Generating revenue from your hotel´s FREE WIFI will be key in 2017

Generating revenue from your hotel´s FREE WIFI will be key in 2017

For hotels and resorts over the last few years have always been faced with the same issue, which is the urgent need to improve their WIFI infrastructure so their guests can enjoy their favourite series on Netflix, upload and download photos or videos without waiting an age for the task to be completed.  Hotels, in general, have been extremely lax in providing quality of service, as the cost to improve the infrastructure could never be offset by the revenue it could generate.   Some hotels charge for the service which is not desirable, as according to Hotels.com who released a survey which stated that free WiFi was the most desired in-room amenity.  Also, from the moment of check-in, either you are giving a small piece of paper with a password on it, or written on your key card folder, or you are provided access without the need to introduce a password.  As we move forward into an era in which a guest will be able to check in, open their room door and pay their bill from their smartphone, interaction with your reception staff will become less and less especially in business hotels.

Bearing this all in mind then, how can a hotel generate revenue from their hotel’s FREE WIFI service?

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The answer is using Social WIFI technology.  So how does it work, let’s take it in 3 easy steps:-

Access

Providing simple and easy access to your FREE WIFI service is key.  By allowing your guest to sign in one time only to your service using their favourite social media channel which in the majority of cases will Facebook or just completing a simple form, whether a guest speaks with your reception staff of not, they will able to gain access quickly to your WIFI.  Clients will be encouraged as well to connect to your social media pages, which automatically increases your fan base and also provides increased visibility.  Guests will also be accustomed to connecting to WIFI using this method especially in Travel where this technology exists in the majority of airports across the world

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Analyse

Now, while your guest is enjoying your high-speed internet access, you are gaining an insight into your guests.  Demographics, guests interests, how long do your clients spend online and email addresses to name a few.  The statistics gleaned from your guests connecting to your WIFI service will allow you to be more targeted with marketing campaigns as well as design offers and services that suit more your guest requirements.  However data collection is only one part, you will also be able to see where in your hotel or resort guests are connecting to your service, how they move around your hotel which will allow you to correctly position marketing for promotions or events that will be taking place at your hotel or improve signage or layouts.  You will also be able to identify and collect data from conference attendees, Diners at your restaurant or spa users even if they are non-residents.  Again sourcing this information will allow you personalise your marketing campaigns.

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Action

So your guests are connected to your WIFI and you an understanding better your guest’s interests and requirements.  Now, it’s time to take action.  Here´s how.  Firstly, right from the sign-up page, you can promote any events or special promotions that your are currently offering.  By knowing at what time of day the majority of your guests are connected, you can also send via email and SMS personalised messages.   You can make them aware of what is going on at your hotel or just simply ask them to provide feedback on their stay which you can encourage them to share on Google, Facebook or Tripadvisor.  Another avenue to generate revenue is to allow companies that have products displays within your resort the ability to promote their offers via your WIFI.

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In summary, by using Social WIFI technology, not only are you making easier for your guests to connect, you are gaining a data capture & marketing tool that will allow you to understand your clients better as well improve your TrevPar revenue and direct bookings.  There is clear data to suggest that we are in the final days of rate parity across Europe, so it is imperative that any hotel or resort is wishing to build an extensive database of users to encourage them to book direct, Social WIFI should be an essential part of this.

If you would like to discuss with us how Social Wifi and generate revenue for your hotel, email info@hotelient.net.

 

 

How Facebook messenger can help increase guest satisfaction and RevPar performance

How Facebook messenger can help increase guest satisfaction and RevPar performance

Hotels have in general been slow at introducing new ways to connect and interact with their guests directly to their mobile, especially considering a vast majority of your clients are already using a smartphone daily!  Users spend more than one out of every five minutes on Facebook via their mobile.  Facebook also announced recently that more than 700 million monthly active users engage with Messenger. Think about how you communicate with your friends and family today.  From organising a night out to arranging a get together at Thanksgiving.  We have become so accustomed to Instant messaging being an important part of the way we communicate with others.

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Over the past couple of years, we have started to see major companies like Tesco, Audi and more recently El Corte Ingles in Spain beginning to use Facebook messenger as a new tool to connect with their customers.  More recently, Hyatt was the first hotel chain to announce that they were testing a new guest service channel using Facebook´s new “Businesses on messenger”, available currently only in the US

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Hotels & Resorts are also starting to be aware of a higher amount of guest interactions from a smartphone for complaints, questions or posting photos.  Clients want solutions in real time, from dealing with a complaint to booking a table in the restaurant,  or just finding out what they can explore within your local area.    Reservation confirmations, which are usually sent to emails are one-way forms of communication which don’t provide your guest an opportunity to personalise their stay further.  Facebook Messenger can also provide a better online booking experience by offering real time support for the user to navigate through the transactional parts of a booking and improving the overall user experience.   Interacting with your clients in real time is becoming a necessity for hotels, especially as it will help improve guest experience and satisfaction that leads to increased revenue performance.

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So how can you implement this into your hotel operation?

