40 percent of guests become ambassadors for San Francisco’s newly minted Hotel Zephyr with Flip.to

Star of the revitalized Fisherman’s Wharf reaches 200,000 future travelers in first 6 months of operation

ORLANDO, FL — February 8, 2016 — Flip.to, the advocacy platform for hotels that captivates and inspires new audiences of travelers, has helped Hotel Zephyr amplify its reach to over 200,000 potential new guests in only six months. Hotel Zephyr is Davidson Hotels & Resorts’ first property within its new lifestyle & luxury collection, Pivot, and one of San Francisco’s newest boutique hotels.

The Yard at Hotel Zephyr
The Yard at Hotel Zephyr

The hotel has seen enormous guest engagement since partnering with Flip.to, which coincided with the hotel’s opening after a multi-million dollar renovation in the summer of 2015. Over 40% of guests have shared their travel experience with their network of family and friends, driving quality traffic back to the property’s website, and introducing Hotel Zephyr’s playful maritime concept to thousands of leads for future travelers.

“When launching a new brand, momentum is critical,” noted Harry Carr, director of Revenue Management for Hotel Zephyr. “Our guests have become ambassadors for our hotel, helping us connect with other travelers seeking Hotel Zephyr’s spirited atmosphere. Flip.to unveiled a completely new channel to identify and reach the right guests for our property. It’s been an outstanding complement to our revenue and marketing efforts.”

The Lobby at Hotel Zephyr

Hotel Zephyr’s transformation, aimed at travelers seeking a fresh, lively and one-of-a-kind San Francisco experience, not only included a complete redesign and renovation of the hotel, but also consisted of a newly launched website and tech-forward approach to the property’s digital presence. Flip.to was a key component of this effort, increasing guest engagement, integrating social mediums and driving loyalty, while also shifting attention away from online travel agencies.

The advocacy platform has attracted thousands of new visitors back to Hotel Zephyr’s website through the warm introductions of their guests. Each guest is greeted by distinct, unique experiences designed to convert, taking these curious onlookers down the path to becoming future loyal guests.

“Thanks to connectivity in the digital world, your guests have more influence than ever before,” said Debi Moses, Senior Director of Sales for Flip.to. “Flip.to gives hotels the ability to tap into that influence by letting them share their travel experience with their personal connections—a like-minded network of travelers who are perfect for your hotel. Their combined reach truly gives you global exposure.”

Guest Quarter at Hotel Zephyr

Hotel Zephyr features 361 stylishly appointed guest quarters and suites. The property’s artistic design brings a new dimension to the upscale vibe that defines San Francisco. The only waterfront hotel in Fisherman’s Wharf, guests enjoy stunning panoramas of the iconic Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz, Fisherman’s Wharf, Coit Tower and the Bay Bridge. For reservations, visit www.HotelZephyrSF.com, or contact Reservations at reservations@hotelzephyrsf.com.

Flip.to on the road: Worldhotels Annual Conference

I spent the last week in Hamburg with a wonderfully diverse group of hoteliers and industry folks from just about everywhere in the world. From a trendy, forward-thinking boutique in Sweden that will come and read you a bedtime story in Swedish to help you get settled in at night, to a designer, eco-conscious hotel on one of Berlin’s most traveled thoroughfares that prides itself on keeping walls to a minimum, there were definitely some standouts in the crowd.

What they had in common though, was that they all represented something bigger than the sum of their parts, which is exactly what brought them together in Hamburg for the Worldhotels Annual Conference.

Worldhotel Conference dinner
Worldhotels Annual Conference wrapped up with an outstanding dinner

This year’s theme was focused on storytelling, and how hotels discover and share their “why” with prospective guests. There couldn’t have been a better group to undertake this exercise given the sheer diversity of the attendees, a credit to Worldhotels for assembling such a collection of properties.

Worldhotels’ CEO, Kris Intress, has done a superb job in making it the focus of the organization to tell the story of its partner hotels in a way that truly engages with their guests on an emotional level. Her opening presentation for the conference made it clear that it’s not just a corporate directive, it’s how she truly feels. With drive like that, it’s hard not to get behind the concept, and that goal was definitely met in Hamburg.

