The election, the social media echo chamber and what it means for hotels

In the last few days, news (fake or real) has become a focus thanks to a little event we call the presidential election.

The impact that social media had in the outcome is beginning to come to light, especially as it relates to the distribution of fake news stories.

You may be reading this wondering, “Why isn’t more being done about this?” The truth is handling the situation is a pretty tricky line to walk. Much of the focus has been on just how different liberal and conservative people saw content. So, why is this?

We can break what you see in your news feed down into two categories:

  • Organic News Feed posts
  • Paid News Feed posts (advertising)

Let’s start with organic posts.

You may have heard a reference to the echo chamber effect. This is something we at are very familiar with. It’s the core reason advocacy is an effective means to influence travelers. Let’s look at why.

Social Media sites like Facebook allow users to self-select friends and sites they find interesting. The result? We’re friends with and follow sites that have strong similarities with our own views and backgrounds. Naturally, we’re presented with content in our news feed from these sources that is very narrow in scope and tends to be in line with what we already believe.

This is not algorithmic witchcraft. It’s actually common sense. We collect friends along the way, and we’re friends with those people because of some like-minded similarities.

Unlike real life, social media allows us to stop following friends who post things we don’t like. People are more likely to do this on social sites than they are during live in-person interactions.

Why? The other person generally has no idea you stopped following them (so we don’t feel so bad doing it). So in our social media lives as least, this creates a laser-focused set of people with similar beliefs and interests continuously feeding related content to each other.

It falls into an ethical gray area to ask companies like Facebook or Google to intervene with content shared organically. This quickly gets into big-brother-type censorship that (left or right)—we all want to avoid.

It falls into an ethical gray area to ask companies like Facebook or Google to intervene with content shared organically. This quickly gets into big-brother-type censorship that (left or right)—we all want to avoid. We’re all responsible for understanding that just because something is on the internet, it’s not necessarily based on fact.


Now let’s switch gears to paid News Feed posts, or in other words—advertising.

Here is where companies like Facebook and Google can make an impact. They’ve created an environment where advertisers target audiences through very specific data points. (Say, things we’ve liked or searched for.) This puts content in front of us that we are likely to find relevant or positive.

This actually makes the bubble we live in even smaller since we’re only exposed to paid content that is based on our own self-selection and is likely to appeal to us. Coupled with the content we’re already seeing organically as explained above, and—well you get the picture.

Moderating these posts will not be an easy task. Any action in restricting advertisers due to content will be a challenging balancing act. Lets face it, most news these days has a strong amount of point of view or opinion interlaced with facts. So who is to judge what is real news and fake news?

You can actually see this firsthand by looking at this article by the Wall Street Journal. It illustrates the stark contrast of how information on the same topic is presented by different sources to different audiences. It’s easy to see the side-by-side difference between News Feed articles shared by different “blue” and “red” followers. Depicted posts are sorted based on if they are shared more by those with liberal or conservative behaviors.

Facebook has stepped up to the task, announcing several steps they’re testing to battle misinformation both to provide more accurate information as well as protect the integrity of the platform. Facebook’s CEO outlined a plan of stronger detection, news verification and user warnings in an announcement made on his personal Facebook page:

So what does all of this mean to a hotel? Opportunity!

For one thing, we’ve learned from the echo chamber effect that you should speak to the friends & family of your guests the same way you speak to your existing guests. They share similar social and economic status, making them a targeted audience who are likely to make similar decisions (like booking your hotel). Do this right and ultimately it will lead to higher conversion for your hotel.

The bottom line? Authenticity matters, as does relevancy and truth in advertising.

The bottom line? Authenticity matters, as does relevancy and truth in advertising. The best marketing combines the three and gets the right content in front of the right people. Do that and everyone wins (Facebook and Google will love you for it too).

Our customers show up big at the Adrian Awards

We ❤ our customers. We recognize the experiences and memories they’re creating every day—and see it firsthand through their guests!

So our team can hardly contain our excitement as we announce that together with our customers we’ve taken home 3 HSMAI Adrian Awards this year! We love taking hospitality to new frontiers and breaking boundaries every day. Browse through the winners below as we take a few moments to extend an enormous thanks to the folks that helped make these achievements happen.

