Apr 21, 2014

Hospitality Industry – New Digital Trends

With an increased focus on travel for business and pleasure, and a growing desire among people to experience the best of food and hospitality during their travels, the hospitality industry is in a beautiful phase. It is the ripe time to tap immense potentials and opportunities. Evaluate the following 8 digital trends making the rounds of the hospitality sector to create maximum impact on your customers.

digital consumer trends

1. Targeting Mobile Customers

Most of your customers would be spending a far greater amount of time on their mobile phones than on computers. It is a much quicker way to communicate with guests before, during and after their trip. Therefore, it is just about necessary that you optimize your hotel website for mobile usage, and invest in building a robust app about your property that people can quickly access.

In addition to offering bookings and research options on your app and website, include a section that guests can access during their stay in your hotel for any requests, queries or requirements. This way, you enable your customers to communicate their needs more effectively, which in turn puts you in a position to enhance their experience.

2. Rich Marketing Content

When we say “rich content”, we mean interesting stories about your place, and how it can help give the customers a wonderful experience about your property. Do this without acquiring the tone of being over-promotional and it will help attract customers. Utilize your own website, app and social media pages to reach out to consumers with interesting content. Include pictures, virtual tours and videos to demonstrate what you are trying to say; you can even ask your guests to share their experiences along with photographs.

Another aspect of making your content rich is providing maps of the city and links to other places of interest that would help visitors. For instance, you can add on your website a page that has the listings of the best shops, hairstylists, restaurants etc. Provide links to these places and asks for links in return to your website from theirs. Make sure you list only the most trustworthy places, so as to give genuine references to people.


3. Being on the Carousel of Google

hotels in orlando Google Carousel Search

The carousel is an interesting feature that makes your pictures show on top of the Search Engine Results Pages (SERP) against a catchy black background. Clicking on one of the pictures in the carousel opens up a new SERP with more specific results. Being on the carousel is a function of your Google+ activity. If you want your property pictures to show up whenever a relevant Google search is performed, you must invest some time on building your Google+ profile. Create a business page and be active on it. Prompt your guests to rate you on your Google+ page; the better the ratings, higher would be the chances of your being featured on the carousel.

4. Meta Search Marketing

Meta-search is a specific style of searching that fetches results based on real-time information like availability and deals. It is an excellent tool that enables people to quickly compare between hotels and other temporary rental accommodations based on their rates and other parameters. Meta-search provides the guests with concise information about location, facilities, customer reviews and availability at any given instance.

To get the best out of meta-search, you need to be extremely active on it. It is a dynamic platform that demands frequent updates and reacting to competitor sites. Meta-search requires you to constantly monitor price parities; leaving the pages static for too long defeats the purpose of meta-search.

5. Visual Social Lounge


Image Credit: https://www.facebook.com/ReunionResort

The social lounge is a treasure house of information. Travelers these days often share their tours and travel information with their networks. What they did on vacation, the food they ate, where they shopped and where they stayed, form an important part of their social media updates. Many people would even share their plans before heading to a trip.

Therefore, being actively present on social media, and giving your customers an option to put links of your page on their social media posts advances your reach to hundreds of their friends. Make your social media page one that people would proudly want to show-off. Include your best photos and the best content on social media. Put up buttons like “Like” and “Pin It” on your website as well, so that people can share all the information they like straight from your website. Maintaining a blog on the website would also be a great step towards building an engaging social lounge.

6. Social Reputation Management

Web reviews are like a first impression you make on your guests. There are hardly any consumers now who would not seek web-based references to your property before finalizing their bookings. These reviews build your reputation, and they require a bit of work from your end.

It is extremely important that you monitor the web regularly for what people are saying about you; respond to positive reviews with cordial thanks, and to negative ones with immediate resolutions. Some software apps can make monitoring easier for you, for example, TrustYou and Flip.to.

7. Hospitality Recruitment

Recruitment have moved beyond the traditional job boards to incorporate a more holistic view of candidates’ and companies’ profiles through social media channels. Professional networks are excellent places to find and approach talent. While LinkedIn is the top social networking site for executives, Workable is a fine platform for non-executive professionals.

Even when it comes to recruitment, it is vital to get on to mobile phones, since they remain the undisputed tool of maximum usage by most people. You can develop apps and mobile-optimized websites to reach out to prospective employees through their mobiles – it is quicker and more efficient than regular mailing lists or desktop-based recruitment sites alone.

8. Everything Social in Meetings

Forming great professional connections is one of the key reasons people attend large-scale meetings. The hospitality industry can play a key role in allowing people to network though social sites like Twitter and LinkedIn that people can join before the event and stay on even after the event in order to discuss the event and to maintain contact with fellow attendees. Through the same pages, you can even link future events that your hotel hosts.

Being a hospitality manager or hotel owner, you have a pivotal role in making people’s travels worthwhile. And for you, there are enormous profits to be made if you steer your efforts in the right direction. So dive into what the industry on the whole is doing, and come up with innovative solutions to make these trends work for you!

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This entry was posted in Hospitality Industry, Hotel Manager, Hotels, Property Owners

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