There were two things that I took away from the conference (not including this really cool virtual reality cardboard kit from Diginet Media; seriously it’s awesome).

“If you’re an independent hotel and you’re not playing the game by a different set of rules, you’re going to have a hard time.” – Richard Dunbar

The first is that if you’re an independent hotel and you’re not playing the game by a different set of rules, you’re going to have a hard time. I have a great deal of respect for hotel owners and operators because it’s a fierce space to play in. You have a huge job just in delivering on the experience the guest expects but there are also so many distractions, all vying for your attention.

The hardest part of all of this is that most of those distractions need your attention or they can become tomorrow’s problems. Worldhotels does a great job managing a lot of those distractions for hotels, (disclaimer: hoteliers’ words, not mine) but it’s incumbent upon hotels to have a firm grasp on why they do what they do. It’s one thing to point out what makes you unique, but how did you arrive there? What brought you to where you are today? That’s a much more challenging question to answer and it requires a different perspective to fully understand it.

“Let your guests help you discover your ‘why.'” – Richard Dunbar

The other big takeaway for me is that hotels are hungry for a better way to do social. Now I know, that may sound self-serving, but there were over a hundred hoteliers that attended our sessions on capturing guest stories and infusing those into the hotel’s brand identity. The message was a very simple one: let your guests help you discover your “why.”

We have this amazing vehicle for communication (social media) but it’s become congested with marketing pollution and a lot of noisy nonsense. The truth is that hotel guests have been telling their stories but hotels haven’t been listening. In all fairness, some do listen quite well and they’ve been extraordinarily successful because of it. But there are countless hotel websites out there showcasing empty rooms and public spaces, embracing this notion of the zombie apocalypse our esteemed president raised in his recent “state of the industry” address.

For the longest time social in this industry has been a one-sided conversation. Sure, guests are talking on TripAdvisor but that’s very formulaic and can hardly be considered a conversation. The stories are being told at home, to friends and to family. Those stories that make their way into the online social media space sit on the shelf of our limited attention spans and are soon forgotten. There’s no engagement and there’s no dialogue happening. When meaningful and inspirational adventures are happening everyday in and around hotels those events should be captured and sharing should be encouraged!

Attendees enjoyed an Octoberfest dinner on Friday

In the end, all of the ingredients were there, hotels just needed the recipe. Kris, Geoff, Tom, Alex, and all the others at Worldhotels have worked tirelessly to bring it all together and present it in such a way that hotels are well equipped to start their journey. I was proud to be welcomed into this group and to present our solution to this challenge. Because ultimately it’s about building a long-term, meaningful relationship with the guest. And if there’s one key ingredient to a healthy relationship, it’s listening.

6 ways to improve your hotel’s website experience, right now

Managing your hotel’s website can be a big undertaking. It’s a task often taken on by many team members, and sometimes many departments. There can be a lot of moving parts and pieces, and thankfully there are some great tools out there to help you get the most out of it—analytics, user trend tracking, content management systems, and great hotel booking engines.

But what’s “under the hood” doesn’t account for the compelling visuals and content that makes your site tick, (and grabs a visitor’s attention.) And with a number of people involved, this can mean the ability to make enhancements doesn’t always move as quickly as you’d like.

So what can you do right now that will make a difference?

Here are some things you can do that will improve the experience on your hotel website, and don’t require a website overhaul to get them done.

1. Give your website some personality

Hotels are often beautifully designed. From plush room accents to swanky public spaces, a lot of thought went into crafting an artful experience for your guests—and you want to show that off. But keep in mind your hotel has personality that extends beyond the manufactured décor that lines interior and exterior walls.

Hotels are brought to life by people. The experiences your guests encounter and the stories they share aren’t manufactured. Instead, they’re the authentic, rich memorable moments captured at your hotel. They’re all part of your hotel’s story, and provide the most candid insights into your hotel that resonate with future guests.

Guest moment captured with Flip.to’s Advocacy Platform for Hotels

The best and easiest way to start adding personality to your website is by including photos of the genuine experiences your guests enjoy while staying at your hotel. Research from Psychology Today reveals that consumers perceive the same type of personality characteristics in brands as they do in other people. Potential guests will envision themselves sharing in these experiences when they see photos of real people, and not only lifeless spaces. Infusing this distinct, unique, experiential content is the first step in helping convert curious on-lookers into future guests.

