Posts Tagged ‘video’

7 Proven Tactics For Boosting Your Brand On Facebook

Saturday, March 17th, 2012

7 Proven Tactics For Boosting Your Brand On Facebook

Posted by Guest Writer on February 14th, 2012 10:20 AM

With its audience of 845 million users, Facebook has become the best medium or marketers to boost their brand. Here are seven proven tactics for doing exactly that.

One-On-One Conversations

Personalized interaction with customers is an age old marketing strategy that never seems to fail.

Pay attention to what fans post on your wall and respond to all of them, at least by clicking like on their posts. Give feedback on their questions and address the posters by name.

Discounts

Discounts have proven to be the cornerstone of retail oriented businesses, and it works like a charm on Facebook. For example, a restaurateur can post on its page about  low-priced items on the menu every day.

Advertise On And Off Of Facebook

Try to plan advertising campaigns that synchronize ads on Facebook — especially sponsored stories – with promotions elsewhere online and also offline.

Video

Facebook ranks as one of the top sites for watching video on the Internet. Include video embeds in the posts you put on your page, and you’ll encourage fans to stick around.

Exclusivity

Offer deals exclusively to Facebook fans, or better yet, subsets of them, for a limited time period. For example, you can offer discounts of up to 50 percent for first thousand fans who click like on a post.

Contests

Contests tend to attract new customers like a magnet, and these promotions can be really sticky as well.

Flash Promotions

Promotions that last just a few hours, or are only available to the first few hundred or thousand customers who respond do really well on Facebook.

At the end of the day, better branding on Facebook improves your potential for profitable business.

Guest writer Isabella Scott is a freelance blogger whose work has recently appeared on Gizmowatch.

top 5 trends, factors, and events that will shape your business in 2012

Tuesday, January 17th, 2012

In my column last week I started looking at the top 10 trends, factors, and events that will shape your business in 2012. This week we are down to the Top 5.

Ask an Expert

By Steve Strauss

No. 5. Internet video takes center stage. Consider these statistics:

• According to Cisco, online video now makes up 50% of all consumer Internet traffic
• Last year, almost 200 million Americans watched online videos every month, and on any given day, 100 million people will watch videos online

What does this mean for your business? Plenty. People love video, and it turns out that video increases sales. Onlineshoes.com says that its conversion rate is up to 45% higher with video and Zappos.com says it sells up to 30% more when videos are used to display a shoe.

The upshot is that you need to strongly consider adding video to the mix, be it an online video brochure, a tour of your store, video newsletters, or just some instructional videos.

No. 4. Social media is becoming the land of the have and have nots: There seem to be two distinct camps when it comes to social media vis-à-vis small business: Those who get it and use it effectively and those that don’t give a whit about it (oh, and camp three — those that get it but dabble ineffectively in it).

According to the 2011 Impact of Social Business in Small and Medium Business Study, about 50% of small businesses use social media. Those that do, do so for the following reasons:

• 80% of online visitors use social media daily
• More than 50% of all social media users follow a brand
• Social media is growing exponentially — Facebook added over 200 million users in 2011

So for the small business that has figured out that social media must be a key element to their business model going forward, I say way to go. To the other 50% I say — what are you waiting for?

No. 3: The death of 9 to 5: Does anyone really work at a desk five days a week from 9 to 5 anymore? Of course I am being facetious . . . or am I? A myriad of things have combined to make it so that we can work anywhere, anytime (whether we want to or not): The Internet, laptops, tablets, smartphones, apps and software are the main culprits.

I say culprits because some of this work anywhere, anytime stuff is great (checking emails while waiting at the airport) and some of it stinks (checking emails while on the beach in Hawaii.)

As my sweet grandfather used to say: Too much of a good thing is a bad thing.

No. 2. Are happy days here again?

First a caveat: I am not an economic prognosticator and no one here is saying that the economy is peachy because it is not. But that said, there are signs that the economic doldrums we have been in for too long may be lifting a bit:

• Consumer confidence continues to rise
• Unemployment claims continue to fall
• Fourth-quarter GDP growth is looking to be in the 3% to 4% range

And while lowered expectations seem to be the new normal, it is nice to be able to report something other than dour economic news for a change. If this trend continues, it will surely shape your business significantly in 2012, and happily for the better.

And the Top Trend for 2012 is:

No. 1: Mobile mania! With iPads flying off the shelf and laptops outselling desktops, with smartphones all the rage and more than a million apps in the App store, with more than 20% of all searches being done on a mobile device now, it is clear that the era of mobile work is at hand.

