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, 66.8% of Internet users across the globe accessed “member communities” last year, compared to 65.1% for email.
SOCIAL MEDIA TRENDS
Some other key findings from the Neilson report:
- Globally, Facebook reaches 29.9% of global Internet users, versus 22.4% for MySpace
- MySpace remains the most profitable social network, generating an estimated $1 billion in revenue versus $300 million for Facebook in 2008.
- Facebook is the top social network in all countries except Germany, Brazil, and Japan (Nielsen still has MySpace as tops in US in the report, but as of January ’09, that had changed).
- On Twitter, CNN, The New York Times, and BBC have the greatest reach among mainstream media companies as of late February.
SOCIAL MEDIA TRENDS
THE GROWING DEMOGRAPHIC
WHAT ADDS TO THE TREND
As we get busier and busier we get the need to connect with people yet don’t have the time. Social Media sites allow us to:
Surround ourselves with a network of friends online.
Communicate with people we normally could not stay in touch with in seconds
Gives us an outlet for our inner thoughts and fears
Are no longer the hotel down the street
The Internet has made hotels more competitive based on price, location, and customer reviews
Getting a leg up on them through online reputation management and visibility is key
SO AS A BUSINESS, HOW TO YOU TAP INTO THE 30% OF INTERNET USERS AT YOUR DISPOSAL?
PRESENT YOUR HOTEL TO THE SOCIAL MEDIA SCENE
Set up Pages on Social Media sites that entice consumers to interact with you.
Facebook Sample: Northwoods Resort
MySpace Sample: Crowne Plaza Phoenix
Twitter Sample: Crowne Plaza Phoenix
UGC: WHAT IS IT?
USER GENERATED CONTENT
UCG is content that is fresh and written by the end user
USER GENERATED CONTENT
Why is it important?
Search Engines like it
Consumers appreciate it
Buying decisions are being made with it
SAMPLES OF UGC
Trip Advisor Reviews
Destination Site Reviews
USA Travel Guide
Top 10 User Generated Content Sites
Yahoo Answers Sample: WRS actively looks our for questions that could be relevant to our markets or hotels and submits answers
Yelp Sample: WRS actively looks our for review opportunities that could be relevant to our hotels and submits content, images, or data that can make hotel more attractive to potential buyers
SAMPLES BLOGS AND ARTICLES
Article: Spring Break Safety Tips USA Travel Guide (WRSOL Blog) post actively picked up by Google
USA Travel Guide (WRSOL Blog) actively delivers 1000 visits a day on average to the blog then to our hotels, via the articles. Here’s the article picked up on Spring Break Safety Tips
More sample searches where our blog is on page 1 in Google
This particular search took visitors to our page on one of our hotels, Phoenix Park Hotel.
This particular search took visitors to our page on one of our hotels, Northwoods Resort (see next slide)
USA TRAVEL GUIDE TRAFFIC TO THE BOOKING CALENDAR You can see that our blog sent 130 visits to Northwoods booking calendar in April - our blog readers are also interested in rates and booking room nights!
Travel Reviews are actively being found by the search engines and read by potential guests! Keeping a close eye on them is critical to your conversion rates.
THE BUYING DECISION Only 4% of all online bookers are not looking at more than one customer review before making the buying decision…
Trip Advisor is #1 Review Site
But many others follow:
Only to name a few…
KEEPING UP WITH REVIEWS IS CRITICAL
Subscribe and bookmark review sites
Use a review consolidation tool
Actively participate in review areas where you can
UGC: HOW TO MAXIMIZE IT
Enhance your profiles:
Add Website Links
Market Special Events
Promote Special Offers
IMAGE AND VIDEO SUBMISSIONS
Pictures and Video are the second largest search in the search engines.
Optimizing your images and submitting them to image sharing sites like Flickr can help you gain search engine presence.
PHOTO SHARING SITES
POSTING IMAGES AND THE IMPACT ON SEARCH You’d be surprised what’s out there tagged with your hotel name on it.
Optimize Online Videos
You can create your own videos out of hotel and destination images with a marketing message and tag with keywords.
Submit videos to online video channels like YouTube.
RSS FEEDS (REALLY SIMPLE SYNDICATION)
What is Social Bookmarking?:
Have you ever e-mailed a friend or family member and sent them a link to a website you thought they might find interesting? If so, you have participated in social bookmarking.
What is social bookmarking ? It is tagging a website and saving it for later. Instead of saving them to your web browser, you are saving them to the web. And, because your bookmarks are online, you can easily share them with friends.
SOCIAL BOOKMARKING SITES
HOW CAN YOU BENEFIT FROM SOCIAL BOOKMARKING
The more your customers bookmark your site
The more links you help for SEO benefit
You’ll get higher quality search results
The more credibility your site will have to the end user.
The more branding exposure
The more traffic
The MORE BOOKINGS you will get $$$$
THE IMPACT OF CUSTOMER REVIEWS AND INCREASED ONLINE PRESENCE
OPPORTUNITIES HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS INDEPENDENT SITES…
ROI (vs. Costs)
Pittsburg (needs a site?)
Kendall East (needs a site?)
Shelton (recent build by WRS- cost $1k total)
BENEFITS TO HOTELPOSTS
Access to all review sites with one login
Access to all hotels or groups of hotels for corporate and regional staff
Ability to post management reviews from the one login
REVIEW SITES Shows you where your reviews are coming from You can also see at a glance which sites reviewed you
REVIEW SAMPLES FROM HOTEL POSTS.COM Weekly updates on all reviews for the week with a link to the “management response” area so hotel can respond from one place.
Hampton St. Louis Crossroads Hotel
Hampton Colorado Springs Crossroads Hotel
Hilton Garden Carlsbad Beach Crossroads Hotel
Hilton Garden Boston Crossroads Hotel
Hilton Garden Bush Crossroads Hotel
WRS KEY STRATEGIES
Rich Content that is user friendly and highly search engine friendly
Full use of site interlinking to encourage search engine visits to all site pages
Full use of Anchor text and Title tags to highlight key terms for search engines (see next 2 slide highlights and results)
Landing pages to promote demand generators, special events, hotel selling points
Hilton Singer Island WRS Client since 2006 Optimize Key Phrases, including area attractions …
HILTON SINGER ISLAND TOP SEARCHES – PAGE ONE PLACEMENT FOR ALL TARGET PHRASES Page 1, Place 5 Page 1, Place 3 Page 1, Place 4
GET VISITS BEYOND BRAND HOME PAGE Search gets you to our landing page inside brand.com site for hotel that features our property (see next slide for the actual page)
Hilton Garden Chicago WRS Client since 2007
BRAND OPT PACKAGES
Hilton and Marriott Brands:
Conversion improvement plan
Content, landing pages, images, brand tools
Update content to be SEO friendly
Interlinking for more SE traffic, keywords
Volume Pricing Available
Independent Site Management and Optimization
Take the time to read up on different social media outlets and don’t be afraid to “play”.
Embrace Social Media Sites and maximize content opportunities
Get your customers involved- UGC is the most effective and lowest cost form of search engine boost
Subscribe to HotelPosts review tool to manage all of your social media and review sites.
Let WRS do an audit of all hotel sites and conduct an SEO/Brand Optimization package on those that need it.
$99 per month per hotel that participates
10% discount if more than 50 hotels sign up.
SEO/Brand Optimization Packages:
$500 per month for up to 20 hotels
$400 per month for 21-50 hotels
$300 per month for over 50 hotels
Independent Sites for IHG hotels
$1k one time fee for 10 page site (Shelton sample)