You may be asking, “What does this content look like?”—bringing us on to our next topic.

“Storytelling is like a vitamin. When it gets into your readers, it permeates their whole being, and fights every objection that might otherwise stop them from becoming loyal customers.” – Neil Patel, Entrepreneur, Angel Investor, and Analytics Expert

2. Build content that speaks to your guests

Start by defining personas

More than likely, your hotel is made up of a few different types of guests. Developing content with your guests’ personas in mind creates strong initial brand connections from the first time they encounter your hotel—usually online. In the long run, delivering these unique and personal messages on your website will have a measurable impact—more bookings, better performance, and a change in whatever metric you might be testing against.

Since you probably already have a clear idea of who your guests are, start by writing them down. Ask yourself if you have content that attracts and engages these personas. What brand stories still need to be told?

Take for example a hotel in our Orlando neighborhood. Since local attractions for families are a big reason to travel here, most hotels in the area have content to support that. But that message doesn’t resonate with culture seekers or foodie travelers—why not speak to those potential future guests about the brand new performing arts center located right in the city center? Or the rich dining experiences from the number of James Beard featured chefs in town?

This is where user-generated content has extraordinary value. Not only is it the best way to source timely and relevant content that speaks to all the different types of travelers for your hotel, but it does so in a way that is authentic, personable and trustworthy. The travel stories that your guests share enrich your own hotel’s narrative.

Consider Where Your Guest is in the Booking Cycle

In the example above, we defined your guest’s persona by their travel preferences. But that’s not the only thing to consider when evaluating your hotel’s content. Where your website visitors are in the travel-buying cycle is critical to being able to spark the right conversation.

Analyses from Google’s The 2014 Traveler’s Road to Decision shows that when researching travel in the early stages, destination related terms dominate search. This drives home the fact that hotels need to sell the experience as much as (if not more than) the hotel itself. Reaching and inspiring potential guests during the early stages of travel planning is where hotels can truly win, influencing their decision to stay and book directly when it comes time to buy.

Flip.to Homepage Component
Flip.to’s Homepage Component

Other content that is particularly influential to drawing travel inspiration includes recommendations from friends and family, and online travel videos, so be sure to infuse this content throughout your site.

Also consider that curious on-lookers who visit to your website early in the decision making process may not be ready to ‘book now’. It’s important to engage this type of visitor in a different way than someone who’s ready to purchase. Flip.to’s Homepage Component is one example of how to do so effectively. By pairing a short, curated quote from a guest with a different call-to-action, the visitor may sign-up to lock in an incentive on a future stay. Later, when the visitor is ready to book travel, they have a placeholder saved in their inbox. For the hotel, an anonymous web visitor has now become a warm lead who they have the opportunity to engage further.

3. Be Local

Why do guests travel to your area? Is it because you’re located in the heart of a tourist epicenter, perched on the foothills of the Smoky Mountains, or have a special event in town? Start digging into what motivates your guests and use that to your hotel’s advantage. Over time, you’ll identify trends, letting you stay ahead of your guests’ activity.

Keep a pulse on the local heartbeat. Ask guests and locals, or use online sources for inspiration. Event hubs such as Eventful or Eventbrite house a ton of local activity, as well as resources including local newspapers or state tourism websites. Plus, being involved in your local community lets you be involved in making memorable experiences for guests. Again, weave this content into your site to make sure your potential future guests know and are excited about it during their stay.

ACME Hotel in downtown Chicago is an incredible example of how to tap into the local scene. They’re located right in the middle of River North—home to hundreds of Chicago’s hippest eateries and nightlife.

Creativity, innovation, and self-expression are key to their guest experience. They continually work with local artists to bring personality and richness to their hotel. One of their latest initiatives is the ACME Intsa Gallery—a pop-Up art display featuring photos from some of the most admired local photographers on Instagram. Meant to inspire guests, it also brings a real sense of authenticity to the property.

ACME Insta Gallery
ACME Insta Gallery

This is just one piece of their larger effort to work with local and aspiring artists every day, all of which is infused throughout their website and serves as a key attraction for travelers to the hotel.

