Online Tools for SME Hospitality Industry

Sometimes we take the Internet for granted.  In fact, many hoteliers don’t realize just how much the Internet has impacted their business. More importantly, many don’t recognize how much the Internet can influence their business and help them grow.

There’s a lot of power behind the ever-growing world of Online Revenue,  Property Management Systems and Social media. Here’s what you need to know about making the most of these in the hospitality industry.

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Online Revenue

Nowadays, the online hotel industry doesn’t consist of booking platforms, hotel websites, and travel blogs alone. One example is the ability to competitively benchmark your hotel through the use of an online revenue management tool.

But that’s not all. There are also web applications that tackle metasearch marketing for hotels. These tools can help hoteliers build a unique hotel profile in an intuitive and easy-to-use fashion. They help hotel managers improve their property’s ranking and, at times, include features that can optimize revenue as well.

Systems and apps that include revenue management features enable hoteliers to see first-hand what their competition is up to online. Wouldn’t you like to know the nuances of seasonal pricing fluctuations for low, mid, and peak times of year?

Well, now you can when you use one of these. How about having the ability to make tactical marketing maneuvers and decisions for your hotel, backed by the data of your closest competitors? When using online revenue systems and  exclusive metasearch marketing features, a world of opportunity opens up to you. Not only do you gain insight into the competition’s current pricing strategy, but you have access to future price forecasts as well.

With these employed, you have the flexibility to offer competitive rates, backed by the knowledge you need to ensure that your rooms aren’t to be undersold or  overpriced due to a lack of insights.

Web-based Program Management Systems

PMS help hotels streamline their daily operations. Every hotel manager can benefit from innovative technology aimed at improving the daily management of the hotel, making it more efficient and effective. When a hotel’s operations are streamlined, budgets can be optimized and savings reflected.

Well-run properties also tend to experience higher profits and ensure better guest experiences. Nothing is left to chance and no detail is forgotten. Guests notice this and are inclined to leave stellar reviews, which can have a significant impact on  future bookings.

The secret to achieving a well-run hotel isn’t really a secret at all. The success stems from the use of a high quality Property Management System. Not long ago, these systems were exceptionally cumbersome, expensive, and tough to navigate. They were  primarily aimed at the chain hotels, and even then they were  riddled with issues.

However, that’s no longer the case. This new breed of PMS is the main tool of the hotel when it comes to application; it helps to manage reservations, invoicing, and organize daily tasks. As a hotelier, you can access online PMS from anywhere. This gives you the ability to follow along with the latest details of your hotel operation when you’re out of town. It makes check-in and check-out a breeze and gives the extra level of detail needed to run a hotel smoothly. PMS’ free up hoteliers from dealing with long, grueling, manual entries, or complex computer systems.

Social Media, now and then

Social Media helps hotel managers market their hotels and connect with guests directly online. Have you ever thought about the sheer number of travelers you weren’t able to reach in the past? (You know, when there were no smart phones, prominent search engines or social media sites).

Conversations between you and your guests used to typically end when they checked-out of your hotel. The comments they made about your hotel or the photos they shared of their stay weren’t something you had access to. Connecting with guests simply depended on them contacting you first, which made things like staying in the top of mind (encouraging repeat business) hard to do.

Attracting travelers to visit your property was even tougher, especially off season. Direct communication touch-points were limited to boring brochures and the whim of travel agents. More often than not, you had to hope that people simply ‘found you’, especially if your hotel isn’t located in a city center.

When it came to marketing, you usually had two options: word-of-mouth marketing, or spending a lot of money on advertising. The first option took quite some time to build traction, and the second option was very costly and meant that small hotels couldn’t feasibly compete against bigger competitors.

That’s all changed now.

Social media empowers hoteliers to connect with travelers by posting engaging content that attracts both their rational and emotional needs. The power of social media now enables hotels to tell their story every day in their own unique way. Best part is that social channels such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter are free for businesses to use!

Hoteliers are able to connect with potential guests on their own business page, leverage local tourism pages, and quickly respond to customer inquiries via chat features. Reviews, feedback, photos, videos, and more are all collated here. When a brand is engaging, it resonates with potential guests and encourages user-generated content: an invaluable advertising asset.

This is where guests turn into brand advocates.With  added features on websites, like the Book Now button on Facebook, it’s possible for hotels to earn bookings, commission free, via their social media account.

Are you using any of the above tolls to your hotel’s fullest potential?

trivago jamie  JAMIE PATTERSON

This is a guest article made by Jamie Patterson. Jamie leads the Global B2B Blog Marketing & Communications efforts at Trivago, the world’s largest hotel metasearch site.

Jamie believes that playing host to guests from far and wide enriches the soul. Especially when it means having a full hotel. Born to entrepreneurial parents, she’s passionate about business growth. With a decade of traditional and digital marketing work behind her, she’s now developing educational content and marketing tactics to help hoteliers world-wide grow