Looking For Your Next Big Revenue Driver? Infuse Your Strategy with a Little Social Commerce

By Blog

Luxury Hotels Were Made for Social Commerce

In marketing terms, social commerce is an amplification of your e-commerce strategy across all social platforms. It builds on the fact that you already have a strong presence and big audiences engaged with your brand, property, and lifestyle. Through social channels, luxury hotels have huge new windows for brand product exposure and transactions. Basically, you can make anything in your content shoppable. This works in paid and organic. You can tag the products for discovery and purchase and drive people directly to your social e-shop. Even better, social channels reach people across multiple stages of the consumer journeys. When traveling, the shoppable content is very oriented to audiences who already trust the brand and property. Successful conversions are more likely because this revenue stream acts like a loyalty channel, exciting consumers and extending beyond rooms and amenities to tap into their pride of ownership.

Choose the Social Media Platform Best Suited for Setting Up Your Storefront

Location. Location. Location. The old real estate adage applies here too. Deciding where to build your storefront is all about your brand and your strongest social channel. All of the main social platforms are ready to integrate a social shop as a brand channel. However, we generally recommend that you choose a platform with the historically best user experience and proven sales performance. At the top of our list are FB, IG, and TikTok. These platforms make the shop set-up relatively simple, and if you’re already working with an e-commerce platform like Shopify, they integrate easily.

Revisit Your Overall Strategy to Include the New Components of Social Commerce

In setting up a social commerce program, you want to determine how it will fit within your larger strategy. When your portfolio of products becomes available to purchase through social e-commerce, your existing content and paid strategies might require a little re-alignment. Consider that these new campaigns will exist alongside all the different hotel goals, including social engagement, promotions, bookings, and food and beverage. Just as you do with your programs, the social commerce content has to be properly tagged to stand out and feel organically integrated with the hotel experience. Another alignment tip is to create a mini-funnel where specific audiences engaged with social commerce can be retargeted with e-commerce ads. It’s a great way to create a funnel in a natural flow.

One Big Factor to Consider Before You Launch Social Commerce

First, ensure you have a clearly identified portfolio or products to sell. This sounds obvious, but it helps start with items you know are coveted and readily available to stock, ship, and maintain. For first-timers, we recommend partnering with a shopping platform that will make the integration easier, faster, and more efficient–for you and your guests!

Learn From the Luxury Masters

The gold standard brands already do an amazing job in social ecommerce. For example, Four Seasons allows you to basically buy all the products you love from the property for your own space. Their content strategy focuses on the hotel experience, and the shoppable posts are only displayed when the product contributes to that experience.

Think of Social Ecomm as Marketing Feng Shui

You have a storefront. You’ve identified the luxury items most coveted by guests. They are available in reliable quantities. Now you’re ready for the perfect arrangement of products, channels, and media. Your brand will never aspire to be a commercial retailer offering BOGO sales. Instead, your strategy is infused with just the right amount of ecommerce, creating harmony and unity in your marketing world!

About the Author

David Pico
Director of Paid Media
BCV, A RateGain Company

David Pico has been a paid media expert for 15 years, working at leading media agencies across multiple markets in the US, Europe, and Latam, and including a portfolio of Advertisers and Brands that included Singapore Airlines and Marriott International.

Seasonal Strategies for Luxury Hotel Brands: Black Friday Edition

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The holiday retail deals around Thanksgiving have become almost as important as the Thanksgiving turkey. In fact, not only are people looking for deal around this time, they are also booking travel for the rest of the year. Here are some proven strategies to capitalize on all of these opportunities.

Strategy #1: Build Buzz & Anticipation During The Suite Spot

Determining when to start marketing a big promotion like Black Friday/Cyber Monday is as important as the offer. You want to find the balance without cannibalizing current or evergreen promotions and rates while still conveying some level of exclusivity to consumers who may convert. Consumers are already in the mindset of time-sensitive promotions this time of year with the holidays on the horizon, so they’re trained to act more in the moment out of fear of a deal expiring before they can pull the trigger.

A few weeks before Black Friday you’ll want to figure out the following:

  • What is the offer going to be?
  • What assets do you need to create for this? (ex. Ad creative, landing pages, etc.)
  • What channels do you want to run on?

Once that is all sorted, go live with the campaign 7-10 days ahead of Cyber Monday. Again, this lead time is the suite spot giving a significant amount of runway to build momentum across channels.

Strategy #2: Start With Your Loyalty Program Members

Effective targeting is the key to any successful campaign, including BlackFriday/Cyber Monday. Of course, reaching new consumers is always crucial. However, the adage “Repeat consumers are one-fifth the cost of converting new ones” should be in everyone’s mind.

