Looking Back on 2011: What Has Happened This Year?
- Google+ and Google+ Pages: This year Google launched its own social media platform and it is now available for businesses as well.
- OTAs: OTAs still play a big part in hotel online marketing. But at a high cost in terms of commission. Many independent hotels are trying to break their addiction to OTAs by paying closer attention to other advertising channels such as their own hotel websites and social media.
- Mobile Sites: More and more people are searching and booking a hotel room on their mobile devices. Mobile compatible websites for hotels have become more and more important. A lot of hotels lose customers when the booking engine on their website does not work on mobile devices.
- TripAdvisor: TripAdvisor is the main source of guest’s experiences and reviews. Throughout the year there were reports about fake reviews or forced reviews by hotel owners. Hoteliers should have ways to encourage reviews and smart ways to prevent or deal with bad reviews.
- Social Media Marketing: Social media has emerged as a new channel for hotels advertising online and at the same time engaging with customers. It can be an effective and cost saving tool especially for small and independent hotels. But it works very differently to regular advertising.
- The Use of Video: Visual appeal or photographs are not the only thing site visitors want to see, they now wish to learn about your hotel in a more experiential way by watching video of your property. Videos taken by other guests tend to be preferred over professional, managed productions.
Looking Ahead into 2012: what are the predictions?