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5 things to know: 6 September 2011
September 6 2011
Highlights
  • Experts share 19 social media tips.
  • Fall travel season to bring higher rates.
  • U.K. ad authority to probe TripAdvisor.
  • Summary of summer sustainability dialogue.
  • Premier Inn reports strong Q2 results.

We know it’s only Tuesday, but we’re wasting no time dishing out some great tips—19 of them, to be precise—to boost your social media campaigns this week.

The best practices come compliments of a panel at the recent Southern Lodging Summit @ Memphis, during which some of the best minds in the industry shared their thoughts on Social Media 2.0.

A choice sampling of their collective wisdom:

Tip No. 1: Determine your purpose.
Chris Jackson, VP of GCommerce Solutions, said it’s better to be purpose-driven than channel-focused. “Know what you are trying to achieve before trying to determine the channels you want to use to achieve it.”

Tip No. 14: Have a policy for what hotel representatives can give to positive and negative followers.
Call them ‘tweetie pies,’ ‘freebie mongers’ or any other name—they are the social media users who complain and/or praise with the hopes that their shouts will be rewarded by the recipient of the message. Hoteliers should tread carefully, with policies in place that weigh the ramifications of user who might respond negatively if they don’t get what they want.

Tip No. 17: Know there are costs.
Despite popular belief, having a social media platform is not free. The biggest costs come with the time and personnel it takes to produce the content.

While the summer leisure season might be coming to a close, hoteliers should expect higher-rated corporate travel to return this fall, reports HotelNewsNow.com’s Patrick Mayock.

According to TravelClick’s forward-booking data, the Top 25 U.S. markets are seeing a 6.9% increase in average daily rate for the months of September, October and November. ADR for the corporate segments during the same period is up 7.8%.

This represents an acceleration in ADR after a summer season that was led primarily by growth in occupancy. June ADR was up only 3.5%, while the metric in July increased by 3.9%.

FiveThings Ad Will Appear Here

As the dialogue over TripAdvisor’s fake reviews continues at a slow burn in the United States, things are heating across the pond. The website is now under investigation by the U.K.’s Advertising Standards Authority over concerns that illegitimate reviews are being used in promotional materials, according to Tnooz.

The investigation was triggered by an official complaint from KwikChex, the reputation management consultancy that has spent almost a year collecting information and examples of hotels that claim to have been on the receiving end of alleged defamatory and false reviews on TripAdvisor.

The ASA will not be investigating any of the reviews in question, but is allowed to investigate TripAdvisor’s claims to have unbiased and genuine reviews from real travelers featured on the site.

This past summer was both busy and productive for the hotel industry’s dialogue on sustainability, according to HotelNewsNow.com columnist Eric Ricaurte. While the overall takeaway stressed more guidance and collaboration, several other key insights arose:

• Stakeholders are asking for more uniform systems of analyses from hotels at property and company levels. Many large companies and events calculate the environmental footprint of travel and have supply chain initiatives to make procurement choices based on sustainability criteria.
• The industry needs synergies to arrive at solutions, which includes helping standardize the way questions are asked and answers are communicated.
• Best practices are becoming shared, and this can hopefully lead to catalyzing change.

• For more sustainability insights, read “Key insights from summer sustainability dialogue.” NEED HNN LINK

Premier Inn reported strong results in London and the surrounding provinces during the second quarter, according to a release from parent company Whitbread PLC. Highlights include: 
• Total roomnights sold grew by 6.6% to 5.7 million, benefitting from both good business and leisure demand.
• Room rate was up by 3.4% and occupancy was up 0.9% to 79.2%.
• Like-for-like revenue per available room increased by 4.3% with growth across both midweek and the weekend. RevPAR grew by 11.4% in London and by 2.9% in the provinces.

Compiled by Patrick Mayock 

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