Short Description: Social Media continues to grow in importance as the search engines take these sites into consideration for the SERP’s (Search Engine Result Pages). Hotels that take advantage of this trend are seeing significant benefits in terms of online placement and revenue. There’s a lot of buzz around social media strategies for marketing purposes for businesses, and the hotel industry is still trying to grapple with how to gain from the newest trends on the internet. We have been experimenting with several different strategies around social media and its relevance to the lodging industry. The outcome of this research is GravitiTM, Milestone’s cutting-edge Social Media Optimization Product. Here are some of the findings based on our initial research. We divide the social media landscape into 7 different categories as per the chart below. This article will discuss how hotels and resorts can utilize some of these categories to market their properties:
1. User Generated Content
User Generated Content will be a critical element of Web 2.0 strategies. You will find an increasing number of consumer decisions influenced by user generated comments and reviews. In our opinion, this will be the single largest influencer for consumers looking to make hotel room purchase decisions. This will also become one of the largest differentiators for hotels and will allow good operators to win heavily over the poorly managed hotels. But then, that’s what the internet is about – offering transparency to the consumer so that the better product wins. The first generation of internet
applications offered rate transparency across different hotels and the next generation of applications are going to separate good products from the not-so-good ones. The most popular channels include: Trip Advisor, WikiTravel, Yahoo Answers, Askville by Amazon, etc. Hoteliers can create utilities on their own websites... [continues]
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