5 ways to target the right guest for your hotel using advocacy

Advocacy works for all types of hotels—the friends, relatives & colleagues of your guests are the perfect demographic for your hotel to reach. Whether your hotel fits in the business, leisure, resort, limited service or luxury markets, you have the ability to make trusted introductions to entirely new audiences of future guests with an advocacy campaign.

Your guests are already sharing their travels—get them talking about their stay too. Check out some tips below on how your hotel can reach the right guest by marketing with advocacy:

  1. Connect the right guest with the right incentive for the best engagement. Two glasses of wine may engage guests booking a romance package to advocate more than a flat discount off of food & beverage (perhaps better suited to a family). Likewise, business travelers may enjoy a complimentary room upgrade or loyalty points.
  2. Tailor guest share messaging for your brand. Your guests have like-minded travelers in their networks. Don’t be afraid to play up your guest share to build stronger connections with potential future guests. Just remember to keep it conversational—this message is coming from your guests on your behalf, not the other way around.
  3. Enhance your advocacy strategies to optimize results. Pre-stay, Post-stay, and Photo Advocacy are all great experiences to engage your guests at different times of their travel. For example, guests love sharing moments at spectacular leisure destinations. Adding Photo Advocacy would be a great fit for this type of property. Our advocology experts can help guide you through the process of putting the best campaign together for your hotel.
  4. Engage top advocates even further. Some of your advocates have astounding reach! With the Flip.to dashboard, you can easily sort by top advocates. Keep an eye out at check-in for these notable guests (our handy front-desk guest-list email will help, too) and make their trip a bit more special. Building these connections convert your guests into even greater promoters of your brand (and even co-creators,) giving them further reason to continue to advocate for your hotel.
  5. Don’t forget to share! When your guests supply your hotel valuable moments from their stay in the way of photos and quotes, share! These authentic moments are perfectly suited to share to your own network and reinforce what’s unique about your experience. Plus, it’s built right into the platform—click to curate in just a few moments.

It’s important to remember that when you target guests using advocacy, you have the ability to be strategic across campaigns, incentives, share messages, and more. This will further optimize your outreach across your different markets. These small efforts can mean a big boost in engagement and revenue for your hotel!

Passing of the gong

David Bruce and Crystal Ellington
David Bruce, Account Manager and Crystal Ellington, Business Development Representative

At Flip.to, we’re constantly striving to innovate for our hotel partners, aspiring to find new and creative ways to help hotels earn new guests. As we continue to grow, so too does our team. In fact, this constant growth is what helps us serve our hotels even better! That’s why it makes me extremely proud to see two of our members moving up among the Flip.to ranks in the Marketing department.

Thanks to stellar performance and “gong-banging” ability, the one and only David Bruce is being promoted to the Account Management team. Stepping up to fill in for Mr. Bruce is our very own Crystal Ellington, moving from her research role up to the big stage as our new Business Development Representative.

So, what’s all this talk about a gong anyway? Think of it as a badge of honor, a celebration of the little victories along the way, heard loud and clear through the halls of Flip.to. It’s our little reminder of why we’re here—success through collaboration and innovation. As David passes the gong to Crystal for new pastures in the Accounts team, we’re all more inspired and motivated to achieve more. Congratulations to David and Crystal!

(P.S. Flip.to all-stars making moves means that there are more shoes to fill! Check out our openings here.)

Collaborate with your guests at a higher level

For years hotels have focused on building relationships with their guests. But with top-notch guest service, is there more you could be doing to engage them? And what will the benefit be for your hotel’s bottom line?

The answer to the former is a resounding ‘yes,’ but to understand how to engage better, (and how this drives revenue) you first have to understand your guest better. Harvard Business Review’s recent article “What Apple, Lending Club, and AirBnB Know About Collaborating with Customers” gives insight on how to do it right. Below are some lessons learned that hit home with the Flip.to team:

  • Identify guest affinity for the best engagement. Transactors, supporters, and promoters may all be purchasers, but the sweet spot lies with co-creators. Co-creators are so engaged with the brand, that by sharing in creation, they receive value in return. They’re excited to share about your brand, advocating to their network on your behalf. In return, you may give them some special treatment to enhance their experience even more, (and even promote a higher level of co-creation.)
  • Convert guests into passionate brand advocates. When you understand your guests level of affinity, you’ll be able to cultivate these relationships and reach their valuable customer networks. For example, when guests advocate on your behalf, friends and colleagues trust their opinion more than any ad.
  • Drive results through engagement. According to HBR, “research shows that companies that facilitate a network of co-creators deliver shareholder value two to four times greater than companies that don’t leverage co-creation business models.”
  • Start at the top. This shift in creating value should be central to the brand. Not only will value increase, but you’ll see more engagement and innovation.

When your guests are creative, thoughtful and really love your brand, collaborate! Co-creation leads to really great things for both company and customer—everybody wins. It’s something we focus on daily in the world of advocacy.

Check out the full Harvard Business Review article here.

#HITECatx is in the books

The books are closed on Flip.to’s third (and my first!) latest HITEC. No one word could describe the entire experience—exciting, fast-paced, entrepreneurial, innovative, and most of all FUN. The mix of age-old exhibitors and new faces, along with the 6000+ attendees made it the biggest HITEC to date. And yet, it remained personal—the face-to-face interactions allowed for immeasurable connections throughout the industry.

Ed St. Onge
Image courtesy of HITEC.

For Flip.to, it was a special year for our President, Ed St. Onge. A seasoned HITEC and industry pro, he participated on not one, but two panels over the week.

First up was Entrepreneur 20x—HFTP’s collaboration with Capital Factory that gathered innovative start-ups to pitch transformative hospitality tech to an audience of venture capitalists, super angels, serial entrepreneurs and HITEC attendees. Ed sat on the judge’s panel. Being the industry’s startup expert-at-large, it was of course a perfect fit. Whistle—a startup out of Silicon Beach that connects customers and businesses via SMS and mobile messaging—took off with the prize this year.Flip.to

Next up was HITEC’s Investing in Technology Super Session, moderated by HFTP’s Lyle Worthington. There Ed, along with the panel of angel investors and thought leaders, got to dive deep on the potential risks and rewards of investing in developing tech and innovations.

As for the rest of the show, big data, mobile demand, and engaging millennials were all hot topics. Our focus was of course advocacy—showing how hotels can reach their guests’ enormous networks of friends and family, and cultivate those brand connections to generate revenue. The idea struck a chord with a lot of folks looking to engage their guests further, as booth traffic was steady. (Our comfy couch helped, too.)Flip.to

As the exhibit halls closed on a great #HITECatx, our team reflected on an amazing week. The gears are already turning for what’s next for Flip.to.

Oh, and of course there was our event we hosted at the Hangar Lounge with our friends Social Tables and Lanyon. But that’s another post

Flip.to leaders Ed St. Onge and Brian Kent reflect at the closing of HITEC 2015