For the small business, this sea-change will have all sorts of ripples:

• Employees will increasingly expect to work when and where they want (see No. 3, above)
• Customers will want to be able to interact with your business via their mobile device
• Sooner rather than later, you will be using apps to run your business
• Geo-targeting mobile marketing offers is a good idea
• Your website needs to be mobile friendly
• Mobile ad campaigns should probably become part of your marketing mix

Small Business Marketing: Tips That Pay

Thursday, August 18th, 2011

Click here to find out more!

Small Business Marketing: Tips That Pay

So, how is your marketing plan? Does it need some tweaking? As your business grows and your market changes, it almost certainly will. Sit back and enjoy as we share some tips that may help.

Google Plus

Deciding on Google Plus? Sure you might be more use to Facebook, today’s predominant social media network. But where is the future of your business, and more importantly, where is the future destination for your customers. This video looks at your options. MarketingProfessor

Where your customers are going? The best social network to use still a major issue? What if there were a place so popular that 20 million people visited in just three weeks? Are some of them your customers? iBlogNet

Tips & Techniques

How much do you know about your customers? Not enough, probably. Information you’ve collected about customers is a gold mine for marketing. But be sure to have a plan before moving forward. Decide what you need, how to collect it and how to use it. Bloomberg BusinessWeek

Marketing with promotional items. They may be one of the oldest kinds of marketing or advertising going. But just because it’s old-fashioned doesn’t mean it doesn’t work. Here are some thoughts on how to best use them. You’re the Boss

Video

Should you be using video? The expansion of video marketing is huge and so is the opportunity for small business to take part. With cheaper and easier to operate cameras and editing equipment and the value of video marketing online, it’s time to develop your marketing plan. Small Business Trends

Marketing Basics

Setting the right tone with your PR. Is your business communication coming across the way you intend? It could be doing you a severe disservice if it’s not. The wrong words spoken or written can really end in trouble for your brand. EMSI

Google Places remain critical. If you have a local or regional customer base or a a physical office or other place of business, then you must take advantage of Google Places. Here’s how you go about being sure they can find you. Canuck CEO

Getting Results

In need of more response? The key may be a well composed call to action. You want your customers or online audience to do more than just sit there looking at your marketing content. How do you light a fire under them and get them moving? Read on. Small Business Trends

Conclusion

What is your ROI? You know all about social media, blogging, SEO and the rest. You’ve even probably seen instrances of where it has worked well for another business. But still you want specifics about the return on investment. It may be more complicated then you think. Bloggertone

Small Business Marketing: Tips That Pay

Sunday, August 7th, 2011

Small Business Marketing: Tips That Pay

So, how is your marketing plan? Does it need some tweaking? As your business grows and your market changes, it almost certainly will. Sit back and enjoy as we share some tips that may help.

Google Plus

Deciding on Google Plus? Sure you might be more use to Facebook, today’s predominant social media network. But where is the future of your business, and more importantly, where is the future destination for your customers. This video looks at your options. MarketingProfessor

Where your customers are going? The best social network to use still a major issue? What if there were a place so popular that 20 million people visited in just three weeks? Are some of them your customers? iBlogNet

Tips & Techniques

How much do you know about your customers? Not enough, probably. Information you’ve collected about customers is a gold mine for marketing. But be sure to have a plan before moving forward. Decide what you need, how to collect it and how to use it. Bloomberg BusinessWeek

Marketing with promotional items. They may be one of the oldest kinds of marketing or advertising going. But just because it’s old-fashioned doesn’t mean it doesn’t work. Here are some thoughts on how to best use them. You’re the Boss

Video

Should you be using video? The expansion of video marketing is huge and so is the opportunity for small business to take part. With cheaper and easier to operate cameras and editing equipment and the value of video marketing online, it’s time to develop your marketing plan. Small Business Trends

Marketing Basics

Setting the right tone with your PR. Is your business communication coming across the way you intend? It could be doing you a severe disservice if it’s not. The wrong words spoken or written can really end in trouble for your brand. EMSI

Google Places remain critical. If you have a local or regional customer base or a a physical office or other place of business, then you must take advantage of Google Places. Here’s how you go about being sure they can find you. Canuck CEO

Getting Results

In need of more response? The key may be a well composed call to action. You want your customers or online audience to do more than just sit there looking at your marketing content. How do you light a fire under them and get them moving? Read on. Small Business Trends

Conclusion

What is your ROI? You know all about social media, blogging, SEO and the rest. You’ve even probably seen instrances of where it has worked well for another business. But still you want specifics about the return on investment. It may be more complicated then you think. Bloggertone