4. Check your rates and offers

competing-offers-v2Sometimes there are so many things to juggle that you might miss this obvious but crucial mistake—ensure you’re not presenting multiple offers that compete with each other on yours site. If offers are posted in different pages, try to tie them together so there is consistency and flow, and also to prevent confusion on the part of the guest.

When visitors are on your website and see a different offer (either better or worse) on different pages of the site, they may start to wonder if they’re really getting the best deal. By the time they’ve decided, the guest may not even be able to find the offer they really wanted.

Keep them limited, relevant (personas!), and consistent.

5. Don’t erode your brand

To build on the above, be wary about the offers you extend on your site, as well as how they are presented to potential guests to avoid brand erosion.

Future guests exchange their info to receive a hotel’s offer via Flip.to’s platform

Consider having visitors sign up for an offer instead of having them live permanently for any visitor to use. Your hotel will begin to build a database of warm leads, and can follow by nurturing them down the path to becoming a future guest—all while maintaining the integrity of your brand.

Again, Flip.to’s Homepage Component helps our clients protect against brand erosion in this way by offering discounts only to guests who sign-up. This creates exclusivity for guests who unlock the offer, and provides the hotel with the right information to spark real conversation and influence them to book directly in the future.

Another way hotels can maintain brand integrity is by offering value-adds instead of discounts on room prices. With a value-add, you’re not just giving something away. Instead, you may build it into the cost of the room. If you’ve defined your guest persona(s), you’ll know what appeals to your guests and why they love your property. Consider creating value-added packages that incorporate elements of their persona into the room rate.

Let’s say you have a hotel in Wine Country. Many guests selected your hotel in part because of its incredible location. Since you’re “being local,” include tickets for an excursion in the room rate to one or two of wineries your staff personally recommends. Or, offer a couple’s getaway for a weekend and include a bottle of wine with the room. This is a great opportunity to get creative and get your guests talking. By using a value-add in this way, you’re building brand affinity and staying consistent with your guests’ perception of your brand.

6. Get social

Alright—we know this isn’t your website, but it’s often the next biggest digital channel where you speak to your guests, and we know that your guests are on social media. Hotels often use social media as an advertising channel instead of an outlet to build their brand, reach users and engage audiences—there’s nothing really social about it.

Content Distribution on Social MediaWhen it comes to content distribution on social media, use 80% of your content to nurture, educate, and entertain guests. The other 20% should be devoted as an avenue for direct revenue generation. You know that really great, user-generated content we talked about infusing onto your site? Well guess what—this is the perfect content to repurpose for your social media. It’s timely, and most of all it’s relevant to the audience of followers and fans who’ve opted in to hear more about your hotel.

6 ½ Tech matters

This last (half of) one is something that’s easy to take for granted, but is important.

Do a “sanity-check” on a regular basis to make sure everything’s working how it’s supposed to—links aren’t broken, your booking engine is running smoothly, dates and room criteria carry through searches, images are displaying properly, and more. There’s no greater reason to abandon and use a third-party than when it’s difficult to walk through the booking process. When glitches happen, be the first one to expose them and get them fixed. It’ll save time (and headaches) when you manage the process regularly.

A strong digital strategy has countless moving parts. With a small amount of effort, you can make a difference on the performance of your hotel’s website right now. Be strategic with your changes to see even more impact, and start with these takeaways to put your hotel down the road to success.

  • Your hotel’s personality is a built from your guests’ experiences—show them off!
  • Understand the booking cycle and have content that speaks to each stage
  • Build relationships in your local community to help craft your guests’ experiences (and enrich your hotel)
  • Be aware and steer clear of competing offers that cause brand erosion
  • Focus the majority of your social efforts on building relationships with potential guests instead of selling to them
  • Do regular “sanity checks” on your website’s technology and performance

What changes have you implemented that have helped move the needle for your hotel? Let us know! Your insights guide us to continue to create great content that makes a difference in your day-to-day. Reach out, or discover more.

