Thursday, July 25, 2013

Offer upsell opportunities, and provide a memorable and buzz-worthy experience by introducing a "Twitter Concierge"

Innovation and money-making ideas often don't require a big budget.  In fact, this blog will explore  "Big Ideas" that could cost $99, or less, to bring to market.  One such idea was introduced this week by Melia Hotels International, with the launch of #SocialWave, its Twitter concierge program, delivering guest requests exclusively via Twitter.  At a recent Social Media conference that I chaired, this concept was all the rage - and there was a lot of animated discussion about the Manhattan Hotel in Rotterdam's twittering concierge,  @conciergeRTM.  The hotel's concierge tweets advice, answers questions, and makes reservations at attractions and restaurants in Rotterdam.

Now, the Sol Wave House Hotel in Mallorca, Spain has taken this concept and turbocharged it. Guests register from the hotel's WiFi network, and this service enables them to engage in conversations, meet other guests, compete in contests, share photos, etc...

And there's an ancillary revenue piece to this initiative as well - the hotel has created #TwitterPartySuites, which includes champagne service, sports drinks on arrival, a 20% discount at all bars and restaurants, VIP hammocks, a customizable minibar, plus a free drink in the Friday #TwitterPoolParty.  A very clever way to upsell the hotel's suites and food and beverage! By leveraging the hotel's WiFi capabilities, Melia has glammed on to a fairly unique customer experience - one that is buzzable, and getting quite a lot of press in US and European "hipster" magazines.  Perfect for Sol Wave House Hotel's desired demographic.  So, how much does it cost to redeploy its two Twitter concierges? Nothing.  How much value in providing a differentiated, buzzable hotel experience, plus the opportunity to upsell? Quite a lot. How can your travel business benefit by introducing your hotel, cruise line, agency, tour operator, airline, or car rental Twitter concierges?

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Dramatically grow your customer database - from destination wedding/honeymoon to "babymoon"!

Social Media plays an important role for many travel sellers.  Engagement is key, and no-cost promotions can help you grow your customer database, attract new customers, and significantly increase your opt-in email database.

Here's one idea....partner with a key supplier to provide a "Honeymoon to Babymoon" vacation of a lifetime.  Any couple booking a honeymoon or destination wedding with you is automatically entered to win - as long as they "like" your Facebook page, and send you at least one photo from their destination wedding/honeymoon, giving you permission to publish on your Facebook page. In addition, ask if they would like to receive email notifications of special offers from you - particularly around "red letter" days, such as birthdays and anniversaries.  This is a great way to grow your opt-in newsletter database.

Partner with your supplier to provide you with 3-4 mini-trips (ask for this from your co-op budget, since you are marketing the promotion with their brand).  Award each "babymoon" trip quarterly, to those who email you about the exciting news of their new family arrival!  Post photos of the happy couple on their "babymoon" vacation. You can also post "before and after" photos - from honeymoon to babymoon!  Young couples love to share on social media, and what better photos to share than honeymoon and babymoon photos?