Facebook for Hotels 202 – Being Fun

Wednesday, April 6th, 2011

Facebook for Hotels 202 – Being Fun
Turning your Facebook page from a promotion to a story.
Monday, April 04, 2011
Mr. Larry Mogelonsky – CHA

Attention everyone! Class is now in session. For those of you expecting a freshman introduction on social media for hotels, kindly exit at the back of the lecture hall. This is not a quick tips and tricks seminar for those who just want a ‘presence’ on Facebook. This is a sophomore lesson on how to extend your Internet branding the right way; the way that will get you natural growth that actually translates into heightened loyalty and recognition. Especially now that the North American Facebook crowd has ‘matured’ to sponsored pages, you can’t afford to be just another gimmick.

It’s quite easy for hoteliers to spread the word about their property. So here is the secret, and if you know it, you’ll surely ace the final exam: Layer our informative message with a veneer of wit and charm. Keeping this thought on the back of your mind will save you plenty of time and effort when it comes to using this networking goliath.

In this day and age, online users have rapidly become desensitized to all the advertising thrown at them. They can smell direct promotions a mile away, whether they crop up in text or graphics. People these days are so saturated with things to occupy their time that if you aren’t fun, they will simply tune out. Facebook is no exception. If you are relevant to what a consumer wants, they will cut you out of their newsfeed. Being fun means being entertaining. And people love entertainment.

For example, picture yourself in ancient Rome: You are the gladiator fighting for survival and all your fans are the Plebeian mob cheering you on from the bleachers. You have but one choice. Give the people exactly what they want or face extinction. Times have changed, but the game remains the same.

But what does ‘fun’ mean in a modern sense? Therein lies the art of it all. Being fun means weaving a story around your hotel; a story with characters, adventure, mystery, and, above all, excitement.

Give the people photos or videos – not the glossy, professional (and costly!) works, but ones taken on the fly and in the moment. If you are the social media manager, you better have a smart phone or camera on hand at all times because you never know when that candid opportunity will present itself. But you can’t be everywhere at once, and that is why you need to educate your fellow staff on the boon of being social and designate a company email to receive cool snapshots from avid guests.

Pictures and video clips tell stories, and stories get people talking. Whenever you post a neat little image about something – anything – that people could find interesting in three seconds or less, then fans will be much more inclined to press the ‘like’ button. And the beauty of this minuscule effort on their part is that when they ‘like’ something, it shows up in their newsfeed. Congratulations, you’ve just breached a new network for all of your fan’s friends to see. Bonus marks for getting comments and responding to them.

What we are discussing here is brand awareness. If you are consistent with your amiable wall posts, fans will come to ‘like’ you even more, which means that their friends will see you multiple times and might even become your friends. From there, the true sense of what your hotel stands for will be told to them over a longer period of time, much the same way as chapters in a novel.

For example: Say you are the Public Relations Manager for a midsized property in Florida. Your resort has built its reputation around being an outstanding family getaway to soak in the sun and try out some beach or water related activities. You are looking to keep the good times rolling by reaching out to your fan base via Facebook, and maybe get some extra sales.

The wrong way to go about it would be to post retouched images of those perfect couples windsurfing with stellar technique into the sunset, superimposed against a snappy headline and advertised booking deal. That wouldn’t be real, and the majority of people don’t relate to what isn’t authentic. Instead, what if you started taking in-the-moment shots of guests or cool happenings around the resort? Whether it’s water sports, a guest reading a book or even a special dish that the chef made for an event, each one tells a story. A real story.

For instance, one day you go for an afternoon stroll along the beach and discover that two young siblings have just spent the last few hours constructing a sandcastle. You snap a picture and post it online. What does that say?  Now layer that on top of last week’s anecdote about a new dish offered at the restaurant and last month’s album from the Beach Jazz Festival. Then you’ve got yourself a story: fun for the whole family with a dab of tropical flair.

Another crucial differentiating factor here is your lingo – vernacular for those literati out there. Every photo should have a caption, and not just some general description. Think about how you would talk to your friends and go from there. Let me repeat: don’t write, talk. Save the precision syntax for press releases and news articles. When it comes to Facebook, feel free to break sentence structure, use a few ellipses or throw in some slang (non-derogatory obviously). This applies for regular wall posts as well as taglines for albums, video or hot links.

But there are a few subtle nuances that are also worth mentioning. The big one here is posting too often to the point of spam. A good middle ground is three to four times a week. Get your story across, but trim all the fat. Don’t make a fan regret their commitment to you. Another such fallacy is to only post reminders about upcoming events without an engaging photo, link to the previous year’s album or room for fan feedback. A couple lines of text sans image color will not attract anybody.