There’s a social status for every status

“Social media is just a fad,” raved early critics. Looking back, it’s almost ridiculous to think, as it’s quickly become an indispensable part of a hotel’s digital strategy. In 2015, 65% of all internet-using adults use social media, compared to just 11% in 2006—and that number is still on the rise. Facebook has over 1.55 billion users, and other social networks are growing at an outstanding rate. Simply put, social media doesn’t plan on moving out anytime soon.

Hoteliers can benefit from engaging potential future guests with social media to help foster loyal brand communities, and even reach new audiences. In fact, hotels have some of the most to gain from this channel since users already love to share their travel experiences with friends and family, and their social networks are the vehicle to do so.

Below you’ll find some key elements that will bolster your digital strategy across all of your guests, and why social use is an important channel when it comes to influencing travel decisions early on in the travel planning process, regardless of age or demographic.

Social media–spanning the ages

Social media usage from 2005 to 2015
Social Media Usage, Pew Research Center

In the dawn of modern social media, (circa 2006) users between the ages of 18-29 dominated social media adoption. Even though they still lead the pack, the age gap is quickly closing for other groups. In fact, the largest growth in the past 5 years is a tie between users 30-49 and 65+ years old. Today, 75% of adults between the ages of 30 and 49 use social media sites, and 50% between the ages of 50 and 64.

When it comes to booking travel, 83% of those surveyed in Google’s 2014 Traveler’s Road to Decision cited social networking, video, or photo sites as their top online sources of inspiration. This key indication shows that the research phase is a clear branding opportunity for hotel marketers. Plus, keep in mind that when potential future guests are considering a travel destination, 92% say they trust “earned” media—the recommendations from friends and family—above all other forms of advertising.

This points to social media as a top channel hotels should be using to reach potential guests. A single person is connected to hundreds of friends & family across the world, and one person’s story travels further to that audience than ever before. Use this to your advantage to introduce your hotel to an audience of like-minded travelers who are the perfect guest for your hotel.

Affluent travelers and social media

The best luxury brands tell the best brand stories. They’ve established their guests’ personas—understanding who they are, what they care about, and how to reach them with the right message.

Affluent travelers equally value the internet and word of mouth as the most important sources for inspiring personal travel. With this information, social media is a compelling, targeted and cost effective avenue for brands to tell stories and inspire potential future guests.

Jade Mountain guest photo by @angiesilverspoon
Jade Mountain guest photo by @angiesilverspoon

Karolin Troubetzkoy, executive director/owner of The Jade Mountain, a AAA 5-diamond resort featuring expansive, luxurious suites and private infinity pools in St. Lucia with rates starting on average of $1575 per night, said guests take it upon themselves to generate a strong social media experience. As she puts it, “When you have a property that is so photogenic, almost everyone is posting immediately on arrival. As a result, social media is the No. 1 driver of our business.”

Social media is also a key influencer of organic search engine results. Since 59% of those who start their research online state that search engines are their go-to source for travel ideas and information, using quality content on social to help boost these rankings is a given. The people from Moz—an industry-leading tool for measuring, monitoring and evaluating a website’s level of search engine optimization—conducts a Search Engine Rankings Factors survey every two years. In their 2015 survey, social media was the 9th most influential factor on search engine rankings.

Hoteliers cannot ignore social media for any age group or demographic, especially when considering the impact it has on potential future guests’ travel decisions, and the fact that nearly 70% of the population uses social media.

The friends, relatives & colleagues of your guests are the perfect demographic for your hotel to reach. Whether your hotel fits in business, leisure, resort, limited service or luxury, start making trusted introductions to entirely new audiences of future guests. Hotels worldwide use Flip.to to do just that.

If you want to learn more about how advocacy is a game changer for your hotel’s social media strategy, check out the perspective from our president, Edward St. Onge, in Making sense of social for hotel managers and owners.

Flip.to partners with In1 Solutions to help hotels win direct bookings and massive ROI

New partnership with In1 Solutions opens doors for Flip.to in the United Kingdom, Ireland and South Africa

ORLANDO, FL – June 2015Flip.to, the brand advocacy platform that helps hotels earn new guests, today announced their strategic partnership with In1 Solutions, a leading provider of hotel booking engines, multi-channel digital marketing, and integrated online distribution services for hotels in the global market.

