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Hotels making a move on social media, with targeted help
But, it isn't for lack of trying. The internet is littered with the corpses of abandoned social media marketing initiatives, inside the travel industry and out. Notes online marketing publication ClickZ:
"Before hoteliers even consider a social media initiative, they should be aware that social media is a very engaged, hands-on marketing format. The social networks are a graveyard of abandoned hotel profiles and fan pages by hoteliers who did not realize the complexity of social marketing," said Margaret Mastrogiacomo, social media specialist with Hospitality eBusiness Strategies, a strategic services and design firm.
The focus on hotels pays off for the Roger Smith's Simpson, who used to spend hours using search and setting up news alerts on competitors. While Revinate doesn't include some of the hot new social media startups he keeps an eye on, like Bizzy and Pegshot, he says it covers the major sites, especially TripAdvisor, the most important. The ability to compare his hotel's buzz with competitors is also unique. "It's one thing to do it manually for your own establishment, but for me to do that for surrounding hotels or for what other people we have an interest in are doing, that becomes more laborious."
So, what does this mean for the average traveler? Your opportunities to engage with the hotels you'll call home, if only temporarily, are set to increase. Think beyond deals (though they are important) to every other reason you'd contact and open dialogue with a hotel. The possibilities are immense, and hotels, a bit slow to move in social media, appear to be on the brink.