Budget Minded Ideas To Set Your Property Apart

Dinosaur Themed Hotel RoomNot all properties have a multi-million dollar budget to spend on theming, yet we all want to give our guest a positive experience that will hopefully have them stay on site again in the future.

Since we’re not all blessed with a Theme Park Budget, here are some ideas all properties can implement on a limited budget.

Idea #1 – Photo Spots

One of the easiest ideas to implement, and yet somehow seems to be one I continually recommend to property owners.

Take a corner, or a wall, or any location on your property and dress it up – make it picture worthy.

Instruct guests to take their selfies or family pictures there. Get some signage or offer to take the pictures for them.

In your theming, be sure to include something with your property’s name and web site address.

Idea #2 – Photo Streaming

Want to see your guests having a great time watching themselves on TV? How about seeing your #hashtag all over social media? You can easily do both of those at the same time!

Get an account on either  https://www.the-wallrus.com/ or https://hashslider.com/ (it doesn’t really matter which one, just chose one)

Purchase, or reuse a large TV/Monitor that has HDMI input. (Most smart TV’s these days have that).

Place that large TV in your lobby or common area where guests are sure to stop by. Connect a computer to it that is accessing the account you set up above.

When your guests use your #hashtag, they’ll appear on your TV in the lobby! 

People love seeing themselves on TV, and will be quite happy when they do.

Idea #3 – Combine Idea #1 and Idea #2

Combine the Photo stream with a picture spot, and you double down on your engagement!

If you have access to an internal programming network at your property, consider streaming your hashtag channel there as well.

Keep Your Posts Simple And Meaningful

Keep Your Posts Simple and Meaningful

Keep Your Posts Simple and MeaningfulKeep your posts simple and meaningful. Remember, you’re not trying to impress anyone with your command of the English language. You’re just trying to share a message, and in doing so, pre-frame your audience’s mindset.

Keeping your post simple and meaningful will allow the reader to easily engage with your post. They can quickly read it, understand it, digest it, and apply it to their day – and then move on with your post in mind. You don’t want your post coming up in conversation later for the wrong reasons – “Oh man, I saw this post today with, like, all these giant words… who are they trying to kid?”. Nobody wants that – nobody.

Also consider what someone might search for online. Are they going to use large multisyllabic words, or short ones? I’d put my money on the latter, if I were a betting man.

Remember your audience though – there are times when the phrase or long word might be JUST the thing they need. As with everything, it’s a balance that you need to test and learn from.


Google My Business

You Need Google My Business

Orlando Expert For Google My BusinessThe bottom line is that your property needs to be on Google My Business. It’s what people see who are searching for things on their smart phones. It’s what allows people to easily get directions to your establishment, call your location, see reviews, and yes, even post reviews.

People Find Information On Their Phones

And while most hotel/motel accommodations are booked via a laptop or desktop computer, you want to be able to provide your guests with the easiest way possible to find your location once they’re in town – or if they get lost in our wonderful city. If your location is listed in Google My Business, you’re just a  click away – and that’s a good place to be.

Listings on Google My Business get stale. People don’t update them on a regular basis. There isn’t an account manager who’s answering the questions from Google – they continually seek to validate the information listed about your business, and if someone isn’t there to respond to those messages, the account can be removed.

Google My Business is free. Listings don’t cost your company a thing. However, having one done right, and then maintained – well, that’s a different story.

We Are Here To Help You

At Sotellio, we have a proven method to keep the information on your Google My Business listing up to date and relevant. We insure that guest comments and reviews are dealt with in a timely and appropriate manner, we update site photos on a regular basis, and maintain information integrity within the listing itself.

We want to be your partner in success. Our plans start a low as $50 a month, and will ensure that your business is found when people are looking for you.

To find out exactly what Sotellio can do for you, ask about our free consultation. Just contact us today, and we’ll handle the rest.

Always Post About Your Locations Upcoming Events

Post about your upcoming eventsI was attending a medium sized convention at a hotel and struck up a conversation with a couple from the UK who happened to be on Holiday in Orlando. I asked them if they had come just for the Convention, and their answer surprised me; they didn’t even know about the convention until the night before, and only found out about it because they spoke to someone they saw wearing a t-shirt that intrigued them.

What Hotel Are You Staying At For The Convention?

When I asked them if they were staying at the Hotel they said no. They were miles away from it and were taking taxi’s to and from every day. They had considered moving their accommodations but the hotel where they were at had a pretty hefty cancellation fee, and the hotel where the convention was couldn’t help them out with that.

I didn’t get the chance to speak with anyone from the hotel where the Convention was, but I did check their social media and there was no mention of it what-so-ever. This is a huge oversight. For starters, they lost out on potential room bookings, but also lost out on potential future room bookings. You see, no matter how fantastic the location was, the convention being held there was pretty niched, and pretty extreme – with people dressing up in costumes which some may have found disturbing.