Executive Studio, The Cleveland Hotel, London

Hoteliers in the United Kingdom, Ireland and South Africa using In1’s comprehensive booking engine in tandem with Flip.to are now able to reach an entirely new channel of guests with advocacy. This integration in combination with In1’s digital marketing expertise has amassed enormous results. By allowing existing guests to share their stay with family and friends, they become a growing extension of the hotel’s marketing force. The hotel’s reach is extended to travelers across the world, building trusted brand connections and moreover, increasing direct bookings.

The integration has been a resounding success, resulting in massive return for shared hotel clients. Barbara Mus, Hotel Manager of The Cleveland Hotel in London commented, “We have been delighted with the return we have achieved to date with the brand advocacy product—over 930%—and are working closely with the team to encourage further engagement.” Over the last quarter alone, the combined efforts of the Flip.to and In1 Solutions platforms have delivered over £6,200 in revenue. Mus added, “It is a great way to increase awareness of the hotel’s brand and generate both increased levels of visitors to the site and to grow direct bookings.”

The Buckatree Hall Hotel in Telford
The Buckatree Hall Hotel, Telford

The Buckatree Hall Hotel in Telford noted similar results. “The brand advocacy campaign over the last few months has managed to reach in excess of 10,700 social connections, growing awareness of our hotel brand across the social media channels and also delivering us growth in website visitors and direct bookings,” said Wayne Jenson, General Manager. “With an ROI of over 370% we would not hesitate to recommend this tool to other properties.”

Richard Dunbar, Director of Partnerships at Flip.to said of the pairing, “Flip.to is thrilled to be partnering with In1 Solutions. Together, we’re able to provide a seamless, integrated platform that has exponential impact for our clients. We’re driving more direct business for hotels worldwide. Plus, In1’s global appeal makes them a natural fit into our partner program as we continue to grow in new markets.”

Richard Toms, Director of Sales and Global Partnerships at In1 Solutions spearheaded the integration with Flip.to. “In1 Solutions’s main focus is delivering more direct bookings to our clients,” Toms said. “This opportunity provides a tremendous return for our hotels, opening up an entirely new stream of revenue—it’s been a critical addition to our world class online booking engine software, and helps our clients maximize their booking potential.”

In1 Solutions provides a suite of integrated solutions for hotels alongside their booking process, with offices in the Ireland, the United Kingdom, Spain, South Africa, Holland and New Zealand. For more information, contact Richard Toms at richard@in1solutions.com, or visit www.in1solutions.com.

To discover more about Flip.to, and how the advocacy platform for hotels helps drive direct bookings and earn more guests, schedule a demo at http://flip.to, or contact Jeff Weibel at jweibel@flip.to.

Flip.to and Availpro partner to help hotels earn more guests and grow direct booking revenue

Flip.to partners with the leading booking engine and reputation management provider in France

ORLANDO, FL – April 2015Flip.to today announced its strategic partnership with Availpro, the leading booking engine and reputation management provider in France. The partnership was finalized with the successful integration of the Flip.to Advocacy Platform and Availpro’s multifaceted Smart Booking Engine®.

Hotels using using Availpro’s booking engine with Flip.to will now be able to tap into an entirely new channel that is truly social–guests sharing their travels with friends & family. Turning guests into a trusted marketing force with massive reach, paired with a unique personal experience for every social connection, leads to a significant, measurable bottom-line impact. Flip.to helps hotels grow direct bookings, build strong brand connections and vastly increase worldwide reach.

“We’re excited about the partnership with Availpro because it reflects the international appeal of the Flip.to platform and presents an opportunity to drive more direct business for hotels the world over. Availpro fits well with our approach to partner only with companies that we’d be happy to do business with ourselves,” says Richard Dunbar, Director of Business Development at Flip.to.

“When it comes to building brand awareness for hotels, social media is definitely an increasingly important tool to consider. We are thrilled to announce our integration with Flip.to and strongly believe it is a great opportunity for hotels using our Smart Booking Engine® to improve their online presence and convert new potential customers,” added Mathieu Verhaeghe, Partnership Development Manager at Availpro.

To find out more about how Flip.to can help create a significant, measurable impact for your hotel, please get in touch with Debi Moses at dmoses@flip.to or visit www.flip.to.

