Connecting to today’s vacationer through video and social media

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Guest Blogger
Guest Blogger
December 9, 2013
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The following blog post was written by our friend, Michelle, who writes about the importance of using video in your hotel’s social media marketing.

A recent infographic of modern hospitality projected that by 2015, “9 out of 10 consumers will have a mobile phone.”

The increasing rise in mobile traffic creates a unique opportunity for hospitality marketers to engage with their customers at the exact moment when pushing specific information to their mobile devices would be most useful.

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Mobile traffic and YouTube

According to Google, 40% of YouTube’s traffic now comes from mobile devices, up from 25% last year.

Brazil’s tourism board, Embratur, took great advantage of YouTube’s easy mobile accessibility, launching a digital marketing campaign to promote the country’s hosting of the 2014 FIFA World Cup Soccer Tournament and the 2016 Summer Olympics. The channel, Visit Brasil, is a holistic approach to visualizing a complete trip to Brazil – from where to stay, where to visit, as well as what to do.

For hoteliers, embedded video or imagery from popular social networking sites like YouTube, Vine, Instagram or Pinterest gives potential customers the ability to see more of what your accommodations offer and share that information with family and friends.

A recent industry white paper, “Destination Visibility: How Hotels and Resorts Market Online,” notes that, according to Comscore, “When it comes to engagement, online video is 5.33 times more effective than text. In fact, site visitors who view video stay two minutes longer on average and are 64% closer to purchase.”

Social media interaction with your consumers

According to an SDL Campaign Management and Analytics survey of 4,000 travelers in the United Kingdom, United States and Australia, “Nearly 70 percent of [the] global survey respondents say they unplug completely or as much as possible” while on vacation.

Of the countries surveyed, however, U.S. citizens were the least unplugged, with only 60% of respondents abstaining from mobile or social media use during their time off. That leaves room for hospitality marketers to communicate with tourists through mobile apps and via email. Additionally, the survey found that 75% of U.S. travelers continued to use mobile apps while on vacation.

Through YouTube or Vine videos, social media apps and text message marketing, hoteliers can push information to customers about extra perks at your hotel (unique spa services, fiber-optic Internet service or handmade treats) to improve their experiences.

Follow up is key

Knowing the best way to communicate with each individual consumer is paramount to delivering an exceptional vacation experience. While some may prefer filling out a survey online, others may prefer an email or follow-up phone call.

A thorough database on each consumer (and their communication preferences) can help you provide a more exceptional customer experience, as well as address any issues that may have arisen during the customer’s stay.

According to the SDL survey, “Nearly one-third of survey respondents do share their vacation experience…” after they return home. The survey also found that of those surveyed, 51% of U.S. respondents stated that family and friends were their most trusted resource for travel information.

This reliance on the opinions of those in close social networks also allows hoteliers to reap the benefits of a satisfied customer. Those who return home with a great experience at your establishment are more likely to recommend it to friends and family. And with most reviews done through social media or review sites like Yelp and TripAdvisor, you have the ability to reach a multitude of new customers from positive experiences at your hotel.

Michelle Smith is a freelance writer with a focus on social media and marketing. She can be found typing away on her laptop in sunny Boca Raton, Florida. Michelle welcomes your feedback at michellelsmithwriter@gmail.com.

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