Join Suite Spot podcast host Ryan Embree, and listen in to the celebratory 100th episode where we take you, the listener, down memory lane and reflect on all the fascinating content we have covered on the podcast over the last four years, as well as discuss upcoming new content that listeners can look forward to this fall.
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Welcome to the Suite Spot where hoteliers check in and we check out what’s trending in hotel marketing. I’m your host, Ryan Embree. Hello everyone. And welcome to the 100th episode of the Suite Spot. Thank you all for joining me. This is your host for the hundredth time, Ryan Embree I’m just so happy that we finally made it to this episode. This is a very humbling experience. You know, we started this podcast, this digital marketing podcast back in 2018. It’s just so much support from Travel Media Group and, my teammates over the years. I remember the first episode when we were trying to decide on the name. We had, a couple different names. We landed on the Suite Spot and here we are at episode 100 four years later, just some quick facts before we get started. And we certainly are gonna share some content today, but this podcast is, streamed over SoundCloud, iTunes, Google Podcasts, Spotify. Now over this past, back in 2021 and Stitcher as well, we’ve got over 50,000 plays and 600 followers from those sites. So again, just so humbled and thankful for all of our listeners out there, wherever you are listening from. So today with episode 100, such a celebratory milestone, I figured what we do today is maybe actually count down some of my favorite and really the most played and popular tracks that we’ve had over these past a hundred episodes. We covered a lot of topics when it comes to hotel digital marketing. And it’s funny to listen back to some of the first couple episodes. The subject matter in which we talk about on the Suite Spot is technology is social media is reputation management for, for hotels, and this technology evolved so quickly. So interesting to go back to those first couple episodes, to see what we were talking about and, and how that really bridges to today and see how much things change. So let’s start the countdown, the number one. So we’re not gonna work backwards. We’re gonna start at number one and work our way down. Number one, actually episode 84, how to market your hotel’s breakfast options. And we did not anticipate for this episode to be so popular, but it makes sense, right? One of the things I know I’ve talked about on this podcast, one of the things that really changed the most during these, these last couple years with the pandemic is how a hotel serves breakfast to his guests. It’s a staple. It’s something that we’re all used to as travelers coming to the property, seeing that breakfast buffet, seeing that waffle maker, sometimes that hot breakfast, that continental breakfast and how that’s really changed, right? And obviously it started with the pandemic of a health and safety issue of trying to minimize close contact between your guests and your staff. But then it’s kind of also in 2021, 2022 has become a staffing issue, right? A lot of hotels still are struggling with this, and they’re not able to staff their breakfast area. They’re not able to keep up with the guests that are coming in and out cleaning after them making sure that the food is being refreshed. So, you know, this episode, we took a deep dive into saying not only how to market your breakfast options, but how to set the right expectations of what your breakfast offerings are currently, because there’s just such a big spectrum there of where hotels are at. And some of that also depends on where you’re located in the country, right? We saw some parts of the country, that were a lot slower getting back to quote unquote normal and had restrictions at their hotels. So it was harder for them to get back to that breakfast that guest have come to love. So if a traveler was traveling from one place of the country to another place, and they were expecting this because all the hotels in their area were back to normal that could lead to issues. So this was a great episode, super, super popular, again, kind of a surprise, but you know, when you actually sat down and think about it, really not that surprising because of the history of the last couple years, number two was episode 94 and this, it really speaks to what I talked about at the beginning of this episode, right? The evolution of things like social media technology, and how much that changes just months or, or years over years, this episode was all about Instagram reels for hotels, right? So we pride ourselves at Travel Media Group at being at the forefront of hotel, digital marketing. We are the experts. And one of the things we look for is new patterns, trends, and features, especially when it comes to social media platforms, cuz that’s what we do for hotels. We partner with them. We help create custom content for hotels on places like Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram, right? We know how popular Instagram is, especially with the younger travelers, millennials and gen Z. And one of the things that Instagram had recently launched was Instagram reels. And this was a feature that was really pointed at TikTok, right? And they were trying to maybe steal some of that market share. These were these kind of 30 to second clips that users could share on Instagram kind of like Tik Toks in order to either promote things on property, promote amenities, breakfast options like we just talked about. So this was a new feature that was recently launched from Instagram. And this episode was absolutely fantastic. We brought someone from our social product team on as a guest speaker to kind of walk us through how to use and what some best practices are for Instagram reels. Number three was episode 80, how to market your hotel’s new renovations. Right? So one of the things that we really focused on during the pandemic for hotels was obviously how to get more occupancy in a time where travel just wasn’t happening, right? Other than out of necessity. But some hotels decided to go a completely different route and shut down completely to really do some new renovations, right? To renovate that lobby or completely redo their rooms or amenities. And when we got out of the pandemic, they, we had these almost brand new hotels, renovated hotels that we were looking on how to advertise and market. So we shared some really great ways, tips and best practices on how you can share on social media, build some excitement, talk to that and your review responses, your reputation management, because you’re only new for so long. I remember that was one of the key phrases that we were talking about. New is new for just a short amount of