Event Communication Is Everything

Letting the public at least have a way to know that an event is happening at your location (or near by it) can serve you in a number of ways;

  • Potential guests will book your location to be close to the event even if they’re not attending it.
  • Other guests who may not want to be close to specific conventions would know ahead of time they’d be better off not booking with you this time (and then not blasting negative comments about it on Social Media).
  • People who are searching for the event will find your posts and links to your own sites and follow them for more information.
  • The event reps themselves will thank you for the extra added exposure for them.

If you have an event coordinator, make sure you’re at least checking with them daily on upcoming events. If they don’t have a unique Twitter or access to posting on your social media platforms, then you’ll need to communicate with them on a very regular basis. It’s not uncommon for events to be pushed on Social Media six months in advance.

Sotellio Is Here To Help

If you’re not sure what your next steps are, we’re here to help. Sotellio’s main goal is to make sure Hotelliers understand the returns they can manifest from Social Media. It’s time to add a level of excellence to your outreach. Contact Sotellio for more information.

Provide Incentives For Follows And Likes

provide an incentive for social engagementSave 10% Off Your Next Stay With Us! Free Room Upgrade! Free Buffet just for liking us on our Facebook page!

Your business operates on the happiness of your patrons. If they’re happy, they’ll tell a couple of their friends about the location and recommend that they stay there. If they’re unhappy, they’ll tell anyone who can listen about the problems they had – and they’re quite likely to exaggerate those issues.

Hoteliers will do everything in their power to ensure the guest has a pleasant and happy experience while staying at their location. If they’ve done their job properly, then there should be very little to worry about.

It’s important to capture that happiness via Social Media. Have them like your Facebook page, or leave a review and comment on Google, or just follow you on Twitter, or whatever social media platforms your business is on. Get a picture when them  (don’t forget to have them sign a release) and display it proudly on your pages. Happy customers bring more happy customers.

You can easily provide an incentive for a guest to socially engage your location – you’ve got an arsenal of incentives right around you. Anything from a free meal, to a hat or t shirt, to upgrades, discounts, or comps. If you’ve spoken to your business neighbors, you may even be able to provide something from them as well.

While you don’t want to make the incentive the primary reason the guest is interacting with you, you do want to make their time to do so worthwhile to them.

Need some more ideas on how to engage your audience on Social Media? Contact Sotellio today, and we’ll take care of it for you.


Never Mix Business And Personal Accounts

You should never mix your business social media accounts with your own personal ones. If your business doesn’t already have it’s own social media account, stop what you’re doing and go get them set up. (Need help? Contact us)



It’s Not What People Want To See

When someone is following your property on any Social Media, the last thing they want to see is anything personal. If you, on a personal level, just went and saw the latest movie – quite honestly nobody except your immediate circle of friends really cares. If you’re posting that information on your business social media account, you’re going to turn away prospective customers.

Recently, Sotellio had the privilege of working with a start up company. They had Social Media accounts and were actively posting to them. When we had the chance to review their social media postings we found things such as, “Sitting down to review the books”, “Stopping off for a Coffee on my way in this morning.”, and, “Living the Dream!” – with a picture of a pool and someone’s feet.

None of those posts had much, if anything, to do with the business. Worse, the vast majority of the posts made it feel like the owner was living the high life off the business in a rather nonchalant way.

Thankfully, There’s A Delete Feature

Luckily, all Social Media Accounts have a delete button. While this doesn’t erase the posts from the archives of the Internet, it does clean up a time line quite well.

After we cleaned up the timelines on several of the Social Media accounts, we sat down and helped the business owner separate the business and personal accounts. Once that was done, the Hotelier was free to post about his personal successes on his own account, while we left the Business Success stories up on the business social media account.

Keeping personal accounts is all well and good – just make sure that what you’re posting about on your personal social media account doesn’t bleed over into your business account – and vice versa. Keep them separated and grow them both to their fullest potential.

Sotellio Is Here To Help

We’re here to help you make sense of the Social Media Spectrum. We can sit down with you and sort out exactly what you need to do to get the best return on your investment of time, money, and energy in Social Media. Contact Us today and let’s get the conversation started.


Sending Texts Is Still Social Media Marketing

The vast majority of your customers have one thing in common: a cell phone. And those cell phones can all send and receive text messages.

Even if your guests are coming in from overseas and decide not to opt for a larger plan from their provider, they will likely get a pre-paid cell phone to keep in touch with their friends and family members while in the United States.

There are many services available for mass texting, however only a handful of them offer the metrics needed to conduct actual, viable marketing. When a property signs up for a texting service, they’ll be assigned a “short code” – a short, usually easy to remember number. They’ll also be able to use a keyword to categorize their groups. For example, the Restful Inn could sign up and choose the keyword “Rest” to keep all of their customers in one group.

Simply Ask Your Guest To Sign Up

Asking your guests to sign up to receive text messages is a pretty straight forward thing to do. “Text ‘rest’ to 101010” (as an example, don’t really do that). Now when the Restful Inn wants to text everyone in their group, they’re only composing a single text through the service that relays that text to everyone in the group.

