Today, there are countless online tools, tips and training available which aim to help you boost your business and run your property at maximum occupancy.
But what to trust and how to ensure you’re not wasting your already scarce time?
We’ve put together a list of great sources below which we hope will help you find some useful resources to delve into.
TripAdvisor has recently launched an online learning resource with Cornell University in the USA to help properties learn how to best manage their online reputation. The course is available wherever in the world you are based and can be accessed via any computer with internet access taking approximately 2-3 hours to complete.
While not hotel/guest accommodation specific, there are great thoughts about how to best use your Twitter feed for business here. Some of the best resources are their own Twitter feeds; @Twitter with hints about new features and how best to make use of existing features, @Support for questions about any issues which are commonly found or about any problems the site might be experiencing and @Twittermobile which deals with mobile-specific queries. Not only can you use these as a great resource simply to follow but you can post questions directly too.
As a platform for independent hosts and hoteliers, LinkedIn is still in its early adoption phase with property owners still less inclined to be active here than on Twitter or Facebook. However there is a great opportunity to reach business travellers and consumers via this platform – just with a slightly different slant on messaging – and to network with other property owners to share thoughts and experiences. To get started, you can do worse than to visit LinkedIn’s own online learning resources where – for example – you can watch a webinar called ‘LinkedIn 101: The Basics of LinkedIn’ and ‘How to Build your Company Page for Business Success’.
This is a travel industry website which covers a myriad of different topics including a section focused on the hotel industry. While a lot of the examples given are of larger and often branded properties, there are still interesting insights to be gleaned which can be useful for smaller properties. One example of this is a webinar which took place on 5 June entitled ‘New Research and Digital Solutions to drive travel bookings’ which was free to attend and included a section about customer activity through the sales funnel when making hotel accommodation choices (you can also register with the site to receive the content despite not attending).
5. Tourism Organisations
Unsurprisingly, UK Tourist Organisations remain an excellent source of information for properties up and down the country including face-to-face training sessions as well as nuermous online opportunities. They are also a great resource to understand what’s happening in the local area to allow your own marketing efforts to be as tailored, topical and interesting as possible. VisitScotland, for example, will be running a video-conference in July entitled ‘Is my website working?’ which covers case studies of what other businesses have done to maximise their website exposure and how to manage your online reputation.
Various and Visit Scotland Business Support – http://www.visitscotland.org/business_support.aspx