On Thursday, April 20, HSMAI Ohio met to discuss social media usage across generations. Our panelists helped to lead the discussion and provided best tips, tricks and practices that should be used across all platforms.
Our amazing panel of experts included:
- Jess Ensley; Senior Digital Marketing Manager at COhatch
- Gabrielle Fields; Sales Manager at Home2 Suites Dublin by Hilton
- Sara Blatnik; Marketing Director at Visit Dublin Ohio
- Sarah Townes; Chief Marketing and Innovative Officer at Experience Columbus
Here were some of the best tips and practices to be aware of when it comes to targeting:
- Helpful tools include Canva, CapCut and Sprout Social.
- Quality over quantity for posts.
- Don’t try to post every day on every channel.
- Stories are a great way to share real time events without being strategic.
- Content Calendar is key!
- Need help with content ideas? Use national/wacky holidays that relate to your brand ie. National Pet Day, National Egg Day etc.
- Be prepared to answer and take comments on social. Be responsive.
- TikTok can show a lot of personality and culture. Be organic and not as organized.
- More personalized content.
- Take a part in challenges/trends that are relevant to your brand.
- Create bite sized content that catches your attention in 5 seconds.
- Don’t sell, inspire and entertain.
- Claim name on platforms now so when you are ready to start, it’s yours.
- Like other people’s stuff. Join, follow and reshare. This can help build your engagement.
- Not every post will work, but just take it as it comes and learn from it! If you do something and it bombs, not many people will see it so just have fun with it and learn.
- Best platforms to attract talent include LinkedIn and TikTok (can show work culture and personalities).
- Make it fun for guests at your hotel!
- ie. hashtag/selfie board in lobby that can create user generated content with your property tagged.
- Take a question that guests always ask and share the answer to it.
- TikTok post example:
- Take a housekeeper that has the best bed making skills and record it.
- Trust your Social Media Manager. They work with social media daily and have the experience (especially with TikTok challenges and trends)
- What you do on TikTok may never ever do on Facebook or Instagram. For example, trendy sounds and edits are not the same with Facebook.
- Tips for handling negativity:
- Depending on what it is, hide it (inflammatory, derogatory, goes against values).
- Try and put a positive spin on it.
- Sometimes your community will jump in and answer negative comments for you.
- Have a crisis plan.
- Take it as a communication opportunity! Shows you are listening to your guests and ready to take action.
- Tips to create reels:
- Ask for help when needed.
- Watch a tutorial (YouTube has some great ones).
- Practice with in-app editors.
- There are creators on TikTok/accounts that focus completely on how to put together TikTok trends, sounds and images.
- Pro tip: Take a photo and video clip at the same time! This gives you the opportunity to make it into a reel.
- Legal perspective – use photo and video release forms. When resharing, ask for permission first (avoid kids unless parents agree).
- Twitter – mostly used now for newsy content, info passing and news sharing.
Meet our April Panelists:
Jess Ensley; Senior Digital Marketing Manager at COhatch
Jess is currently the Senior Digital Marketing Manager at COhatch, managing all social media and public relations for the brand, and leading the creative team. Prior to COhatch, she worked in marketing for Inspire PR Group, Bumble, and Rise Brands.
She also serves on the Board of Directors of the Central Ohio Diversity Consortium, a nonprofit seeking to collectively advance diversity and inclusion by collaboration and knowledge transfer across organizations throughout central Ohio.Jess graduated from Denison University with a degree in psychology. In her free time, she loves playing guitar, cooking, taking dance classes, and learning new things.
Gabrielle Fields; Sales Manager at Home2 Suites Dublin by Hilton
Gabrielle joined the Home2 Dublin as a Sales Manager in September 2022 – her first venture into hotel sales after taking a 3 year leave from the Hospitality industry to have two more beautiful daughters.
Previously she has had an extensive background of 15+ years in Restaurant Management as well as Event Venue Management. She has recently jumped into Social Media, managing the hotel’s Facebook page along with creating an Instagram page. She’s had a lot of success with recent reels she’s created for the hotel. With her personal familiarity with social media and her creativity, she has lots of ideas and is very excited to elevate the Home2’s visibility on social media!
In her free time Gabrielle loves to play with her 3 daughters, reading and collecting books, cooking, yoga, and is a competitive billiards player.
Sara Blatnik; Marketing Director at Visit Dublin Ohio
Sara Blatnik is the Marketing Director at Visit Dublin Ohio and oversees all earned, owned and paid media strategies. Sara brings over a decade of travel and tourism marketing experience to Dublin and formerly to the State of Ohio’s destination marketing organization.
Born and raised in Central Ohio, Sara still can’t believe she gets paid to share all the cool things to eat, see and do in her hometown. Inspiring people to make new memories and connections through travel is her daily goal. Her recent accomplishments range from creating 6-foot golf ball installations to forming a unified brand for Dublin’s Downtown area.
Sara is a graduate of the University of Kentucky where she earned her degree in marketing and advertising and love for horses and bourbon.
Sarah Townes; Chief Marketing and Innovation Officer at Experience Columbus
Sarah Townes is currently the Chief Marketing and Innovation Officer at Experience Columbus and the Greater Columbus Sports Commission where she is responsible for all aspects of marketing, digital, public relations and partnerships. Townes also provides strategic direction for the organization in collaboration with sales, services, tourism sales and membership, while acting as a community steward in furthering the role and perception of the organization in Greater Columbus.
Townes has over 20 years of marketing leadership experience working with a range of brands including Aveda, Caribou Coffee, Kellogg’s Cereals, Gander Mountain, Marshall Field’s, Mall of America, Sears Holdings Corporation, Tresemmé Hair Care, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, and many more.
Throughout Townes’ career she has spearheaded brand and re-brand strategies, agency relationship management, creative development, production, omni-channel media strategy, CRM, digital innovation, social media, public relations and strategic partnerships to exceed business growth trajectories.
As a graduate from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with a degree in Advertising, Townes’ prior campaign work has earned numerous industry awards, including being named a finalist in the 2023 PRWeek Awards in the Outstanding Marketer category, Columbus CEO’s Future 50 Class of 2022, SGB 40 Under 40 Class of 2016, four MarCom Platinum Awards, two Effie Awards, a Webby Award from The International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences and three Silver Anvils from the Public Relations Society of America. She also serves on the Greater Columbus Arts Council (GCAC) Advisory Board and Columbus Women’s Commission.