of your hotel you will know how to say the cute things to the prospects you want to say it to.

Your second task is a very important one. Decide who will speak for your property. For instance, if you have decided your voice is going to be a fun loving 4-star property who enjoys teasing and playing with your followers you must decide who will do the typing.

I am a huge fan of having just one social media expert on staff. This guarantees having a solitary voice that never changes. If your hotel is too large and has so much activity on your networks that you need to have more than one staff member man the gates, just be sure they are on the same page and work out a system to reply to ALL comments.

I do not recommend farming-out your social media commitments to an available intern or just any available front desk employee. One of the many reasons why people love social media is to hear the many voices of the various companies they follow. If you allow your intern to do it, (who may do it well) you could be setting yourself up for failure. How long is your intern supposed to be with your property? Is social media the best thing they can be doing for your hotel? This all comes back to deciding on your voice – the voice of your property must be steadfast and friendly. Choose wisely.

Once you have decided on a voice, and who is going to be that voice, you must also decide on what your social media policy is going to be. It is important to meet weekly with the employee who is doing your tweets, Facebook and whatever other mediums you decide to use. Talk about what the week ahead holds, who interacted with your property, and who your new followers are. Remember that social media is not just about “likes” and “followers,” it is about interaction and eventually turning those interactions into profit!

Facebook offers a great tool to measure your interactions and see where in the world your followers are interacting with you from. This tool is called “Insights.” It is easy to convert the statistics into an Excel sheet and definitely worth going over every week with your social media manager.

A common concern is what to do if an unhappy guest posts something negative on your page for all your other guests to see. The easy answer to this is a fun phrase commonly tossed about on the Internet: “Do not feed the trolls.” A troll is someone who posts negative comments on your website or Facebook wall just to get a reaction from you. I recommend one of two simple solutions:

First ask yourself is this negative criticism possible? Perhaps the comment has some validity and you may even have a record of it from your night auditor or security personnel. If the negative comment is valid, I recommend responding on your page publicly with a simple apology and asking the guest to call you on your office phone or to email you, and let them know you will fix the issue if at all possible. Do not take time to react, rebut or pass the blame. Remember, all of the other people who follow your page will see your response. The best response they can see is your confident and competent ability to handle the issue and fix it.

The second case scenario is someone is posting inflammatory remarks on your page that are totally unfounded. If this is on Facebook it is quite easy to delete a comment before many people have seen it. You have the option on Twitter to mark a tweet as SPAM. Only do these types of actions when you are certain the poster is leaving untrue statements about your property.

In some cases a post may be trying to raise controversy about an event at your hotel. If this is the case, do not feed the troll. Let the post stand but do not add gasoline to the fire. In some cases, the best response is no response. Use your best judgment and, again, cover these situations with your social media manager so that he or she knows how to react.

The final step to having a successful social media marketing push is to never stop learning, and be prepared for change. The Internet changes every minute, and it was not too long ago that everyone was raving about MySpace and AIM. As of right now the newest technology is Google+ (which does not allow business accounts yet).

Change is inevitable and that is why it is vital to have a member of your team with open eyes and an open mind to the new changes coming to your property. The fact is, social media will not go away — it is only going to change. Be ready for the changes, embrace them, and above all else, have fun.

This article was written by David A. Pride, owner of this blog and originally published on hotelsmag.com.

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