Meet Kim Gibbons, Sales and Marketing Manager at Kishin and Rao Hospitality. Kim is responsible for marketing the company’s properties, including the Best Western Evans hotel in Grovetown, Georgia. With approximately 20 years of experience in the hotel industry, she has risen to the top in hotel marketing. She does an incredible job of setting the Best Western Evans apart from their competition using visual storytelling strategies. This makes Kim Gibbons a Merchandising Hero!
Being in a competitive market with five hotels on the same street, Kim knows how critical it is to stand out. That is what drove her to ensure she has a solid digital visual storytelling strategy in place. In addition to telling a compelling visual story on online travel agencies (which is a necessity today due to their popularity for hotel research) she also focuses on Facebook and TripAdvisor.
Show and Tell on Facebook
Kim believes that “Facebook is a good way to disseminate information, a fast way to connect with customers vs. using traditional email.” It’s also the perfect place to really show off the hotel using visuals by posting photo updates on the timeline as well as using multi-media driven Apps.
“I like the visual appeal of Facebook. It’s so easy to share pictures of our staff and special events, awards and posters promoting local events in the area. These are the primary things I do with our pages to give each hotel a personality,” shares Kim.
Her visual storytelling efforts on Facebook are paying off. The Best Western Evans has a growing number of fans and Kim states that she has “booked business as a result of Facebook.”
Be Active and Engaging on TripAdvisor
Being on TripAdvisor is critical for hotels, but getting real value out of it requires more than being listed and having reviews. Kim is a great example of how to be active on TripAdvisor. “We strongly believe in TripAdvisor and we respond to every review for our properties.”Like online travel agencies and Facebook, TripAdvisor is also a great opportunity to engage travelers with the hotel’s visual story.
When you visit the Best Western Evans’ page, you see plenty of traveler photos. But what sets this hotel apart is that Kim also has professional photos as well as video available on the site.
This experience gives travelers the opportunity to get the hotel’s story from the guest’s perspective as well as the hotel’s perspective.
Kim’s Secret to Success
Her secret to success is visual storytelling. Kim maximizes the value of the Best Western Evans’ presence on social media and review sites by ensuring that there is a well-told and engaging visual story available to travelers. She accomplishes this by enlisting the help of VFM Leonardo and the Best Western VBrochure Media Suite.