Social Media Storytelling Webinar Presentation


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Visual storytelling is the best way to succeed on social media today. Here’s why: 44% of people are more likely to engage with brands if they post visuals (according to Forbes) and videos are shared 12 times more than text posts on Facebook (according to HubSpot). This webinar, Get Social: How to Use Social Media to Tell Your Hotel’s Story explores how hotels can tell visually compelling stories to engage their social media communities.

Daniel Edward Craig, Founder, Reknown Travel Marketing
Danielle Valenchis, Transient Sales Manager, North Point Hospitality

Published in: Travel
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  • Darlene will introduce Daniel
  • Darlene will introduce Daniel
  • Darlene will introduce Daniel
  • Telling stories is nothing new. People have been telling stories since the time of cave-dwellers. What’s changed is the platforms. The internet and social media have created unprecedented platforms and huge audiences for sharing stories. And with all the comings & goings of travelers the hotel industry has no shortage of stories to tell.
  • Grabs attention: So many distractions online. We’re like 5-year-old boys in a toy store – attracted by pretty shiny things that move. We stop, stare, but then we move on, so important that it also:Inspires action: click to find out more, bookmark or book – makes them want to be a part of the story.Is retold: shared. Social media facilitates sharing. People are searching for interesting, entertaining, informative content. Is remembered: we can’t always time things so they see it when in booking mode, so we want them to remember when it comes time to booking.
  • Universal language – no translation required Social networks love imagery: Twitter and Facebook,TripAdvisor, Google Local, Yelp, FoursquareQuote from Altimeter: So it’s really about …
  • The old adage holds true: a picture is worth a thousand words. Use imagery to bring stories to life. What kind of experience does each of these photos suggest?First: Urban, nightlife, excitement.Second: Pastoral setting, country, fresh air, rest and relaxation. Farm-fresh foods. One great image can be more powerful than many. Travelers can fill in the blanks.
  • Have a look at this dreary photo of Toronto hat occupied the city’s main landing page on TripAdvisor for months. Now compare it to the image on Montreal’s landing page. Which would you rather visit? Compare the number of likes. The Toronto image is user-generated, whereas Montreal’s is from it’s official visitors bureau. Maybe a bit too photoshopped but still more appealing. Fortunately Toronto has since taken control of its page and this is the new photo.
  • Facebook’s Timeline places greater emphasis on storytelling through photos and videos. Photos and videos receive more likes, shares and comments than links and text posts. Visibility: EdgeRank is Facebook algorithm that decides which posts users seen in news feed. Based on weight, affinity and recency. Gives higher priority to posts with links, photos & videos. Real estate: Compare this photo posted to Facebook with an integrated link and thumbnail photo to this post where the photo is attached.Engagement: Photos receive 53% more likes and 104% more comments than other posts (HubSpot, ‘12)
  • As an example, here’s an image from the Facebook page of the Georgian Terrace Hotel in Atlanta. This image of people doing yoga on the rooftop near the pool tells a story about health and wellbeing, spectacular views and is inspiring, memorable and sharable – all the key ingredients.
  • On the main page, when you click the Tour application, it takes you to this page, where VFM Leonardo’s Facebook vbrochure displays photos, virtual tours and descriptions of all aspects of hotel, from Accommodation to Dining to Meetings & Events. As well as the ability to check rates and availability on that page – the call to action.
  • Pinterest took the social media world by storm in 2012, growing faster than Facebook and Twitter. 25.3 US visitors in Sept 2012 (comScore). Combines 2 most compelling aspects of SM: imagery and sharing. Influential in early stages of travel planning: dreaming, looking for inspiration. And then after trip: sharing. stage of travel; many use to find inspiration. Particularly with women, who often plan trips for families. One of five default boards is “Places and Spaces I love”. Focus on lifestyle. Good for showcasing products/location, getting site referrals. Here Abercrombie & Kent showcases some creative boards that definitely make you want to be a part of the story.
  • Instagram grew from 25 million users in April ‘12 to 100 million+ users in eight months . Partly because acquired by Facebook in April ’12.Another platform for promoting your business visually. Just rolled out profiles to Web and added brand pages. Here you can see some of the stunning photos on the Tablet Hotels collection brand page.
  • Of course, while we want to inspire travelers we also don’t want to set up expectations we can’t meet. We all know the old “bait & switch” routine – hotel industry practically invented it. As travelers we see a photo like this on website, doesn’t look photoshopped or anything. Then arrive to find this. But we can’t get away with it anymore. Setting expectations you can’t meet will lead to disappointed travelers and may result in a backlash of bad reviews. Not about trying to pass property off as something it’s not.
  • Review site Oyster has section that compares hotel promo photos with reviewer photos, often with embarrassing results. If you have just a run-of-the mill hotel it’s perfectly okay. People still want to see what rooms look like, what the exterior looks like, banquet rooms etc – exactly what they’ll be getting.