And thus, the proverbial keys to the kingdom lie with semi-consistent and engaging content. You need to portray the underlying message that you are committed to social media for the long haul without too much immediate inundation. Slow and steady wins the race. Once your fans see that, they will want to connect with you via Facebook and be a part of all the action. The more you engage your fans with poignant information tidbits, the more your hotel will be in their thought stream. Mind share leads to word of mouth, which in turn leads to more prospective customers. And heck, once in a while, you can throw in a promotional offer and ask your fans to give it some thought. You already have an established, back-and-forth relationship, so they’re likely to listen.

There are plenty of ways to leverage these online sites to your advantage, and I can only speak from what I have seen work in the past. Let the story emerge organically and your fans will do the rest. Class dismissed.

Larry Mogelonsky (larry@lma.net) is President LMA Communications Inc., a Toronto-based, integrated communications agency dedicated to the hospitality industry. LMA created Inn at a Glance software to specifically address these communications issues. Version 2.5 of the software links to most PMS including Micros Opera and PARS Springer Miller. More information can be found at www.innataglance.com or by calling (800) 387-1399.

A Note from Mary White

Wednesday, March 30th, 2011

A Note from Mary White

Hotels have B&Bs beat when it comes to taking advantage of Internet marketing … or do they? True, they have infringed on our territory – brands from the Four Seasons to Hampton Inns are offering complimentary breakfast and an abundance of amenities, hallmark features of a bed & breakfast getaway – however, I believe there is still plenty of room to compete.

When I started BnBFinder in 1998 the Internet was about to become the great equalizer, the chance for B&Bs to be on a level playing field with hotels because of a cost effective advertising vehicle (a website) to get the word out about our properties. Our industry has changed a great deal because of the Internet and the benefits have not come to an end.

Our agility and individuality are some of the advantages that we should seize. As a small business owner you can make a decision right now and implement it immediately, you’ll never be held up by corporate bureaucracy. You can provide a truly personal experience for your guest, something even a 5 star hotel will have trouble rivaling. You frequently know ahead of time, or are the first to know, when couples become engaged and can add an extra touch such as champagne at breakfast or a mug from your inn as a remembrance of their engagement. You also have the advantage of deciding on the spot what to do, based on guests’ personalities, making the gesture more meaningful than a canned, corporate response. Beyond the special touches, guests would have to stay at a very high-end hotel to experience the type of concierge service offered at most B&Bs. Innkeepers are in the know about the best spots, restaurants, and local secrets.

As a result of your agility and individuality, I believe your “Internet message” should always convey the value and experience that your B&B offers. Your advertising should start with the premise that your B&B is more than just a place to sleep; that to stay at a B&B is to wakeup someplace special; that B&Bs are a better way to stay. This means something different for every inn, so how do you use the Internet to convey this?

Good photos are essential. We had wonderful feedback on Melissa Giannelli’s article on photos of your inn in last month’s newsletter. Does your marketing (website, blog, newsletter, directory listings, etc) show your breakfast, amenities, and area activities? Keep it simple and appealing and when it applies, flaunt it!

Video tells your story and conveys the experience far better than words. No longer do you have to be able to shoot and edit video clips or hire a high priced videographer to have great video for your website. Programs, such as Photo Story 3, make it easy to assemble photographs into high quality, engaging video. I created the video below in less than an hour after one webinar taught by Acorn Internet. (If you’re not an Acorn customer you can sign up for their webinar series by contacting sales@acorn-is.com The video class was originally offered as a “test” beta-class, and will be worked into the class schedule later this year.)

Don’t forget Social Media. At a recent HSMAI (Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International) panel discussion, revenue managers were asked how to judge the return on investment (ROI) of their social media efforts. I listened closely for this answer, as this is a question I am frequently asked by innkeepers. Interestingly, many chain hotels have not embraced social media as a format for engaging guests. It’s not that they don’t want to, but because of the priority of other corporate tech projects or because of the personal message necessary to engage in social media, they are unable to approach this medium with the agility that countless B&Bs have.

As an Innkeeper you can always be thinking about what makes your inn special and how to convey that in whatever form of Internet marketing you use. It’s a privilege and a pleasure to promote your inn and as always I value your feedback.

P.S.: I will be at the Northwest Innkeeping Trade Show & Conference April 4-6, in Portland Oregon. If you’re at the conference, make sure you stop by the booth and say hello!



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