Focusing on past guests, who don’t already have future reservations booked, will be a surefire way to capture the lowest-hanging fruit. These people already know your brand/property, have experienced the level of hospitality you provide and should have a higher propensity to convert. So let them then be the megaphone for this offer across their social networks and open up new audiences for your property, expanding your reach without increasing your budget.

Strategy #3: Create A Compelling Video Series

Standing out in the midst of all the holiday hype requires a little something special. Get creative using any sort of motion format. Video is worth the extra effort as it helps grab attention. It also ensures wider distribution as social platform algorithms prioritize video.

There are a variety of interesting ways to get moving on the motion picture video ahead of your promotion.

  • 1. Instant Experience Ads take over a user’s entire screen and features an immersive mix of dynamic content to keep them engaged.
  • 2. On your IG Business Page, Pinned Posts allows you to create a series of 3 featured videos–your own little mini-series–where each episode reveals more details on your promotion.
  • 3. In all cases, remember to activate event features so your community can opt into being reminded about your sale when it goes live.

Strategy #4: Create A Creator Partnership Promotion

In a busy shopping season, you need to pull in the heavy hitters, and that could include Creator partnerships. Also remember that influencers and creators wield just as much, if not more, trust than friends and family. They harness incredible power over our behavior and actions because of their authenticity and personal connection to their communities.

Creators get the job done, providing authentic content quickly and with the power to influence purchasing decisions. They also increase the chances of your content being picked up by new audiences and building the buzz of a promotion. Amazon Prime Day was a great example of activation. With plenty of partners sharing their finds and recommendations for the best things to purchase, people were exposed well ahead of the promotion and started to wish list what to add to their cart.

With new features like Collab Posts, partnerships can be even more valuable in tapping into established audiences for both parties to create a win-win juggernaut.

Strategy #5: Don’t Launch An Offer At All

What if you zigged when everyone else zagged? One smart stealth move might be to save your offer for after the hype. You’ll avoid all the noise. And besides, for some ultra-luxury properties, and their clientele, Black Friday just isn’t on brand. This could be a great opportunity to let your values shine by skipping Black Friday. Brand decisions like this can go a long way in building stronger sentiment and loyalty, especially with more and more generations building and showing an affinity for brands that align with their values. As a bonus, marching to your own beat lets you offer a promotion during a different window. Less noise to cut through and more opportunity to drive up consideration.

We hope you agree that adding a Black Friday/Cyber Monday program to your rotation increases revenue now, and builds momentum through the end of the year. Of course, if you’d like an opinion on which strategy best suits your objectives, we’re here to discuss.

About the Authors

profile picture of Carol CasanovaCarol Casanova
Director, Global Marketing & Communications
BCV, A RateGain Company

Carol currently leads the Marketing & Communications department at BCV, A RateGain Company. With nearly 15 years of marketing experience within the Hospitality vertical, her expertise & creativity has evolved alongside the world of digital media. She’s brought her intense passion for storytelling and results-driven mindset to various brands and hotels, resulting in award-winning campaigns accredited by HSMAI. She’s also been a featured panel speaker twice during Social Media Week Chicago.

profile picture of Jon VecchiarelliJon Vecchiarelli
Director, Enterprise Sales
BCV, A RateGain Company

Jon is Director of Enterprise Sales for BCV, and has been with the company for nearly a year. Prior to working at BCV, Jon spent 5 years at one of the hospitality industry’s leading digital marketing and web design agencies, NextGuest (since acquired by Cendyn).

woman standing on pier and taking in the view

Turning Leaves? Perfect for Turning Up Last-Minute Bookings

By Blog

Fall Road Trips in New England for Your Luxury Hotel Properties

It’s Fall in New England and that means hundred of thousands of people are considering last-minute plans for a classic fall foliage road trip. Or sports at their alma mater. Or a trip to see the kids at school. Or a hundred other reasons to get that vehicle in gear and hit the highway. There is a short window. But this is your chance to hit the on ramp to a successful fall season.

Here are some of our social media tactics that are sure to help people book that impulsive fall trip with your luxury property. And if the last-minute nature of this, well, natural phenomenon has you feeling anxious, BCV is here to guide you through all of the best-practices. Just give us a call.

The Time is Now

Our team recommends a deep dive into local happenings and on-site activations. What’s going on near the property? What’s going on at the property? Put them together and you have an answer to the travel seeker’s biggest questions: what should we do and is there a great place to stay nearby.

Fall is a season, and fall events are, well, seasonal. The special events at this time are scheduled like clockwork. They are annual, often traditions, and always feature similar highlights. Here’s how to turn that old standby into fresh creative.