2016 Adrian Award winning submission – The Shores Resort & Spa

The Shores Resort & Spa

Gold Adrian Award in the Digital Marketing Division

Winning awards isn’t anything new for Susan Keaveney, Marketing Director at The Shores Resort & Spa. Just two months ago her team snagged a Silver Flagler Award with their advocacy campaign!

Now she and her team have a shiny, new Gold Adrian on the shelf for their Global Digital Marketing achievements. Congrats, Susan!

2016 Adrian Award winning submission – Adrift Hotel & Spa

Adrift Hotel & Spa

Gold Adrian Award in the Digital Marketing Division

Adrift Hotel is known around here for their outstanding guest stories—they make regular appearances on our monthly favorites. Linh DePledge, Operations & Marketing Director for Adrift Hotel, leads an impressive team who continues to inspire us each day. She had this to say about advocacy back in April:

“Whether someone is looking for a dog-friendly property, a romantic getaway, or a place where they have the freedom to enjoy the outdoors, the platform has unveiled some incredibly fun, personable, and even heartwarming experiences. The quality of this guest-created content is second-to-none.”

It’s no surprise that their submission for the Integrated Market Campaign for Consumers category won Gold! Congrats Linh & the entire Adrift team!

2016 Adrian Award winning submission – Nickelodeon Suites Resort Orlando

Nickelodeon Suites Resort Orlando

Silver Adrian Award in the Digital Marketing Division

Our friends at the former Nickelodeon Suites Resort Orlando started breaking records soon after they went live on our platform! The hard work from Tony Aslanian, former Director of Sales, Marketing & Revenue Strategy and Deanna Padilla, former Marketing Manager, helped this property win big with a Silver Adrian in the Contest or Sweepstakes category. All the while they collected fantastic moments from their guests along the way.

To HSMAI, the Adrian Awards and all of our customers, thank you! We love celebrating the success of our customers every day, and it’s icing on the cake to get those compliments and recognition from surrounding industry at large.

Stories that inspire: our favorite guest moments from October

Every guest story is an opportunity for a hotel to unveil something new. Stories reach & inspire—they’re truly memorable, sometimes magical, and a lot of times, a bit of fun.

In a way, we’ve fallen in love with guest stories, and every day see firsthand the impact they’re making for hotels. That’s why we’re sharing them with you! Check out a handful of our recent favorites below:

The Stanley Hotel a favorite guest story from October

The Stanley Hotel — Estes Park, Colorado

“That your beautiful hotel is literally minutes from one of the best National Parks in this country!” – Irene G.

Enjoy the view

After the perfect fall retreat at The Stanley Hotel, Irene drove over 238 of her friends and relatives to their site, capturing 42 warm leads from a single advocate!

Pacific Terrace Hotel a favorite guest story from October

Pacific Terrace Hotel — San Diego, California

“Mother/Daughter Surfing Lesson on PB.” – Karen H.

Show some love

While a lot of travelers are making their way to cooler weather, Karen hit the beach for a mother and daughter surf lesson at Pacific Terrace Hotel. When Karen shared this special moment with an audience of 233, she captured the hearts of 27 warm leads.

The Lodge at Woodloch a favorite guest story from October

The Lodge at Woodloch — The Poconos, Hawley, Pennsylvania

“This chipmunk kept running back and forth by the fire pit, so I decided to hide on the other side of the landscaped hill where he was running to. Boy was he surprised to see me!” – Denise R.

Explore The Poconos

A little bit of patience and perfect timing was all that was needed to capture this amazing shot by Denise, a recent guest of The Lodge at Woodloch. Her and fellow guests have already reached 30,000 friends and family and 696 warm leads in 2 months!

Orchard Hotel a favorite guest story from October

Orchard Hotel — San Francisco, California

“Mountain biking Mt. Tam – a great look at the natural beauty of the SF area…” – Dick H.

Enjoy more

Dick’s story from a recent trip to Orchard Hotel gives close friends and family a taste of the fun to be had in the San Francisco area.

