12 Things Every Hotel should know about Google Plus
Google just recently did a major overhaul. These new changes is a game changer that really ties your Hotels Google Account together, and it makes it really hard for Hotels to stay on the sideline any longer. Google Plus was one of the programs that got several updates. And all of these improvements will let Hotels have an positive effect on the Customer Experience.
Why should Hotels get on board with Google Plus now? Recent studies has shown that Google Plus now is the 2nd largest Social Network. We already know that it is linked to the two top Search Engines in the World; Google and YouTube. From a SEO / SMO perspective this a major plus.
For Hotels Google Places for Business is the new way to be found through the web. Here you connect with your customers, and learn to better understand their reviews.
Relationship Strategies will bring in the New Media Customer. Reputation Management will retain the New Media Customer. All these options is now mixed into a mind blowing Customer Experience Channel.
Would you not love to have access some simple tactics that will bring your Hotel to a new level?
1. Google Account
One of the requirements for your Hotel is that you have to create a Google Account. For Hotels that still have concerns with Security then read this. Your Hotels Google Account will give one easy access point to Gmail, YouTube, Maps, Chrome, Play and more. It is the perfect portal that allow your Hotel to add new reference points to the Customer Experience. Part of the core values for most Hotels has for a long period been to serve their customer’s wants and needs. Today a large portion of Hotels Customer Segments hangs out on Google Plus, and find information that help them make an educated booking decision.
For most Hotels today it is no longer a question if they have to take part in Social Networking or not. It has become a responsibility for Hotels today to be where the Customers hangs out. My job is to help your Hotel make an educated decision, and teach you how to avoid some of the Social Network pitfalls. And I will also teach your Hotel how to effectively get out of a Social Network pitfall if you end up in one.
So start with Create a Google Account for your Hotel if you not already done so.
2. Google Plus Profile
One of the requirements put in place to create a Business Page is that you are required to first create a Profile.
Make sure that when you set up your profile that you use a dedicated Hotel Profile with the abilities to change this later on.
3. Google Plus Business
Google Plus Business is the new way for Hotels to be found on the Internet. It lets your Hotel get face to face with your customer a new unique arena. This is one of the most interactive and engaging Social Network channels available for Hotels today.
4. Google Plus Local
Google Plus Local help customer discover and share local places. With the integrations of Zagat’s 30-point scoring systems it provide customers with an option to provide reviews of their Hotel Experience.
All scores in Google+ Local are determined by user reviews.
Individual user ratings map to a 0 to 3 point scale.
Very Good 2
Poor to Fair 0
Zagat take these ratings, average them, and then multiply by ten to arrive at averaged scores. Then they may adjust the overall ratings based on user inputs and other signals to ensure these ratings best reflect the quality of the establishment.
26-30 Extraordinary to perfection
21-25 Very good to excellent
16-20 Good to very good
11-15 Fair to good
0-10 Poor to fair
5. Google Places for Business
One of the key elements Google put in place recently was to merge Google Places with Google Plus Business. This has now become the new Google Places for Business.
With Google Places for Business your Hotel will get a channel that combines Business and Local. Your Hotel now has a unique channel that lets you provide Customers with the right information at the right time.
You can now monitor and measure your Reputation directly from a new Dashboard.
Your Dashboard provide you with;
a) Overview of your Hotel Business page
b) Notifications – easy access to any form of engagement with your content
c) Managers – you can add additional managers to your Hotels Google Places for Business account
d) Connected Services – allows your Hotel to connect you Google API console to monitor performance of Mobile apps and website (you can connect up to one app to a page)
e) For your site – suggest personalized content for your Hotel Website to mobile visitors
(*Note if you create a NEW Account the following info do not pertain to your Hotel)
Here I need to clear up a little, this is where it can be a little confusing for some Hotels. Many already created an Account with the ‘old’ Google Places. And as a business owner Google still allows you to use Google Places to manage your business. But Google now want Hotels move all content over to Google Local. This gives you two options;
a) Move all of your content into your Google Plus name
b) Keep your content private (if you don’t make the content private it will be public by default)
Circles enables you to organize your Hotel network into different segments.
If you add someone to a Circle this is telling Google that you have now opted to see all information this contact is sharing through his/her Google Plus channel. The real power start when this contact start adding you back to his/her Circle(s).This let you see all the info the contact share with your Circle.
You can share Circles with your Hotel Networks. And you can also have a dedicated Circle that where you indicate that your require contacts to verify they want to be part of this circle.
Hangouts is where the conversations comes to live. You can do a Live video Hangout with up to 10 people at the same time. And if you do a Hangout On Air you can record the conversation, and also share the information with a larger audience.
You can connect a Hangout up with Google Drive and share documents, spreadsheets, forms or slides live. There is also an option available to connect Hangout with SlideShare. If you need to provide a Live presentation of your Conference options to a large group then this is a great way to show what your Hotel have to offer.
This is also a great option for your Hotel to use a training channel, or guided tours.
8. Sharing Strategy
Your goal is to show that your Hotel is the place to be, and share unique Customer Experience reference points with your Network.
a) Share videos profiling both Customers and Employees
b) Share photos of your property and surrounding areas
c) Share local attractions and info
d) Share content from your network
Make it a practice to comment and +1 on all feedback related to information you share.
Google has added 2-step verification for stronger security with your Google Account.
Put in place a proper Password Strategy for your Google Account. Change your password at least once a month, and use between 8-12 characters in the password. Use upper and lower case, numeric and special characters in the password.
Use a strategy that follow some pattern that allows you to remember the password. Never write down or share password with unauthorized people. And don’t use a password that you use on other Social Networks.
Another security procedure that Google has put in place is Page Verification. Once you have verified your page you have full control of your Google+ data, and you can add valuable information in combination with your website that will positively affect your Hotels SERP (Search Engine Result Page).
Collaboration and Networking is the future of your Hotel SERP (Search Engine Result Page). Earn and share is the new values that bring traffic to your Hotel Blog and website. And Google is getting serious about cleaning up spams that show up in search. Their Penguin and Panda updates represents the algorithms used to identify Search Results. And Google will add more value to Authorship.
To claim Authorship your Hotel will be required to;
1. Have a Google Account
2. Create a Google Plus Profile
3. Claim Authorship
Communities is where you Collaborate and Network with people that is taking the engagement to another level. This is where you can have rich conversations with other Hoteliers.
Come and joins us at Hotel Social Networking & Collaboration Community.
We have already identified some of the reference points that will add value to your Hotels SERP (Search Engine Result Page). In addition you add Google Plus Badges to show case your profile, business page or local places for business page.
+1 is a unique attribute that allow customers to share your Content to their Network on Google Plus.