  • Take a ‘greatest hits’ approach and put together the highlights like pumpkins, leaves and scenery into an IG Story Itinerary with a CTA to book now.
  • This IG Story will be boosted as a reach ad to reach as many people as possible in a short window of time. Since the content is timely and engaging, you’re more likely to get those clicks in a short period of time./li>
  • Finally, you’ll want to create 1-2 posts detailing activations/events with a CTA to book an impulsive fall trip and boost it to a targeted audience on multiple platforms. Since a FB ad would take longer to optimize and we have a short period of time, this is the best route for last-minute asks.

Weather is Your Secret Weapon

All good marketers understand the power of scarcity. Fall road trips have this in spades. First there is the fleeting moments of the foliage turning. Next there is the change in weather patterns and fewer warm, sunny days. Play up every connection to weather forecasts or other indicators to make trips more urgent. When the forecast looks good, turn on the heat with extra posts and ad buys. Remember, this is Mother Nature’s ‘limited time offer.’ Especially for New England, you want to play up the foliage as much as possible. Weave a combination of weather and time running out into your content to express urgency and push those last-minute bookings.

two women toasting on a park bench

Be a Local Hero

The expected area of the road trip audience is a heat map around your property and the nearest population centers. Typically our strategy would be to hit that drive market of surrounding states in driving distance between NY, CT, VT, NJ, NC, SC. Pay attention specifically to university towns since Harvard & Yale are BIG drivers for people to travel to the area, not only because of student enrollment but because of their athletics programs. Look back on the deep dive into your exact locale. Unique things to discuss would include:

  • Fall Foliage
  • Stunning State Parks
  • Scenic drive, for example, in the Appalachian Mountains
  • Farmer’s Markets, Fall Harvest Festivals, and Fresh Produce
  • University Athletics

We hope this article is like a GPS to get you started on the right road. Now, it’s time to rev up your social media engines and get cruising to last-minute fall bookings.

About the Author

Zorgie Sanchez
Senior Account Executive
BCV, A RateGain Company

Zorgie Sanchez is a Senior Account Executive and a digital media specialist with a passion for aesthetically driven storytelling. Throughout her four years at BCV, she has excelled at creating high-quality content and establishing long-lasting relationships with clients across multiple luxury portfolios. Prior to making the jump to a career in digital media, Zorgie obtained her Master of Arts in English Studies from the University of Illinois at Chicago. She currently lives in Chicago with her husband and 7-year-old german-shepherd mix Caribou.

person playing records in bed

Turning What Ifs Into What’s Next

By Blog

Latest Tips and Tricks for the Hotel Social Media Savvy

If you’re into optimizing your hotel’s social media strategy, you know there are always one or two things you wish the social media networks would do. We found a couple of handy new features you might not be aware of that help build engagement.

Check out the overview here, and if you want to dive into the pro section, follow this link to our insights section.

As always, if you want to discuss these features or other items on your luxury travel marketing wishlist, experts are just a click away.

What if I Could Get People to Add Their Content to Our Content?

Cool New Feature 1: INSTAGRAM ADD YOURS STICKER

Add Yours stickers are a new form of engagement for Instagram Stories. While previously interactive opportunities on Stories circled back to the original user, this addition starts a chain reaction in which anyone can participate and share their unique content. Rather than simply answering a poll or asking questions, users are prompted to whip out their own cameras or sort through their photos to find and post.

Add Yours are easily integrated, especially when tested on temporary Stories posts to understand how it fits best with your brand. Read more about Add Yours here.

What if I Could Get More Out of Content Creators?

Cool New Feature 2: POST COLLABS

Collab posts are a new feature that allows users to co-post both regular feed posts and Reels. The advantage to this – rather than having the Content Creator post it alone – is that the engagement will count towards the brand’s profile page as well. For example, if a brand with a small Instagram following co-posts with a Micro-Influencer with 100k followers, the brand will see unseen engagement on that particular post.

These posts will show up identically on both profiles and will share engagement, likes, and shares. This way of posting expands the users’ reach and visibility, as the two accounts “share” a following in this moment. In addition, Collab posts can add a level of validity to brands that partner with Content Creators, as it displays a higher level of investment by the Creator than if they had simply tagged the brand in a post. Learn how to post a Collab in our Insights section.

Travel brands have the opportunity to maximize these two features to build community on their social platforms and engage new audiences. So what are you waiting for? Learn more in Insights.

About the Author

Emily Bello
Junior Social Strategist
BCV, A RateGain Company

Emily is BCV’s Junior Social Strategist who currently concentrates on social trend analysis and identification of consumer patterns across the digital landscape. Emily’s favorite social platform is TikTok, where she enjoys discovering new creators and artists to follow.

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