Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Final words

This is the end of our blog. Making the blog has been very usefull for us and hopefully for Hilton Hotels in Finland aswell. As we have noticed, Hilton still has a lot to improve in using e-commerce tools. Some of the things, like Facebook, Hilton is already using in very effective way. But with pretty much all the rest, it could do so much better! At the moment Hilton Hotels seems to be quite hidden in the Finnish market so the hotel chain still has a long way to go in becoming more detected and popular here. Hopefully Hilton will soon start to use all the new technology and that way market itself better. In the blog we have pointed out some things they could start with.
All in all making the blog has also taught us a lot. Some of us have learned a lot of new things about blogging and of course about all the e-commerce tools. This group work has opened our eyes to how important the new technology truly is for companies and how they could use it better.


Wikipedia is used nowadays among most of the Internet users. Wikipedia is used so much because it offers short enough information about the things that people want to know about more. Because Wikipedia is a wiki and that way all the texts are written by the users, the language of the texts is usually rather easy to understand as well. This attracts people as well. The bad side of the Wikipedia is of course the thing that the texts may contain lot of false information.

I tried to search Hilton Hotels & Resorts from Wikipedia as well in order to see how they are represented there. In English the text concerning Hilton Hotels & Resorts -chain generally was rather short and scant. In Finnish the text was even shorter. There were couple of pictures in both of them. In Finnish side there were mentioned three Hiltons in Finland, in English there were written some other texts concerning certain Hilton hotels. Most of these hotels were quite famous ones. They were some historical buildings or their location was unique or they had been working for example as the setting of a movie. Most of these postings were really short ones and they didn't contain any pictures. But there were also good ones. Like the text about Hilton hotel in Nassau.
British Colonial Hilton Nassau

Hilton Hotels & Resorts should really use more Wikipedia as an advertising channel. They could expand texts concerning the general information about the chain to cover more languages than now (at the moment it covers 30 languages) and make the texts more inclusive. In addition to these general information they could write there information about their particular hotels. I know that this may sound quite laborious job because there are more than 500 hotels. But on the other hand there are staff working in each hotel and it would be enough if one persion in each hotel would write a text there. They should try to write their hotel information in as many languages as possible but at least in the mother tongue of the coutry where the hotel is situated and in English. Like here in Finland we could have three postings about each hotel here in Finland at least in English, Finnish and Swedish. Hotels should also watch the postings concerning their hotel in order to avoid the spread of false and harmful information.

The efficient use of Wikipedia  would give a good impression of particular hotel and Hilton chain and  make them more familiar to new people. And the best thing is that writing into Wikipedia is free of charge and could be that a complimentary way to market and advertise. So all in all Hilton Hotels & Resorts should start to use Wikipedia much much more.

QR -code

QR-codes (Quick Response) are kind of matrix barcodes which are quite new technology for example here in Finland. But e.g. in Japan they have been really popular already for years. The idea of QR-code is that you are able to read them with a device and through the device you are able to access for example companies web pages and get more information for example about a certain product. The reading is done usually with phones which have an application for that. The increase of smartphones has made QR-codes more popular as well.

QR-codes are used generally as a part of avertising. They can be the part of the ads which help people to get more information. I have never seen any Qr-codes as part of Hilton Hotels & Resorts advertising. The reason for that is maybe the thing that Hilton doesn't advertise that much at least here in Finland and at the same time their advertising is quite conservative. Hilton Hotels & Resorts could now start to use Quick Respnse Codes as part of their advertising. Use of them would make their ads more modern and maybe more appealing to young people. It could maybe change the image of them to hippier and younger direction and help them to extend their customer group as well.

Many people have nowadays a device which is able to read QR-codes. It isn't just something that young people use. Many business men, which are important customer group for Hilton, have smartphones as well. So the advertising campaigns which use QR-codes shouldn't be targeted only for young people. There could be many several campaigns in which they could use QR-codes. My own campaign idea is that Hilton could make international banners which could be used worldwide. But to all of them they should put a QR-code which would lead the possible customers to the web pages of the nearest Hilton.

                                                              Check this one out!

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Photosharing through Flick

Photo hosting site Flickr is meant to be a place to share and organize your photos. As a way of advertizing, Flickr boasts hosting more than 5 billion photos, but most of the users would probably comment on the general quality of the photos posted there instead of how many there are.

