Share, Like, Tweet, Repeat…Get Marriott Rewards “PlusPoints”

Marriott LogoMarriott finds a way to make tweeting even more rewarding!  If you are one of those people who love to tweet, share, or instagram everything that you are doing, you are going to love this.  From the press release:

Are you constantly sharing with friends, family and colleagues on social media?  Now, once again, Marriott Rewards is changing the game with PlusPoints, a new, easy and fast way to earn points whenever and however you connect.  All those Likes, Tweets, re-Tweets, Instagram posts and Foursquare check-ins can instantly result in up to 2,000 PlusPoints per month.  Download image.

“Our members have been supporting and talking about Marriott Rewards and our hotels on social media for years and we think PlusPoints will be a fun and innovative way to say thanks and to keep the conversation going,” said Rich Toohey, vice president, Marriott Rewards.  “It is another bold step in making Marriott Rewards an active participant beyond the travel experience and engaging our members as they connect with their social networks.”

With PlusPoints, Marriott Rewards members see their points accumulate immediately, in real time.  PlusPoints can be earned everyday through social media sharing – enrolled members will receive 25 points each time they share content about Marriott Rewards and our hotels and 250 points when they Like a hotel’s Facebook page or follow a property on Twitter. PlusPoints are instantly loaded into the member’s Marriott Rewards account and a confirmation will be sent by email.

With PlusPoint’s easy and instant way to earn points, Marriott Rewards is also offering low-point redemption options. For as little as 5,000 points, members can purchase a $10 gift card for Best Buy, Gap, Lowes or Macy’s or view a variety of merchandise options.  Members can also spend 7,500 points for a $15 iTunes gift card. To get started and begin earning PlusPoints, visit www.marriottrewardspluspoints.com.

Is this an exciting new program?  You bet!  Is it bribery?  Nah, we prefer to say ‘viral marketing’.

Source:  Marriott Press Release

Google’s New Hotel Finder Features Are Now Live, Be Sure to Update Your Hotel Information

Google has been slowly improving their travel tools and now just launched new features for Google Flights and Hotel Finder.  The Hotel Finder is very impressive.  For instance, with a few clicks, I can find 828 hotels in Los Angeles.  I can then sort the results by price, star rating, user rating, or price compared to usual.  I was able to find a great room at the W Hotel in Hollywood for tonight for only $118.  Google says that price is 56 percent lower than the usual price.

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Google also added an incredible new feature that allows you to check out the neighborhood around the hotel you select.  It is very handy for first time visitors who are looking for a walk-able location, like Hollywood.  You can even draw your own custom map area to find a hotel that meets all of your needs.  You can now even search an area by brand if you are a Hilton Honors or Marriott Rewards collector.

Because of the new search features, be sure to take a few minutes and review the information for your hotel and make sure everything is correct.  Also, make sure all of your features are listed.  Potential guests will now search for things like ‘downtown Los Angeles, 3 stars or more, and free wi-fi’.  If you do not have free wi-fi listed as a feature of your hotel, you will miss out on potential reservations.  Be sure to also take a minute to review your star ratings, and your internet reputation.

Source:  Google Flights

Source:  Hotel Finder

Why Google AdWords Should Be Near the Top of Your Hotel Marketing Plan

google-adwords-logoIt is no secret that most people start their search for almost everything on the internet these days.  Most of these searches start with Google, yet few hotels have a good marketing plan to take advantage of this.  Using Google AdWords (those little ads that appear on the top and side of your google search) can really impact your hotel revenues.  It is a very cheap (and easily measurable) way to increase your business.

First, don’t assume that people skip over those ads just because you do.  Most people read the ads.  Many people actually have no idea that they are even ads.  If you are new to Google Adwords, click here for a brief tutorial.

Now, what type of keywords should you be buying?  Here are some ideas to get you started:

The name of your hotel – Sounds like a no brainer but most hotels do not buy the name of their own hotel.  You would be suprised how many times I Google the name of a hotel and the hotel’s website does not come up at the top of the list.  Often, the top searches will be third party websites like Expedia.  If you want Expedia to sell all of your rooms for you, there is no need to buy your own name.  Otherwise, this should be your top priority.  Many hotels also buy the names of their competitors.  I am not saying that this is ethical, but it happens.

The word ‘hotel’ and the name of your city and nearby cities – These clicks might be quite a bit more expensive than buying your name because you will be competing with the big third party travel websites.  However, they may really pay off for you with increased bookings.  It may be worth it to appear the top of a Google search instead of on page 5.  Few Google searchers even make it half way down the first page.

The word ‘hotel’ and the name of local attractions – For example, if you are near Disneyland, buy ‘hotel Disneyland’.  Many people search for a hotel simply by Googling ‘hotel near Disneyland’.  The major attractions may be more expensive but keywords with the names of your nearby museums, zoos, or concert halls might be surprisingly cheap.

Keywords to fill your banquet space – If your hotel does meetings, weddings, or other social functions, be sure to buy those keywords.  Get creative.  Buy the keywords for every social function that has ever been at your hotel.

Keywords for your hotel restaurant and bars – If your hotel has a unique restaurant or bar, buy up some keywords to increase traffic.  These might be more expensive because you are competing with every restaurant and bar in your area, but could really pay off.

Hopefully, this will help you get up and running right away.  Be sure you have someone on property that is responsible for maintaining the ads at least once per week.  Also, someone should be tracking your website data to see how the ads are increasing your traffic.  Google AdWords makes it really easy to play with different keywords to get the results you need.  Good luck!