time. So you want to take advantage of it while you can. There’s really new renovations is some of the best times to get these five star reviews and really put your best foot forward out there with such a huge, huge capital investment. We know, happen with renovation. Number four of our most popular episodes ever on the Suite Spot. This was episode 86 planning your hotel’s 2022 social media calendar part one. So this was such a big episode that we actually had to do two parts of it. And this is honestly one of my favorite episodes. We had Aislynn Roberts on and she’s one of our team members from client success. And she speaks to hotels on a daily basis trying to find inspiration for them to find posts about events, local stories, amenities, capture bookings through social media. So what we decided to do was take a calendar, the 2022 calendar. And we went through every single season and started to fill out that calendar, give ideas for the summer, the spring, the winter and the fall to help hoteliers fill that calendar out with just exciting content. And again, this was just one of my favorite episodes, really just getting creative and, and sharing with hotels. Some really, really unique ways to, to spur engagement on their social channels. Number five was episode 83 advanced sentiment analysis and reporting. Now this was with Jason Lee, our chief technology officer, probably one of the most recognizable voices on this podcast. He’s been with me countless times. And the reason is, is because exactly what this episode was all about. A new rollouts for Travel Media Group, digital solutions for hotels. So Jason and his product and development team were hard at work. Were actually diving deeper into insights and data from guest feedback. And this episode is all about that. Talking about how we get that data from guest reviews and how we provide that data back to the hotelier to make smarter operational and capital decision. So this was a really great episode doing a hundred podcast episode could not have been done without the help of my marketing team and the support of Travel Media Group and listeners like you. So I want to thank you, but we’ve also had some guests outside of the Travel Media Group organization, join us, some really big names in the industry. I remember we had a couple episodes of Yan Phitom from STR during the throes of the pandemic where we talked to him about, you know, what was on the horizon. What was the STR data saying to us which could offer clues? Because we had never been through something like that in the industry we’ve been through recessions before, but nothing, nothing like we saw the past couple years, oh, we had hospitality influencer. Rupesh Patel on to talk about reputation management and how important that is for his hotels and, and what he’s doing right now. Michael Curran from Aimbridge Hospitality and Kirk Petterson from Siteline hospitality. So some major players from hotel management groups just join us and, and give tips and tricks on digital marketing. And I’m so thankful we have so many more guests not able to get to right now, but thankful for. So if you haven’t checked out some of those episodes, please do cause they’re very, very insightful. And through doing this a hundred episodes worth, we’ve also have some really unique annual episodes that we do every single year that I’ve really come to love and are some of my favorites. One of them is with our VP of product and development, Patrick O’Brien. He comes on every year and we look at the top five sentiment tags for hotels across the country. You know, we’ve talked about cleanliness, which was a huge tag and topic during the pandemic, obviously, and Patrick not only shares this data with us, but he also shares ways that you can respond to reviews as well as leverage this data for your social media marketing and websites. Another annual episodes we do with is with our president Dana Sanger. We do a year in review at the end of each year, just talking about the amazing accomplishments that the Travel Media Group team have accomplished and, and milestones and goals that they’ve hit as well as the value that we’re able to provide for our hotel partners. We’ve been in hospitality, as I’ve mentioned before for over 40 years and, and have hotels that we work with across the nation. So this is a really cool episode to kind of reflect on all the things that we’ve done to help further those partnerships and bring on new and existing relationships in the industry. And then last year in 2021, we had one of, I would say the coolest series. And this was being able to listen to you, our audience, the listeners, the hotel listeners out there, and what they were able to do is share their stories of what we called hospitality heroes. So we had a, a number of episodes that we did in this series just to recognize some of those hoteliers that went above and beyond during what someone argued the toughest time for our industry. And there were just some amazing, amazing stories. And it was just such an honor to share those over a channel on a forum like this. And with that, I am very excited to announce that we are doing a second series, which is going to be named Hospitality Trailblazers, where we are gonna take some of the biggest and loudest voices in the hotel industry. And we’re gonna invite them on the Suite Spot. We’re gonna talk and we’re gonna pick their brain, ask them what they think about what’s what’s on the horizon. What they think are some tips and tricks. When it comes to digital marketing for their management group, we are gonna have some really, really great guests and I am super stoked about it. So you’re hearing about it here. First more details to come about Hospitality Trailblazers. This is our second series that we’ve done to kind of really amplify the voices of our industry. Because again, we, we, we’re such a tight knit community, but again, as we wrap up today, I just wanna thank everyone. My Travel Media Group team, my marketing team for all the hard work that they’ve put into this, a hundred episodes is no easy feat. I wanna thank you. The hotel listeners and invite you. I know if you’ve been listening to us for some of these episodes would invite you to leave us a review. We’d love to hear your comments and feedback about what we’re doing, suggestions about what you’d like to hear for our next a hundred episodes. So this is Ryan Embree signing off for the hundredth episode. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. And we will talk to you next time on the Suite Spot. To join our loyalty program, be sure to subscribe and give us a five star reading on iTunes. Suite Spot is produced by Travel Media Group. Our editor is Brandon Bell with cover art by Barry Gordon. I’m your host, Ryan Embree, and we hope you enjoyed your stay.