The benefits are amazing. First and foremost, it’s pretty much instant (although some services do allow for text scheduling)


Some examples of when a property could use texting:

  • The attached restaurant is slow
    Hungry? Make your reservation now. Mention this text and get 10% off!”
  • An event in the lobby
    “The magic show will start at 8pm. Arrive early for the best seats!”
  • Occupancy Assurance
    “Book your next stay with us before you check out and receive a 20% discount!”
  • Immediate Information 
    “The pool is closed due to a water quality issue. We will advise when it is reopened, approximately 2 hours.”
  • Important Local Events
    “Guests are able to see the rocket launch from the East Parking Lot. The rocket is scheduled for lift off at 8:37 am”

The use list of texting could pretty much go on indefinitely. There are some considerations to put in place; such as how often a location should text their guests. However, texting is still one of the more reliable forms of digital marketing available today.

We are here to help you

Want to learn more about Texting as a Service? Contact Sotellio today. We’ll be more than happy to speak to you.

Never Tweet About The Following 5 Things

Twitter is an amazing tool that allows people and organizations to quickly communicate with their audience.  It can be a source of great information, as well as a jungle of worthless trash. It’s important to know what your business should and should not be tweeting about.

In our opinion, you should never tweet about the following 5 things:

  1. Don’t Tweet about Internal Business Matters
    If the mantra “it’s just business” applies to whatever the subject matter is, it probably has no value to your audience.

    There are plenty of other ways to communicate with staff members. Publicly is simply not the way.
  2. Don’t Tweet about Anything Negative
    A tweet can (and usually does) last forever. Anything said in a negative manner will just end up haunting your business.

    While it may very well be true and your guests may fully agree with you, your future guests may see those tweets and decide to stay elsewhere.
  3. Don’t Tweet about Your Guests Without Permission
    A tweet about a guest having a wonderful time is all well and good, but never assume you have permission to do so. Ask, and if possible, get a release.

    We don’t know much, if anything, about our guests lives back home. No amount of assumptions can be made on what information he or she may want others to know. Nondisclosure is key.
  4. Don’t Tweet about Your Competition
    Unless you’ve got a mutual (and hopefully documented) social campaign, you don’t want to say anything positive or negative about your competition.

    Legal matters aside, it’s just not professional or kind. As a hidden bonus, stay away from the passive aggressive tweets about your competition as well. Keep things focused on the positive of your property.
  5. Don’t Tweet about Anything Political
    It doesn’t matter what your stance is on any issue, you’re sure to offend someone else with your opinion. Keep away from anything political for your business.

    We all have opinions; some stronger than others. Political opinions simply don’t have any place within a property’s Social Media.  Don’t even hint at anything political in nature. Just stay far away from that as possible.

Always make sure what you’re tweeting is adding value to the lives of the people following you. Ensure that you’re not wasting their time with irrelevant information or nonsense. What we say on Social Media is often times what the public bases their opinion of us on.

Not sure what to tweet about? Sotellio can help! Contact Us today and ask about a free consultation.

Take Regular Pictures Of Your Location & Share Them

take pictures on a daily basisTaking regular pictures from around your establishment is one of the easiest ways to keep the search engines quite happy with your updates.

You don’t need any expensive camera gear for your daily pictures, either. In fact, your phone will actually serve better for this job then anything fancy. Your phone, combined with a Google My Business Account, can be one of the most powerful Social Media tools you can work with.

You just need to take the pictures and upload them to the proper location within your Google My Business account, and tag them appropriately. The whole process shouldn’t take more than a few minutes, and if you’re walking your property anyhow, you might as well grab some photos.

Some ideas of what to take pictures of:

  • The sunrise over your building, sign, trees, etc
  • The front entrance of your location
  • Your Pool (if you have one)
  • The clean, well lit, and safe parking lot you have
  • Your location as seen from the street
  • Your Front Lobby / Welcome area
  • Your Rooms

Some ideas of what not to take pictures of

  • Guests (unless you have a release form them)
  • Staff (staff changes and can lead to take down demands)
  • Areas that need improvement
  • Anything that may violate OSHA working regulations
  • Anything that’s dirty, not cleaned, or out of place

You should be taking pictures on a regular basis – multiple times a day – and sharing them via Twitter, Facebook, or any other Social Media Services you have – and making sure they’re uploaded to your Google My Business account.

Photos taken on current day devices (phones and digital cameras) have the ability to add location/gps information to those photos. If you’re taking the pictures for your Social Media accounts, ensure that this feature is enabled. The big search engines have the ability to retrieve that meta-data and can display your pictures in search results.

Sotellio can work with you and teach you exactly what kind of pictures would work best for your property. We’ll let you know when the best time for you to post those pictures are,  and (most importantly) how to measure the return on those pictures.

Check out our plans page; if you don’t see one that fits your budget, contact us for a custom quote. We’d love to work with you.