Browsing Articles Written by

Thomas McDermott

Don't Just Join the Conversation. Lead it. Social Lessons for Hotels. (Infographic)

February 7, 2013 • By
Tambourine Hotel MarketingEvery day, travel becomes more and more central to the social experience. With Facebook's new Graph search, updates to Facebook's Mobile App Nearby, and the big announcement that Facebook is starting to ramp up their hotel industry presence, hotels that have diligently worked hard to create a strong and consistent social presence are going to have a big leg up on the competition. But for those hotels still fumbling around in the dark trying to find a social strategy, here's a few things to keep in mind.
  1. People are already talking about your hotel. If you give bad service, people are complaining about you somewhere. Whether it's on Facebook or TripAdvisor, they're blowing the whistle on you. You can't ignore them. It's time to step up and manage your online reviews and your social reputation.
  2. The social experience starts long before check in. Guests who launch on the social experience with your hotel before check in are far more likely to continue being social throughout their trip. Set them off on the right foot with social incentives at the time of booking and watch that engagement go up.
  3. Drive the conversation. Facebook has proven tools to help develop brand advocates, increase your hotel's fan base, and achieve exponential reach with special offers. Figuring out what people are saying is just the first step. As an authority on your hotel and your city, there's no reason why you shouldn't be leading the conversation about travel in your sphere of influence.
Check out the Social Lessons for Hotels Infographic below for some great tips on managing those online conversations. Thomas McDermott is the Social Media Manager at Tambourine.
About Tambourine: Tambourine is an ROI-obsessed marketing agency driving demand, revenue and brand awareness for travel and leisure clients since 1986. The Company creates inspiring digital experiences and engaging campaigns that produce measurable results. Based in South Florida and New York City, Tambourine recently received Gold and Platinum Adrian and Magellan awards, the largest and most prestigious travel marketing competitions, representing this year’s top marketing campaigns from across the global hospitality industry. We are the instrument many of the world’s most advanced marketers use to create a steady beat of traffic and revenue growth. We provide a 360º integrated marketing program that delivers predictable ROI and a sustainable sales and marketing rhythm for your brand. Learn more at https://www.Tambourine.com

Harnessing the Power of the Guest Experience

January 10, 2013 • By
It’s easy to think of social media as a go big or go home system of stunts and gimmicks to get people talking, but hotels interested in long term engagement and ongoing interaction with guests should start focusing their attention on the individual guest experience. It’s important to remember that the online social experience is only a byproduct of the social experience guests have once they book that room and walk through those front doors. What is your hotel doing to get social with your guests in order to get more people talking online while they are at your hotel, and to continue talking long after they've left? Thomas McDermott is the Social Media Manager at Tambourine.
About Tambourine: Tambourine is an ROI-obsessed marketing agency driving demand, revenue and brand awareness for travel and leisure clients since 1986. The Company creates inspiring digital experiences and engaging campaigns that produce measurable results. Based in South Florida and New York City, Tambourine recently received Gold and Platinum Adrian and Magellan awards, the largest and most prestigious travel marketing competitions, representing this year’s top marketing campaigns from across the global hospitality industry. We are the instrument many of the world’s most advanced marketers use to create a steady beat of traffic and revenue growth. We provide a 360º integrated marketing program that delivers predictable ROI and a sustainable sales and marketing rhythm for your brand. Learn more at https://www.Tambourine.com

Why Isn't Your Hotel on Instagram? 7 reasons to use Instagram

November 26, 2012 • By
One of the biggest challenges in social media marketing is figuring out how to create engaging content on a limited and sometimes non-existent social media marketing budget. And it’s the same story whether you are a 500 room hotel or a 10 room hotel. So when a free tool like Instagram comes along and levels the playing field in terms of generating on-the-fly, trendy and engaging content, get down on your knees and thank the marketing gods, because a large part of your content woes have just been solved.