Guest photos go viral for The Shores Resort with Flip.to Photo Advocacy

Guest stories pave way for huge marketing reach for The Shores Resort and Spa

ORLANDO, FL – JANUARY 2015 – The Shores Resort and Spa has recently switched on an entirely new marketing channel as guests compete to fill the resort’s amazing library of authentic photos. After The Shores Resort launched Photo Advocacy, guests have shared photos of their favorite vacation moments with hundreds of thousands of friends and family.

The Shores Resort & Spa
The Shores Resort & Spa

Flip.to Photo Advocacy encourages hotel guests to enter into photo contests that The Shores uses to turn memorable moments into amazing brand connections around the world. Guests share their photos of The Shores Resort to their social networks as they compete for votes in the contest. Contestants get competitive as they share to win.

“The reach of Photo Advocacy can be astounding. One entrant was a travel blogger with 428,000 followers who sought out votes through her social media – sending her voters (and potential guests) directly to the hotel’s website,” said Debi Moses, Senior Director of Sales for Flip.to. “No amount of marketing can have the kind of trusted reach that your guests have combined.”

The Flip.to platform makes it easy for The Shores’ marketing team to curate a hotel’s brand story through the creativity and the authentic voice of their guests. Photo Advocacy helps turn social connections into new guests.

Unlike traditional hashtag photo contests, guest photos are chosen and approved by the resort, linked to the brand and carry full copyright permissions. This allows the hotel to repurpose and reuse the photos in all of their social media channels. Photo Advocacy photo contests run perpetually so there is always a stream of new photos to choose from, vote on and share to promote The Shores Resort.

“Flip.to’s first Photo Advocacy contest, ‘The Shores Outdoors,’ allowed our guests to embrace their inner photographer and resulted in sharing amazing scenic shots that I can honestly say would rival a professional. It is no wonder so many went viral!” said David Rijos, General Manager of The Shores Resort & Spa.

The Shores Resort & Spa, Pool
The Shores Resort & Spa, Pool

The Shores Resort & Spa is an AAA Four-Diamond luxury beachfront hotel in Daytona Beach, Florida, and one of the first hotels to launch Photo Advocacy. Guests submitted photos that included beautiful sunrises, children playing on the beach, messages in the sand and striking ocean views from hotel balconies.

“Flip.to continues to amaze us with their innovative approach to harnessing the power of our happy hotel guests and turning them into our property’s brand ambassadors. Everything we do with them is a big win-win!” Rijos added.

To find out more about how Flip.to can help you tap into an entirely new marketing channel and earn new guests, please get in touch with Debi Moses at dmoses@flip.to or visit www.flip.to.

Learn more about Photo Advocacy at www.flip.to/photoadvocacy.

Flip.to is “secret sauce” for The Oliver Hotel’s off the charts guest engagement & room sales boost

The Oliver Hotel joined forces in 2012 with Flip.to to help spread the word about its updated Southern charm, sophistication and amenities


ORLANDO, FL – DECEMBER 2014 – The Oliver Hotel, a historic, boutique hotel in downtown Knoxville, Tennessee, underwent renovation and renaming in 2011. The hotel joined forces in 2012 with Flip.to, the brand advocate platform, to help spread the word about its updated Southern charm, sophistication and amenities.

The Oliver Hotel
The Oliver Hotel

The partnership has been so successful that the 28-room hotel booked an astounding 430 room nights through Flip.to’s guest advocacy in the past year.

“Flip.to is The Oliver Hotel’s secret sauce. We hate to give away the recipe but Flip.to is the future of hotel social media,” said Mike Riley, GM of The Oliver Hotel. “Our engagement rate is off the charts, and Flip.to has lead to at least a direct 5% increase in total annual room sales, not to mention the word of mouth it creates down the line.

“Furthermore, Flip.to gives us an easy way to immediately gauge guest feedback the moment they step out the front door. If you don’t believe me, check out the front page of our website – it’s like our very own TripAdvisor,” added Riley.

Right at the time of booking, Flip.to encourages guests to share their upcoming trip to The Oliver Hotel with their social connections around the world. This drives friends and relatives to a uniquely personalized hotel website experience and leads them down the path of becoming future guests.