Adrift Hotel & Spa a favorite guest story from October

Adrift Hotel & Spa — Long Beach, Washington

“Loved that we could walk down the hall for an amazing breakfast and dinner! Also loved riding our bikes from the parking lot for miles in the sunset!” – Shawna S.

Relax a bit

Shawna currently sits at fourth place in Adrift Hotel’s current contest. She shared to 418 friends and relatives so far, with 4 of her friends sharing on as well. This has driven 144 unique site visitors and 36 warm leads (and the contest is only half-way through!)

Crystal Lodge a favorite guest story from October

Crystal Lodge — Whistler, British Columbia, Canada

“Great location in a town with a great atmosphere.” – Jonathan S.

Admire more

This breathtaking view of Whistler is just 1 of the 133 guest stories in Crystal Lodge’s ever-growing library of curated content.

Alyeska Resort a favorite guest story from October

Alyeska Resort — Girdwood, Alaska

“Beautiful resort, impeccable customer service, and just a first-class act all around. The spectacular weather didn’t hurt either! Views from the mountain were fantastic!” – Pam R.

Ride along

Pam just snagged first place in Alyeska Resort’s first photo contest! Her and the other 25 finalists reached 47,848 future travelers, telling a richer story for the resort along the way.

Worldhotels a favorite guest story from October

Worldhotels — Hotels in 250+ destinations worldwide

“Constance Moofushi is a paradise on earth…!!!” – Marios A.

Discover Worldhotels

Marios’s unforgettable stay in paradise was shared with 375 friends and relatives, bringing 1,711 to their site and leading to 106 warm leads (and voting doesn’t end for another month)!

Check back next month for even more. See any stories that stand out? Let us know!

Adventure back to September’s stories

Hotel Emperador sees the impact of advocacy as guests reach 200k global travelers with

Advocacy platform puts Madrid hotel at the center of conversations sparked worldwide

ORLANDO, FL — November 1, 2016 ——a marketing platform that lets your guests become advocates to introduce your hotel and earn new guests—has helped Hotel Emperador Madrid amplify its reach to over 200,000 potential new guests. The four-star property in Madrid’s city center has attracted an enormous network of potential guests from around the world, perfect for this classic European locale.


“It’s so simple, and it works beautifully,” noted Pilar Lanchas, Director of Sales at Hotel Emperador. Designed to be incredibly easy to manage, earns and tracks new bookings while growing brand awareness, web traffic, and warm leads without any heavy lifting on the hotel’s part. “We saw immediate impact, connecting a new audience seeking our unique Madrid experience.”

More than a third of their guests have shared about their stay at Hotel Emperador since launching in September of 2014. In fact, the hotel has reached an audience 40 times that of their already impressive Facebook network, earning trusted introductions to travelers worldwide perfect for their property—upwards of 200,000 travelers in the last two years alone.

In addition to the hotel’s ability to amplify their reach to the perfect demographic, has driven site traffic to the tune of of nearly 9,000 visits. Each guest was greeted by distinct, custom experience designed to convert, taking these personal introductions down the path to becoming future guests.

“With, we’ve effortlessly grown the network of travelers we interact with on a daily basis,” Lanchas went on to add. “The quality site traffic and warm leads we’ve converted give us the opportunity to inspire new travelers to choose Hotel Emperador when traveling to Madrid.”


“We see the global impact of advocacy for hotels everyday. In fact, your guests have more influence than ever before in history,” said Alfredo Moreno de la Santa, Director of Sales Europe for “Hotel Emperador and properties alike now have the ability to engage those influencers and let them share their travel experience to friends around the globe. Not only is the scale massive, but your hotel is at the center of those experiences shared.”

Hotel Emperador Madrid is a 232-room, 1940s hotel perfectly located amid the bustle of the famed Gran Via Street in Madrid. This Ideal location in the heart of the city offers a splendid range of activities just steps away. Guests enjoy the beautiful rooftop garden and pool open during summer months, an abundance of restaurants, cafés and historical attractions to experience, and the rich culture of Spain’s capital city. For reservations, visit or call +34 91 547 28 00.