Neal provides advice to hotels - which is equally applicable to any brick-and-mortar establishment - on creating photographable memories to help your customers promote your presence in social media.
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welcome to maximize your social actionable 10 minute advice on how your business can maximize your social media presence. Now the host of Maximize Your Social Social Media author, speaker, consultant and founder of Maximized Social Business Meals. Schaefer. Everyone, this is Neil Shaper and welcome to another episode of Maximize Your Social. I am just getting back from a spring break family vacation. We're actually traveled overseas, and it goes without saying that sometimes you need to just well, it's impossible to 100% unplug from social, but to unplug from work, get out there, spend more time, family and see the world. In fact, I am waiting my daughter's gymnastics class to end. So as always, I always say, Whenever you have the time to do a podcast or create content, there's never any excuse not to. So here I am, in the parking lot in my car, recording this podcast. You know that I like to do these down and dirty, and this is going to be another similar episode. So I just talked about how I've been traveling a lot, and before this trip, where I went to Europe, actually I was doing a lot of business travel here in the U. S. Is well, in fact, I was invited by the courtyard by Marriott Fifth Avenue Hotel, which is on 40th Avenue and 50 or so right near the New York Public Library, and I was their guest. And that experience as well as you know, booking my own hotels and staying at various hotels really gave me a lot of, well, ideas, I should say as to what I think hotels are missing out on in terms off one of the biggest opportunities they have with social media marketing. Now, as you know, if you're a avid reader of maximize social business, which you should be, we have Debbie Miller as our contributor on social hospitality. In fact, she owns social hospitality dot com, so really proud to have her on as a contributor. But you know, above and beyond the advices she's given, and she's given a lot of great advice. I wanted to throw out another piece that I recently shared at Social Media Marketing World when during my presentation, I mentioned Ritz Carlton as the leading company in hotel social media marketing, and according to the data that I acquired insured with everybody. And one of the questions I got was from a local hotel here in Southern California about what else they could do to increase engagement. And you know my thoughts. And, you know, it was the answer that I gave to that person. But I really felt it when I stayed at all these various hotels throughout Europe, as well as the courtyard by Marriott and other properties of state and recently in United States. You know, I think hotels, obviously from a marketing perspective, have a few things that they could do it if they are affiliated with a certain brand. Obviously they have a branded website where it is a search engine where they could be found if someone is looking for a hotel of that brand in a certain city, so that's sort of passive traffic. There's also the online ad world, which obviously we see a lot of hotels participating in, and when people are looking for a hotel, often they're going to Google. So I don't see that world changing at all, and then we get to the travel view sets. When someone wants to book a hotel. Where did they go and I found myself this time you know, going to cities in Europe that I've never been to before of really relying on not only Trip Advisor but also sites like Kayak and others that aggregate reviews booking dot com actually has their own reviews, but reviews for hotels are still really, really critical. Maybe not so much for the big brands, but for independent hotels out there, as well as in major cities where big brands compete with each other for many, many different things, so above and beyond. This we have social media and social media is interesting because there's many, many different ways that hotels, like any other brand, can utilize it. And you know, you can only go so far in sharing discounts and coupons and trying to get people to book in contests. What have you? Ritz Carlton has been the most successful hotel in social media marketing, according to the data that I compiled because they don't ask for your business. Their marketing is Maura about memory, memory creation, memory recollection, and it's extremely visual nature. Now. This leads to my point, which is for hotels I believed to be successful in social. It comes down to often that visual aspect. And I'm not just talking about Facebook or Instagram or Pinterest. I'm talking about. What is it that when someone stays at your hotel now, I talked about all these other avenues thes other engines that are out there that will lead people to potentially staying at your hotel. And sure, if you tweet, you're on Facebook. What have you? These are other avenues that may help people discover your hotel, especially fuse paid social, which I would recommend, obviously, and for one of those reasons. But going beyond that, the missed opportunity that I find with hotels and social media is what you do after you have the customer. Once someone has committed has booked a room at your hotel has checked in at your hotel and after they check out of your hotel, have you no only maintain a relationship or created a relationship, which social is really the perfect avenue for you to do that with, but to create an experience that would make them want to share with the world? Let me explain what this means. I was recently contacted on Twitter by a company they were saying, You know, Neo. We're having a hard time growing followers to our Pinterest account, and my answer to this businessman was, Hey, you know the pinchers isn't necessarily about your account. It's also about making images in your site accessible, allowing your tribe your community to promote them on your behalf. Have you added images that people who want to pin on your Web site and a lot of companies really haven't a lot of company still don't even have pin it buttons on their website and their examples of companies like Sony or Indigo in Canada that have achieved incredible results just by adding a pennant button and make it easy for others to pin their content. But going above and beyond that, if all these images are being shared on social media and for hotels to really leverage that, it's not about them taking pictures of their own hotel and sharing them, it's about creating areas within your hotel where people can create a photographic memory. Now Brits, Carlton and I had a chance to interview their VP of public relations really selects on Lee those locations that are incredible as faras locations go, so they have a natural advantage because every Ritz Carlton is going to be in a location that people will want a photograph and above and beyond that, we all know that the interior is probably another area that people will want a photograph. But if you're ah, you're not a Ritz Carlton, what are you going to do? And that really is the challenge to create areas in your hotel, whether it be the check in counter, the lobby, the restaurant, each hotel room inside the elevator. Where could you create a photographic moment that on average of someone was staying in your hotel and they were an active social media user, meaning they're probably taking photos with your smartphone and sharing them on Instagram. We all know that even instagram it surpassed Twitter in terms of Mobile uses social networking. It's probably second only to Facebook. What is it that would make them want to snap that shot? And this is only half the missed opportunity that hotels have. Part of it is creating that photograph ical area. That photographic moment, that experience that others were going to share the other half is you have people that are probably already sharing experiences. They've had in your hotel. The other photos on instagram when they added to their photo mapping the tag you or on foursquare, for that matter? Have you actually recognized those people? Have you re posted their photos? This is very, very simple way of engaging, of acknowledging, of reciprocating that Ritz Carlton as well as Disneyland and many other brands are doing. Is this something that you've even looked into before? And if you haven't, you really should as soon as possible. And this goes above and beyond hotels. Obviously, I think any brick and mortar establishment the advice is the same. Creating an area just like you would want to create. Share a bowl content if you were blogging or creating content, but above and beyond that, actually engaging curating responded to those that are already promoting your company out there on social media. Sounds simple, right? Well, sometimes the simple things are lost in the shuffle in social media, So, as always, I try to keep these podcasts real short and sweet. I'm hoping that this approximate 10 minutes of my words resonate with you, provide you value for your own social media marketing. I appreciate all the questions that I continue to get, and I'll be responding to all of them. Please feel free to ping me in any which way you would like to be. More than happy to respond to your social media for business questions and, as always, wherever you are in the world, make it a great day. Bye bye. Everybody will talk to next week. Thanks for listening To maximize your social. We appreciate your iTunes subscriptions, ratings and comments. If you would like to appear on the show or recommend content, please contact Neil Schaffer at Neil at Maximize Your social dot com. Make it a social day.