Mobile-Commerce is making a Big Splash on the Hospitality and Tourism Industry

Posted on February 27th, 2015 by Jordan Suresky Categories Advertising

 

Businesses today are thriving on setting a goal maximizing Self-serve technologies. These technologies are becoming more prevalent forms of communication. These forms of communication are can be B2C or B2B.  This is especially true with the advent of the numerous social media platforms.

A mobile-app using SoLoMo Technology to reserve a hotel.

 

For example, the Cornell Hospitality Quarterly discusses a perspective on M-Commerce’s impact on intermediation. There are two terms that have been provided, the first being consumer engagement technology (CET) and the second being SoLoMo Applications. SoLoMo is an acronym that is abbreviated for a set of M-Commerce applications that satisfy customer’s social, location, and mobile-based needs.  The most widely used examples of this technology include apps such as Foursquare, Yelp and similar sites where users can check in at a destination point to their inner circle. This technology was innovated by a company with the same namesake in Wisconsin. The hospitality and tourism sector is benefitting from this type of technology in that it is easier to practice loyalty-marketing techniques. In terms of careers within the hotel segment, knowledge and successful execution of m-commerce is also significant.

The MGM Grand is an example of a hotel utilizing m-commerce technologies.
The MGM Grand is an example of a hotel utilizing m-commerce technologies.

The IHG Group, for example that runs multiple brands such as Intercontinental Crowne Plaza and Holiday Inn are looking into what are called SMS Marketing personnel. These key people are responsible for driving those automatic text messages you may see when you check into a hotel or if your folio (bill) is ready to view.

 

All of this again is to help drive engagement and ultimately revenue. The ideal result is that the hotels and its systems are able to read into their guests throughout the customer lifecycle experience (reservation, stay, repeat stay, etc.). This is only the tip of the iceberg however with ‘SoLoMo’ and other related m-commerce advancements that hopefully will have a positive impact on marketing and tourism related organizations.

 

Forming Online Relationships

Posted on November 20th, 2013 by Skye-Lynn Ferch Categories Blog

Forming Online Relationships

Making working/professional relationships can be difficult for some businesses and others it comes a little bit easier. Nowadays, companies not only need to make the connection in person, but also via the Internet through their social media outlets.

 

Social Media

 

Organizations are building strong social relationships by knowing their business from the inside out in order to be able to reach their targeted audiences. In addition to knowing your business, know your customers and the target group that you are trying to connect too.  A smart thing to do is to use the information that users are posting to get an insight on what type of topics your company should post on your social media sites.  When speaking on topics, you want to make sure to remind your audience that you’re an expert in the field so share related material.

 

Remember to engage with your followers in two-way symmetrical conversations.  It allows your audience to know that you are listening, paying attention and value their presence verses just using social media as another marketing and advertising outlet. Ask for feedback and most importantly listen to that feedback and respond.

 

Reach out to others within your industry to follow or ‘like’ and share postings or retweet their tweets. Remember to post with purpose and meaning! Sending out nonsense will eventually lose you followers and creditability. Be passionate! Users can tell if you are passionate about your industry and those it serves.

 

Blogs

 

Company’s blogs are another way to maintain strong online relationships built through social media with pre-existing and new customers and even with other businesses. Business blogs also build credibility and trust.

 

Blogs give a voice to businesses allowing them to express their thoughts on topics and issues that are important to the company. In addition companies can show that they can be humanizing while remaining true to its mission and purpose. Keep in mind once your organization starts a blog it’s crucial to maintain the blog.

 

Engage daily with your social media followers to start building relationships. Take the first step, strike up a conversation by asking a question and the connection grows from there.

Are you using Google+?

Posted on October 2nd, 2013 by Skye-Lynn Ferch Categories Advertising

Are you using Google+ ?

If you haven’t heard, the latest movement hitting the social networking world is Google+. The networking service was created in 2011 but is just now gaining the title of the “next big thing” in the digital world. In early 2013, Google+ had close to 360 million active users and is projected to grow even more. If you are not on Google+, here is why you should be.

Circles

You can place people into different circles and manage who sees what. You are able to converse with each group on separate topics, making your engagement more personal. In your business you might have certain messages to relay to different target audiences, and this feature allows you to do so without posting a one-for-all message.

Communities

Imagine a place that allows you to interact and meet people whom all share the same interests; communities does just that. It connects users with others who are posting about the same topic. You can use this to benefit your business by reaching out to those who already show an interest in what you are offering. You can also plan events within this feature, making it easy to send out invites to just the right people.

Hangouts

Hangouts are where you can catch up with your followers/friends with video, voice calls or share photos. You can have up to a 10-person conference call from all around the world (for free), and share photos and emojis in your conversation. Another great thing about the video aspect is you can pre-record your videos to post to the web at a later time.

Bonus

Since Google is the creator, your business’s Google+ profile will always pop-up on the top right of the search results.