The Oliver Hotel
Oliver Royale

“When guests love a hotel, they want to let everyone know,” said Debi Moses, Senior Director of Sales for Flip.to. “And The Oliver Hotel is a hotel guests love. Flip.to offers a way to share that excitement in a way where everybody wins – guests, friends, and the hotel’s bottom line.”

To find out more about how Flip.to can help create a significant, measurable impact for your hotel, please get in touch with Debi Moses at dmoses@flip.to or visit www.flip.to.

Flip.to & Vizergy partner to help hotels turn guest referrals into a powerful new business channel

Flip.to partners with Vizergy, the leading partner in hotel internet marketing

ORLANDO, FL – NOVEMBER 2014Flip.to is proud to announce its most recent strategic partnership with Vizergy, the hospitality industry’s leading partner in hotel internet marketing. Flip.to, the brand advocate platform, turns hotel guests into a huge, trusted extension of a hotel’s marketing force, boosting brand awareness and earning new guests around the world.

Vizergy has partnered with Flip.to on multiple fronts, ranging from a new product offering within Vizergy’s best-in-class suite of marketing services, to a seamless integration with Secure-Res, their globally respected booking platform. This partnership has allowed Vizergy clients to take full advantage of the Flip.to brand advocate platform and has laid the foundation for hotels to earn increased customer engagement and generate new guests, with the help of their existing guests.

Since partnering, Vizergy has integrated Flip.to on a number of customer websites, as well as a variety of booking engines. The roster of Vizergy’s customers that have opted to integrate this service into their online strategy continue to see added revenue gains and increased traffic due to viral marketing. These successes are driven by the performance of the Flip.to platform and its ability to create uniquely personalized messaging for guests of each specific hotel property.

“Flip.to and Vizergy are proactively working together to design an integrated platform that has a real impact for our mutual customers based on what’s best suited for each one. Our mission is to help hotels earn new guests and we’re laser-focused on doing just that everyday,” said Edward St.Onge, President of Flip.to.

“We are thrilled to continue partnering with innovative new social platforms such as Flip.to,” said Robert Arnold, President of Vizergy. “As guests become increasingly vocal in the social sphere, it is critical to bring new and unique products to the table that will allow our clients to maximize booking potential and enhance relevant and targeted messaging for their properties. Flip.to delivers that added benefit of trusted word-of-mouth marketing, and we look forward to providing this service to many more of our socially savvy hotel clientele.”

Flip.to + 2 celebrity guests = 56,000 connections for Atlantic Hotel & Spa

Two celebrity guests reach over 56,000 like-minded travelers for the Atlantic Hotel & Spa in Fort Lauderdale

ORLANDO, FL – NOVEMBER 2014 – Two TV broadcasters spread the word to their massive social networks about their upcoming stay at the Atlantic Hotel & Spa in Fort Lauderdale with the help of the brand advocate platform, Flip.to.

The Atlantic Hotel & Spa
The Atlantic Hotel & Spa

“We were extremely fortunate to reach 56,000 people from just two guests – that is priceless publicity for our hotel. Flip.to is truly engaging. An amazing amount of our guests and their friends use the incentives earned for future travel,” said Scott Frothingham, Hospitality Revenue Consultant for the Atlantic Hotel & Spa. “Flip.to has been great on reaching a completely different area of social media versus your traditional review sites and getting a few ‘likes’ here and there.”

Many guests have hundreds, if not thousands of potential future guests in their social networks. Flip.to encourages guests to spread the word about their upcoming stay with their friends and family, and provides a personal experience for each, while taking them down the path toward a future booking at the hotel.

The Atlantic Hotel & Spa, Balcony View
The Atlantic Hotel & Spa, Balcony View

“Whether your guests have 100 or 30,000 connections, a personal endorsement builds strong trust and brand awareness, bringing traffic directly to your site,” said Debi Moses, Senior Director of Sales for Flip.to. “That traffic turns into booked room nights or plans for a future stay. Either way it’s a win for your hotel.”

To find out more about how Flip.to can help create a significant, measurable impact for your hotel, please get in touch with Debi Moses at dmoses@flip.to or visit www.flip.to.