Top Tips from TED

HubSpot recently published an article of 15 Phenomenal TED Talks You Need to Watch Today.  From the 15 engaging videos, three in particular stood out to me, because I believe they can help improve your hotel’s story.  We know visual storytelling is critical in today’s online and social world, but what can hotels do to make their story stand out from competitors?  What are the rules to telling the right story?


Andrew Staton: “The Clues to a Great Story” 

A world class storyteller, Andrew is the creative genius behind Pixar hits Toy Story and Finding Nemo.  He does a beautiful job outlining the elements of storytelling and his number one rule: there aren’t really any rules.  Andrew describes his job as, “providing his audience with a feeling of wonder.”  This line really hit home for me.  When hotels share a story they, too, need to create that special feeling of wonder for their audience.  By using visuals online you can show the travel shopper what the experience at your hotel is really like.  Your images should help the viewer imagine what it’s like to stay at your property.  Gradually, that feeling of wonder should grow into excitement as they progress through the images.  Finally reaching that emotional peak of, “This is it, this is where I’m going to book.”


Renny Gleeson: “404, The Story of a Page Not Found’

It’s a familiar sight online, a 404 page is a “Page not found” that appears when a link is broken on a website.  Broken links clearly don’t provide a positive user experience.   This TED Talk by Renny Gleeson offers two valuable lessons for hotel marketers, the first is obvious; don’t have broken links on your website! A negative experience will cause the viewer to abandon your page and don’t forget, this, also applies to mobile devices like smartphones and tablets. The second lesson is, take advantage of every opportunity to tell your story!  Renny shows some great examples of   how brands have made the most of the “page not found” to communicate with users online.  Take a look at these examples:


Ted Talk 404



Ted talk 404-02

I’m not suggesting you create a 404 page just so you can put an eye-catching message on it, because again, the cardinal rule is: don’t have broken links on your website. What I am suggesting is to take every opportunity to tell your unique story and show your personality.  That may be on your homepage, a 404 page, social sites or even adding little reminders around your hotel such as putting the Facebook Icon on your room keys with “Like us” under it can help remind guests to share with you on social media channels.

J.K Rowling: “The Fringe Benefits of Failure”

Everyone fears failure, but it’s an inevitable part of life.  The great part of storytelling, especially on social media, is that if your story doesn’t work you can always tell another one tomorrow.  Social media moves so quickly that if your tweet or Facebook post doesn’t resonate with your audience it’s not the end of the world.  Unlike broadcasting your story on traditional outlets like TV and radio, which could cost you thousands, social media is cost effective and can be as simple as a 140 character tweet. It’s the ideal platform to show your personality and connect personally with guests online.

So, the moral of this blog is simple.  Have fun with your story, be creative and take advantage of all opportunities to share it with your fans and guests, existing and new.  Don’t be afraid of  falling flat on your first or second approach to  social media – learn from your mistakes and then try again.  When telling your story, remember to keep the wonder alive, and the excitement building.  That’s the experience that will engage your guests and keep your hotel top of mind.

To learn more check out this tool kit:  Amplify Your Hotel’s Story



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