With the unique features offered, it is no wonder it has millions of users and is the next big thing! Google is creating a new way of communicating with its easy-to-use, engaging social networking site. Now is the time to join, the media buzz surrounding the site is bound to draw in many more users.

What makes Twitter #important?

Posted on May 23rd, 2013 by admin Categories Blog

 

Twitter Logo

Twitter is an entirely different form of social media compared to the other social media platforms out there today. Although Twitter users often use the social media platform as a way to share their basic day-to-day thoughts, Twitter can also be used by businesses to target desirable clientele. In fact, many Twitter users are highly educated, with over thirty percent of users holding four-year degrees. People are increasingly turning their attention to Twitter as an up-to-date source of news and information. Click here to read about one example where Twitter had a huge impact on the Dow, S&P and Nasdaq.

Get Personal

Twitter has become a worthy customer service tool because it allows brands to engage with consumers in conversation. Aside from that it also makes it easier for companies to go viral and link to consumers.

Twitter is all about connecting with customers and engaging them in conversation. If you are not going to be interactive and attentive to your Twitter account, then your Twitter campaign will be unsuccessful. Consumers are drawn to relationships that feel personal, which relies heavily on the assurance that you will see and respond to their tweets almost instantly.

Go Viral

Becoming viral is always a goal when engaging in a social media campaign. While Twitter does not guarantee that this will happen, it does make it simpler with the use of the retweet button.

Learning how to get people to retweet your posts is a crucial part of using Twitter.

#Hashtags
Hashtags provide multiple services. They connect users with the same interests, permit brands and companies to target a specific audience, and allow for conversations to be started between companies and clients.Hashtags are important because they are central to having your updates connect and searchable by other users. Twitter also cuts through the “noise” of social media. You can easily search a keyword with a hashtag in front of it, and it will produce posts with your specific interests.

These hashtag campaigns were extremely successful.

Twitter, in conjunction with other social media outlets, will help you build your brand and gain loyal customers.

Building Trust: Gaining Social Media Followers

Posted on December 26th, 2012 by admin Categories Campaigns

You’ve worked and slaved over your social media accounts to cultivate your followers and grow the number of likes, but it seems like nothing is working. Well it’s time to try something different instead of posing funny pictures of cats. Here are sometips to grow your likes and get everyone excited about your brand or company.

 

Make It Your Online Portfolio

 

Social Media Today’s writer, Pam Moore, suggests posting examples of your work to establish you know what you’re doing. These examples can range from past projects your company has done to testimonials from current and past customers to links to blogs that have referenced your work. Pam also suggests that you should “walk the walk.” Do what you say you’ll be doing for your clients. For example, if you’re an interior designer then post examples of furniture ideas you’ve done in your home. It doesn’t have to be as detailed, just show you can do it.

 

Engage Your Fans

 

You’ve probably heard this but reach out to your fans! Ad Age’s guest blogger, Riley Gibson, writes companies should look to their pages “superfans.” These are the people that religiously liking, commenting, or retweeting your posts. One of Riley’s suggestions is to reward your superfans. Thank them for reaching out to your company/brand and message them a discount code. By doing this nice thing for a fan, you’ll make them more likely to share your account with their friends and followers.

 

Kristy Barkan with Social Media Today advises to let your personality shine through your account. People will like or follow your social media account not only because they like your company/brand, but also because they like what’s going on the page. Kristy also suggests not going overboard with the business push. If you’re posting product after product, your followers will most likely get bored and unfollow.

 

We hope these tips help you on your social media hunt. If you have any tips on building your followers, please share it with us in a comment below.

 

Twitter Socialite: How Do Your Followers Perceive You?

Posted on November 28th, 2012 by admin Categories Blog

A majority of companies today have jumped on the social media wagon and created a Twitter account. The next matter of discussion is how well are these companies using their Twitter account? Well, I’ve broken down Twitter accounts into three categories: Wallflower, Piggy Backer, and Socialite.

 

 

The Wallflower

 

A Twitter wallflower is an account that sits back and just observes tweets from other people. They may occasionally retweet or comment on someone else’s tweet, but they create original tweets. If you find yourself in this category, I suggest doing some research. You can do this by looking at what your competitors or others in your field of business tweet and then think about how you could work something similar into your tweets. Also find interesting articles that relate to your business and your consumers would want to read.

 

Piggy Backer

 

The Piggy Backers are the retweet masters. They like to share what their colleagues and industry experts are saying, but they haven’t found their own voice. To keep from piggybacking, when you see a post you want to retweet, take that same idea but form it into your own words. For example, you are dying to hit the retweet button because your distributor announced they’re re-releasing an old product. Instead of retweeting, you could say “@bootsareawesome is re-releasing their black shiny boot! Who’s excited?” In that tweet, you’ve recognized your distributor, but you also have started a conversation with your followers.