  • Which department should be responsible for responding to guests?  Offering messaging in real time needs to be available 24/7, so reception would be the logical choice.  They must ensure that the are always online on messenger, so having the page open on one of the back office computers is ideal.
  • Ensure that all your marketing material throughout the hotel, as well as online via your web, booking engines as well as your descriptions on Tripadvisor, Booking, etc., include that you provide 24/7 real-time guest support on Facebook Messenger.
  • Interact with your guests, rather than reacting will allow you to anticipate your clients wants and needs, sometimes before they even tell you!
  • Connecting with your guests on a personal and emotional level will also enable your team to build relationships and trust that will allow your hotel to increase guests satisfaction and reservations booked directly overtime.

All of us are so accustomed to using instant messaging,  so it should be only natural that hotels & resorts are exploring new ways to interact with their guests and offer that personalised experience that every hotel wants to provide.

Hoteliers should also be aware that as Google starts to become an OTA; Google Now will also be in the not too distant future, an important part of your guest communication strategy.

Hotelient provide guest marketing solutions to Hotels across Europe If you like to find out about more ways to connect to your guests and increase your RevPar performance, email info@hotelient.net for further information.

 

 

Simple handy guide that will help your hotel get the best out of social media

Simple handy guide that will help your hotel get the best out of social media

A lot of our clients come to us and ask always the same question.  “We have all been told to be on Social media, we have employed a community manager/social media manager who is publishing content across Facebook, Twitter.  So why are we not seeing results, nor increases in our followers?”

This is a common question especially as many hotels view that their social media channels are an extension of their website, where you place your offers, photos or videos, recent interviews, ads or a great picture of a recent event that took place.

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Having worked in hotels as Sales & Marketing Director, the general guidance for hotels on how to maintain their social media has been constantly evolving.  There is though a coalescing around the general view that to maximize your leverage on your social media, Content Marketing will be key for you.  Now Marriott, since last year has been using this strategy and from the excellent financial results they recently announced, it is clear that it seems to be working.  However, the bad news is that most hotels do not have the budget, nor the infrastructure to compete with the likes of Marriott or the other major chains.  The good news is that you do not have too!  There are plenty of ways you to post great content without any major investment which will lead to better interactions with your followers and increase in direct online reservations.

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So here is my 5 point plan on generating great content for your social media:-

  •  Planning – Great content will be essential to succeeding at social media. Your marketing plan should include a content marketing plan, comprised of strategies for content creation and content curation, as well as an editorial calendar.  Critically important is how you divide up your content.  You should focus on the following

⅓ of your social content promotes your hotel, converts readers, and generates profit.
⅓ of your social content should be focused on your local destination.
⅓ of your social content should be based on interactions with your guests and building your brand.

  • Capturing – Not all your content is going to be generated by you.  Sharing interesting content about your destination, local restaurants, as well as local events is going to be really interesting to your clients.  Get your team to find great local websites.  In my experience, your reception team is a great source of information that you can tap into.   Get all of the hotel staff involved.  At the next head of departments meeting, ask each department to source some great articles.  You will be amazed at what they find for you to post.

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  • Creating – We have all been here, sometimes it is really difficult to create content.   Bear in mind that Google really loves videos, so creating great HD videos does not have to be expensive with your iPhone or Android and will be great for your SEO. You will only need to purchase a tripod stand for around £30.  Here are some ideas that I have used in the past that have proved to be very successful.
    • Staff reviews of local restaurants – Guests ask your reception staff all the time, why not put it in a video or a blog?
    • A day in the life of the Front Office manager. (Great blog title or video)
    • How to prepare your signature dish in your restaurant with recipe (Blog & Video)
    • Guest talking on a video about their stay. (Video)
    • 5-star guest reviews taken from Tripadvisor. (Image)
    • Video series on how things work in your hotel like the remote control, shower etc

I am sure you can think of many more ideas.  The key thing for me was that everyone within the hotel participated.  This is not a Sales & Marketing job only!

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  • Posting – OK, you have created some great content and found some great information about your destination, now comes the fun part – getting it out there.  Now, I came across a brilliant platform which will allow you to schedule when and where you post too.  It´s called Buffer and it is great at allowing you to not only program your posts to when most of your connections are online, it also allows you to add feeds from sites that your guests may find interesting, so from their app, you can choose what to post 24hrs a day, making sure that you are always posting fresh, interesting and exciting content.  Check it out, quite a lot of the functionality is available free.
  • Analysing –  To find out what adjustments need to be made to your social media marketing strategy, you should constantly be testing. Build testing capabilities into every action you take on social networks. Track your links using URL shorteners. Use Buffers social media analytics to track the success and reach of social campaigns. Track page visits driven by social media with Google analytics. Record and analyze your success and failures, and then adjust your social media marketing plan accordingly  Surveys are also a great way you can gauge success. these work both online and offline. Ask your social media followers, email list, and website visitors how you’re doing on social media. This direct approach is often very effective. Then ask your offline customers if social media had a role in their purchasing. This insight might prove invaluable when you look for where to improve.

Conclusion – The most important thing to understand about your social media plan is that it should be constantly changing. As new channels emerge, you may want to add them to your plan.  The key thing is not to turn your social media into an extension of your website.  It is about creating social interactions online –  The reason why we all employ Community Managers!!    For me, Content Marketing evolved into becoming one of the key elements in increasing my direct online reservations and RevPar and cannot be underestimated.

Do you need a helping hand in creating great content?  Email us info@hotelient.net and find out how Hotelient can help you get ahead of your competition.