  • Also important that your photos appeal to your target market. Contrast this image, which is all about: drinking and partying …
  • …. With this image. The images we use to represent our hotels can instantly tell travelers whether or not you’re their type of hotel.
  • Website remains principle channel for sharing information, converting. Integrate your content with guest content and third-party content. Whistler Blackcomb’s The Movement social media page does a great job of this.
  • Video is hugely popular among travellers, in part because it’s hard to fake video content so they trust it more. People can write fake reviews, photoshop photos, but video tells the real story. YouTube – 2nd most popular search engine in the world. Google/Ipsos Media survey of 5,000 travels in July 2012 found that video is a key part of travel planning. Setting up YouTube channel. Time-watched important element in YouTube algorithm – not just views.
  • InterContinental Hotels has a great video series that tells the story of the destination in the words of the concierge.
  • In-house or professional?Ideally our imagery is professionally done, especially for channels like website. However, on social networks it’s okay to be amateur, as long as it’s authentic. Eg, staff taking back-of-the-house or event footage. Curation: The ability to curate content has become an important skill for social media administrators to keep social networks alive with a stream of fresh, original content. That requires being resourceful. Guests are sharing their experiences on social networks and sometimes it’s matter of finding it and asking to share it. Search the Web search the Web, YouTube, Flickr, Instagram, Pinterestand social networks for mentions of your hotel/brand. Ask permission. When you find something you like, ask them to share it or ask permission to post it yourself.
  • Darlene will introduce Daniel
  • As Daniel shared, a good story grabs attention, inspires action, is shared and remembered, think about this as you begin sharing your stories – Do they grab attention and inspire action? Are they being shared? Your answers to these questions will give you a good idea as to whether or not your stories are good and how to refine them. A few top social sites were mentioned by Daniel including Facebook, YouTube, Instagram and Pinterest. This sites are all very popular and inherently visually driven, so they make it really easy to tell your hotel’s stories using visuals to large audiences. Although Danielle focused primarily on Facebook, visual storytelling best practices can be applied to these other sites as well. Danielle shared some great tips and advice on how you can make your time and effort on social media pay off by increasing engagement and revenue
  • Will we be promoting any future webinars?
  • Social Media Storytelling Webinar Presentation

    1. 1. Technical difficulties? Contact Citrix GoToWebinar 1-800-263-6317 @vfmleonardo
    2. 2. Darlene Rondeau Vice-President, Best Practices, Online Merchandising VFM Leonardo Inc. @darlenerondeau
    3. 3. Follow:@vfmleonardo Tweets & Questions:#vfmlwebinar
    4. 4.  What travelers want from social media What is visual storytelling and why it is important on social media How hotel marketers can successfully tell their stories on social media
    5. 5. Daniel Edward Craig Author and former GM turned hotel consultant Speaks and blogs about social media, reputation management and storytelling Featured speaker at TripAdvisor‟s Master Classes
    6. 6. Danielle Valenchis Transient Sales Manager for North Point Hospitality Group Sales and Marketing for 5 hotels in Savannah Born and raised in New York, moved to Georgia in 2011 Degree in Communication Studies
    7. 7. Poll:What is your biggest social media challenge?
    8. 8. Why Storytelling? “Storytelling is way more effective than going through data or a sales pitch” - Dave Kerpen, Co-founder of Likeable marketing firm, Author of New York Times best seller “Likeable Social Media”Source: Social Media Examiner,
    9. 9.  Over 700 YouTube videos are shared on twitter every minute  On Facebook, the top 10 brand pages find that photos and videos drive the most engagement  Videos are shared 12x more than links and text post combined  Photos are liked 2x more than text updates  Instagram is currently on pace to beat the number of users on Facebook in 4 yearsSource: MBooth,
    10. 10. 68% of business travelers watch travel-related videos (on desktop or mobile device), up from 56% two years ago 68% 56%Source: European Travel Commission,
    11. 11.  Facebook’s Sharing Life’s Major Moments report ranks types of stories people share most often on Facebook  Travel stories take up 42% of the list 42%Source: CNN Travel,
    12. 12. Daniel Edward Craig Author and former GM turned hotel consultant Speaks and blogs about social media, reputation management and storytelling Featured speaker at TripAdvisor‟s Master Classes
    13. 13. Storytelling – a longstandingtradition
    14. 14. A good story 1. Grabs attention 2. Inspires action 3. Is retold (shared) 4. Is remembered
    15. 15. Visual storytelling  Telling stories through imagery “We‟re seeing a huge uptick in images in content  No translation required marketing across the  Instagram & Pinterest – board. Marketers are moving away from written explosive growth content and toward images  Social networks love and videos.” imagery Rebecca Lieb Analyst, Altimeter Group  User vs. owner photos: New York Times, Dec 15, 2012 control vs. influence
    16. 16. Show, don‟t tell
    17. 17. The Power of Imagery
    18. 18. Facebook loves photos Photos receive more:1. Visibility2. Real estate3. Engagement
    19. 19. The Georgian Terrace Hotel
    20. 20. VFM Leonardo‟s VBrochure
    21. 21. Pinterest – Dreaming & Sharing
    22. 22. Instagram – brand pages
    23. 23. Be transparent & authentic
    24. 24. Who is your target market?