 

Socialite

 

Twitter socialites are the golden children of the Twitter universe. These people share industry news in such a manner that people look anticipate and look forward to their tweets. In essence they are the ones the wallflowers look up to and the piggy backers retweet from. If you are a socialite, I say congratulations. If you’re not, you can become one! Like I said earlier, do some research. See what your competitors or industry leaders are doing to interact with their followers. Also try reaching out to your followers. You can do this simply by asking them questions about their product preferences or what they would like to see you carrying next.

 

Which Twitter category do you fall under? Or do you think you fall into another category entirely? Let me know with a comment!

Let’s Get Live With Live Streaming Video Platforms

Posted on November 21st, 2012 by admin Categories communication

Have you ever had an in-store event and wish your customers in another location could have participated too? Now such an event is possible with streaming platforms that let your event go live with a webcam and a internet connection. Here we introduce to the two biggest platforms.

 
I Stream, UStream
According to their website, USteam is the fastest growing and largest live streaming platform. One of their claims to fame is President Obama used their platform during his 2008 campaign. Set up you custom channel and use UStream on everything from your smartphone to a webcam to encoders.

 

 

 

UStream four plans for customers to choose from. The first plan is their free service which is ad supported. The next three plans are paid plans based on the amount of video storage you would like and the number of ad free video you want. Don’t know how many viewer hours you need? UStream has a handy calculator that helps find your best plan.

 

And You’re Livestream

 

Livestream is similar to Ustream in that you can use anything from your smartphone to a webcam to encoders to live stream your video. Livestream differs because they also provide
live Blogging tools, so you can submit text, photos and video. Start chats with your viewers and easily be able to moderate the conversation. Once you sign up, you are immediately given a live event page on the LiveStream website. Embed it into your website, Facebook, and Twitter.

 

 

 

 

Worried about your on-the-go users? The live event page is mobile ready so it can go wherever it needs to. Livestream has three kinds of plans, which are all ad free. The first is free and includes a one month archive. The basic plan has an unlimited event archive and viewers are not required to login. The premium plan includes live embedding along with an unlimited event archive and other features.

 

Have you used a live streaming platform before? We’d love to hear about! Please tells us in a comment below about your live streaming experience.

Hello Mobile

Posted on October 10th, 2012 by admin Categories Campaigns

It seems like everyone and their mom has a smartphone or tablet these days. According to a Pew, 55% of people who own cell phones use their phone to go online. With this increase in the number of mobile internet users, the need for mobile websites also has jumped. Here are some ways to take your website into the mobile frontier.

 

For those of us who aren’t tech savvy, Samantha Murphy, a tech reporter for Mashable, suggests using bMobilized. bMobilized is a do-it-yourself tool that converts your current website to a mobile version for just $5 a month. Simply type in your domain, click “Mobilize” and ta-da mobile site!

 

 

 

 

Don’t want to pay the monthly upkeep? Tech Republic’s David Gitonga suggests adding plug-ins to your current desktop site. Gitonga also suggests looking at Dudamobile, a free website that creates your mobile site in just one click. Dudamobile also automatically syncs your mobile site to your desktop site.

 

We hope the sites will help you go mobile! If you’ve been able to convert your website to mobile, let us know what tools you used!

The Infographic: Your new How-To Friend

Posted on October 3rd, 2012 by admin Categories communication

 

These colorful and extremely helpful graphics have burst onto the digital scene explaining and discussing everything from aquatic botany to Twitter to online dating. But exactly what are infographics and why should you use one?

 

Well, they’re basically images that have graphics and text (includings stats) about a certain topic, place, thing, etc. Since infographics are graphics they be used on any webpage, facebook page, or Twitter, Pinterest post to get your name/company out on any platform. They also lead potential new clients to back to your website.

 

Now that you have seen the infographic light, it’s time to start making them. We’ve found this to help you get started on making your first infographic! Here are some of our favorite infographic sites:

 

Visual.ly

 

Infographic Labs

 

Infogram

 

If you have made an infographic, send it to us and your favorite infographic site!

Capturing your Company on Instagram

Posted on September 26th, 2012 by admin Categories communication

Instagram was once thought of only as an app for people to share photos of what they are eating, where they are going, what they are doing, etc. As the app continues to grow through its new parent company Facebook, Instagram is drawing the attention of other users, specifically businesses.

 

 

Well let’s break down how Instagram works. Basically you take or upload a photo to the app and you can edit the photo by changing the filter of the photo (see example). You also add a caption to the photo so your followers will know what/who is in the photo, where it was taken, etc.

 

You might be wondering: “This sounds fun but how can I use Instagram for my business?” Well one way you can use the photo is to update your followers about your newest inventory not only on Instagram, but also on Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, and Foursquare. You can connect directly with your followers by seeing how many people liked the photo and/or commented on it. That way you can know how your customers feel about your products.

 

I think Instagram is a super easy app to get your name and products out to a new audience. If you try Instagram, let us know what you think!

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