7 reasons your hotel should be using Instagram:

#1 It’s cool. And never underestimate the value of cool. It’s super cool. It is. Sorry Instahaters. Snap a photo. Crop it. And apply a cool filter. Don’t ask me to explain the science behind it, but suddenly you’ve got a visually stimulating photo that doesn’t embarrass your brand like those out of date lifestyle photos. #2 It’s good content. And good content is hard to come by. Any social media strategist will tell you that the hardest thing about their job is generating good content to represent the brand. And for image centric social platforms like Facebook and Pinterest that call for daily doses of quality imagery, Instagram is a godsend, allowing you to fill out that Pinterest profile with content specific, original photography that that links back to your property. #3 It’s unique to your hotel. Finally, you can stop sharing that other hotel’s cool content. Your hotel’s Facebook page should have a steady flow of trendy content showing off your hotel’s unique style, not to mention the many wonders of the surrounding city. Stop admiring that other hotel’s trendy, hip Facebook page. Highlight the unique details of your own property. It’s not just about snapping that generic photo of a guest’s arrival. That’s good. But it could also be about that guest’s vintage luggage, automobile. or a variety of other hotel accouterment: the luxury soaps, the architecture, the stationary, the artwork, the food. The best content is always the content that is specific to your hotel and surrounding city. The more odd and unique, the better. Instagram gives you the tools to show it off. #4 It’s candid. Okay, maybe it isn’t. But if feels that way. Instagram photos have a special way of feeling like captured moments, even when they aren’t. Staged lifestyle photography seems to be the last thing fans want in a social platform, because people don’t want to feel that they are being advertised to. They want to feel like you are a part of their culture and speaking their language. In a way, Instagram is a very, very popular language. By Instagraming the photo, you are taking that necessary step away from being glossy and obvious about your social advertising techniques. #5 It’s available. You don’t have to train anyone to use it.  Instagram is free and every employee probably has the app installed on their phone. Host employee competitions, guest competitions, or pass the Iphone around at guest events to document the experience. If you don't have a smart phone, make the investment already. You should have a good cell phone by now anyway.   #6 It’s another opportunity to engage. And right now, engagement is king. Instagram boasts 30 million plus Registered Users and 5 million plus Photos Uploaded Per Day. Everyday there are people posting photos relevant to your city and in some cases your hotel. Each photo is an opportunity to engage with individuals. Like a photo, comment on a pretty picture, you’ll be surprised to find users far more willing to interact with you. On Instagram you aren’t disrupting a conversation. Instead, you’re paying a compliment. Users might react negatively if a big brand chimes in on a conversation they’re having with their friend on Twitter, but users don’t generally mind if a brand tells them that they took a pretty photo. Dollars to donuts they’ll be flattered you noticed and follow you back. #7 It’s inspiring conversation about travel.  Instagram adds an exciting new element to travel, because you don’t have to be a professional photographer to snap a photo that you’re going to be happy with. Every tourist is now a photo-tourist. They’re taking pictures of your property. They’re taking pictures of the destination. And their hashtagging the heck out of them. And because these photos have trendy, cool filters, these photos are going to paint your destination or property in a trendy and cool light. Instagram does to travel photography pretty much everything you want it to do. It inspires travel. Thomas McDermott is the Social Media Manager at Tambourine.
About Tambourine: Tambourine is an ROI-obsessed marketing agency driving demand, revenue and brand awareness for travel and leisure clients since 1986. The Company creates inspiring digital experiences and engaging campaigns that produce measurable results. Based in South Florida and New York City, Tambourine recently received Gold and Platinum Adrian and Magellan awards, the largest and most prestigious travel marketing competitions, representing this year’s top marketing campaigns from across the global hospitality industry. We are the instrument many of the world’s most advanced marketers use to create a steady beat of traffic and revenue growth. We provide a 360º integrated marketing program that delivers predictable ROI and a sustainable sales and marketing rhythm for your brand. Learn more at https://www.Tambourine.com