    25. 25. … or this?
    26. 26. Your website: hub of stories
    27. 27. Video – the real storySource: Google and Ipsos MediaCT, July 2012
    28. 28. Video
    29. 29. Tips for Visual Content1. Be authentic2. In-house vs. professional?3. Be resourceful4. Ask permission and give credit
    30. 30. Danielle Valenchis Transient Sales Manager for North Point Hospitality Group Sales and Marketing for 5 hotels in Savannah Born and raised in New York, moved to Georgia in 2011 Degree in Communication Studies
    31. 31. What I‟ll Cover How We‟re Telling Our Story on Facebook Why We‟re Using Facebook What‟s Working for Us
    32. 32. How We‟re Telling Our Story Posting about the “big” and “little” things of the hotel ◦ Big things = standard items  Rooms, pool, fitness center
    33. 33. How We‟re Telling Our Story (con‟t) ◦ Little things = “what makes the hotel special”  e.g. Different waffle flavors, special amenities, complimentary cookies  What makes your hotel unique35
    34. 34. How We‟re Telling Our Story (con‟t) Show the human side ◦ Employee Moments  Awards won  Dressed up for the holidays  Charity events
    35. 35. How We‟re Telling Our Story (con‟t) Show the human side ◦ Guest Moments  Runners before Rock „n‟ Roll Marathon  “Dad Unpacking the Car”  St. Patrick‟s Day
    36. 36. Why We‟re Using Facebook Fans a hotel for a simple reason … They LIKE it! ◦ Keep fans connected through photos, contests, first knowledge of low rate periods ◦ Try to create a personal experience between fan and hotel
    37. 37. The Thought Behind It All:A fan will stay at a hotel with apersonal connection vs. staying ata place with no familiarity
    38. 38. Why We‟re Using Facebook Another channel for guest satisfaction ◦ Respond to negative and positive posts  Shows hotel actively listens to their guests  Can publicly address any negatives for good PR
    39. 39. Why We‟re Using Facebook Showcase Savannah Attractions ◦ Purpose is to get fans excited about Savannah  Re-book the hotel
    40. 40. What‟s Working for Us Package Specials with Local Tour Company ◦ Overall, these posts receive the most Shares  Package revenue has increased
    41. 41. What‟s Working for Us Employee/Fun Photos ◦ Overall, receive the most Likes
    42. 42. What‟s Working for Us Acknowledge groups, businesses & city wide events on Facebook ◦ Will a group‟s facebook and welcome on our wall and their wall ◦ Post photos of their arrival
    43. 43. What‟s Working for Us Beautiful, interesting photos ◦ Instagram, PhotoGrid, PicSayPro are your best friends
    44. 44. What‟s Working for Us Placed icon in guest‟s key packets to encourage new Likes ◦ Gaining 2-6 new fans each week for all 5 hotel facebooks Overall, revenue from Facebook has increased since being regularly active
    45. 45. Recap Telling our Story on Facebook ◦ Highlight what makes our hotels unique ◦ Sharing guest and employee moments – keep it personal Why We‟re Using Facebook ◦ Keep guests engaged to create personal connection with hotel ◦ Listen to guest feedback and publicly respond ◦ Showcase Savannah to create interest in visiting the city What‟s Working for Us on Facebook ◦ Package Specials have most Shares, Employee photos have most Likes ◦ Acknowledging a group, business or city wide event on both our and their walls ◦ Beautiful and interesting photos ◦ Icons encourage guests to Like your page
    46. 46.  A good story grabs attention, inspires action, is shared and remembered Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Pinterest make it easy to tell stories through visuals Investing time and effort in visual storytelling and being active on social media does pay off
    47. 47. Poll:Did you find the content in this webinar valuable?
    48. 48. Watch your inbox for…  Recording of this webinar ◦ Share it with your colleagues  Free guide ◦ The Hoteliers Ultimate Guide to Visual Storytelling on Social Media  Invitations to upcoming webinars ◦ February‟s topic: Attracting Corporate Travelers
    49. 49. Enter Today! Like to Win App
    50. 50. Connect with us! 1.877.593.6634 Danielle Valenchis @vfmleonardo Daniel Edward Craig www.reknown.com52 @dcraig
    51. 51. Questions and Best Practices