Fantasy Tourism: New Zealand Embraces the Hobbit

October 23, 2012 • By
New Zealand is putting its pop cultural capital to work with their new marketing campaign, New Zealand: 100% Middle Earth. 100% Pure. Watch it here. As home to the Lord of the Rings Trilogy and the soon to come Hobbit Films, New Zealand's new tourism commercial combines fantastical imagery and an overly imaginative history that boasts New Zealand as "A land where giant eagles once guarded the skies," "Where creatures dwell in ancient caves," and "Where you can play on mountains protected by gods." This bold take on destination travel begs a very interesting question: Is there room for fantasy in destination marketing? With the incredible size of the LOTR films, not to mention the literary relevance of the popular novels turned into even more popular films, as well as the iconic mountainsides, hobbit villages and massive set pieces built into the landscape, it only makes sense that New Zealand embrace these picture perfect tourism locals and cultural real estate as assets, complete with a built in audience. New Zealand is indeed a unique case, but I wonder how other destinations might translate this unique value proposition and embrace the fantastical? A rather unsuccessful variation of this fantasy concept is the new campaign for Peru Tourism titled: Peru: Empire of Hidden Treasures. Watch it here: The spot presents Peru as an "ancestral culture, chosen by Gods to harbor one of the greatest civilizations in the history of man." Packaged in the guise of a movie trailer, the spot is structured as a campy, hollywood blockbuster, complete with deep voiced narrator. Though it tries very hard to hit the right beats, the epic nature of the voice over doesn't quite suit the visuals and, in fact, feels a bit like a mockery of Peru, instead of a breathtaking visual tour that evokes a desire to see it in person. In short, it seems as though it is simply trying too hard. It seems that these high concept, fantastical campaigns come in direct response to what has been a growing and very popular trend of creating very true to life, dare I say documentary, journeys told as compelling cinematic stories with emotional hooks and raw, naturalistic visuals. A very successful example of this, in this writer's opinion, is the Incredible India Campaign in which a lone backpacker fumbles through remarkable day to day experiences while traveling on foot, on camel, on motorcycle, on river raft and on elephant. You can watch it here. It's hard to resist to the down-to-earth comedic charm mixed with breathtaking landscapes and unheard of experiences. Though this vacation experience is not for the faint of heart, but rather a dirty, gritty adventure, it still speaks to this idea of relatable experience. But as more and more travel brands begin to duplicate this documentary feel, the creative real-estate may begin to wear thin, leading quite naturally towards a need for the fantastical. In this great effort to convey value, New Zealand appears to have adopted a seemingly false history, mixing in the pop-cultural folklore of the Lord of the Rings with some of their own culture and folklore. This cultural mash up seems only acceptable because of how powerfully The Lord of the Rings infiltrated our culture in general. The campaign successfully plays upon the viewers pre-established interests, and manages to retain a sense of truth, despite its fantastical elements. This is a truth sadly not evident in Peru's campaign, and it appears that the success of creatively manipulating and presenting a destination's culture and history relies not in the conception, but in the execution. No one will complain about a creative photo editor combining the perfect sky from one photo and the perfect beach from another if the image is beautiful in the end and conveys some measure of emotional truth. I see New Zealand's successful campaign as opening the gateway to some very interesting possibilities where destination marketers reach deep into the cultural heritage and folklore of a destination to find fresh, creative messaging, and harnessing the magic of great cinema, present these ideals in exciting ways. After all, what is this idea of travel if not a culmination of moments and feelings that live deep in our imaginations? We still want to believe in far off lands we have not seen, where we will likely have experiences we cannot quite articulate. We want someone to tell us that these places still exist. That we, in fact, have not seen it all. And where some are moved by the illusion of love and adventure on a sun drenched beach at dusk, some are moved by the fabled history of hobbits nestled peacefully in a country hillside. About Tambourine: Tambourine is an ROI-obsessed marketing agency driving demand, revenue and brand awareness for travel and leisure clients since 1986. The Company creates inspiring digital experiences and engaging campaigns that produce measurable results. Based in South Florida and New York City, Tambourine recently received Gold and Platinum Adrian and Magellan awards, the largest and most prestigious travel marketing competitions, representing this year’s top marketing campaigns from across the global hospitality industry. We are the instrument many of the world’s most advanced marketers use to create a steady beat of traffic and revenue growth. We provide a 360º integrated marketing program that delivers predictable ROI and a sustainable sales and marketing rhythm for your brand. Learn more at https://www.Tambourine.com