As a potential marketing instrument, Flickr is probably not one of the first choices for Hilton, but it could add an "artistic" edge to the company's image. Pretty pictures are always a pleasure to look at - and considering that hotels try to sell with their IMAGE and visualization, an official Flickr account probably wouldn't do any harm!

A quick search reveals that the tag "Hilton hotels" brings up about 2500 photos - but most of these 2500 are all from the same user, who probably isn't affiliated with the hotel itself.

Mobile apps

With our ever developing, more technical and gadget-y loving society and more and more intelligent cell phones, mobile apps are programs that seem to creep into peoples minds as necessities more than "extra fun".
Ranging from games to interactive maps, some of these apps are actually useful and give a certain extra value to your phone. I admit I've been fully hooked by a few apps myself, as they tend to make my life easier.

Hilton has realized the potential of mobile apps to a certain level, as they already have an app of their own.

Developing this add would probably mean taking the app worldwide - not completely sure if it works in every place of the world yet, or in every hotel.

However, SOME areal Hiltons have also developed their own, local apps. A quick search through iTunes' Store reveals that one of these is A Hawaiian Hilton resort's iPad app.
This fancy thing provides the guests with roomservice features, local area sightseeing infos and other hotel functions inside their own iPad. Nice way to go, Waikoloa Village Resort! Other Hilton hotels could definitely consider this for their selves, as it certainly adds to a certain luxurious and modern feel of a place!

Viral Marketing

Viral Marketing is the internet version of a very catchy spring flu. It gets its name appropriately from viruses, as it spreads from one user to another. The internet is full of "viral hits" (such as the Nyan cat), and to a business owner, a positive viral hit is is a dream come true - the costs of it are usually minimal as the audience will want to see it as it has been marketed to them by their fellows and sites like youtube.

The six principles of viral marketing

Hilton could benefit from a viral ad. For example, a funny advert or a video portraying Hilton hotels in a positive light could become a hit and associate Hilton with fun and laughter.
However, executing a successful viral ad isn't all that easy. Anyone can try to make a funny video - the internet is full of those. Most of these gather a few thousand hits - and then disappear into the vast mass of videos and ads.

No one says Hilton NEEDS to try viral marketing though, but it might be a fun change compared to more regular ad videos, such as the one below.

Hilton HHonors

Hilton Worldwide has it’s own guest loyalty program called Hilton HHonors which has nowadays over 29 million members. As a member of this program guest can earn points by staying in any of the hotels that are part of Hilton Worldwide. In addition to this guests can earn points in many other ways for example by flying with certain companies and they can also get points by using certain credit cards and in many other ways as well. In other words Hilton Worldwide company is tightly working with other companies in different industries.
 There are 4 different stages in the guest loyalty program. The stages are Blue, Silver, Gold and Diamond. The basic level is Blue and depending on the number of stays during a year at Hilton Worldwide hotels you can even rise on the highest level which is Diamond. Depending on the level on which you are you get different amounts of benefits. On higher stages guests get for example complimentary upgrade and access to ecxecutive lounge area and many other benefits as well. 
Hilton HHonors is really important tool for Hilton Hotels & Resorts. Customers who are members of Hilton HHonors are usually really loyal for Hilton. They always try to stay at Hilton in order to get all the possible benefits and rise on better level in HHonors. So that’s why Hilton should really emphasize HHonors and it’s benefits and try to get more members. In this process they should use electronical channels in many ways. They could start to send emails for their customers when they receive their reservation. Hilton HHonors should be highlighted more in their web pages, in their partners web pages (e.g. airline companies), in social media and in all possible places to get more members and that way more loyal customers. 

Google Maps

Maps are important tools when planning a trip to a place you don’t know well. People use maps to understand where all the important places for them are located. It’s important for leisure travellers that the hotel is situtated near the sights and other wanted attractions which customers want to visit. For people travelling in business purposes the most important thing is that the hotel is located near the convention centers and that there are good tranportation connections. 

Google maps is is the most popular and used map service. Google maps offers maps all around the world. It is simple to use and it offers many other services in addition to normal maps, like Google Streetview where you are able to see buildings and landscapes like you would walk along the streets. There has also been marked some places and buildings in the maps to ease people to find them. There has been marked many hotels as well and for example in the maps of Helsinki you are able to find many hotels in the city center area. If you look Helsinkin city center area in Google maps the first accommodation places to see are Sokos Hotel Torni, Sokos Hotel Presidentti and Domus Academica. Hilton Kalastajatorppa can be found easily too. But the thing is that you have to zoom in quite a much to find for example Hilton Strand. It isn’t so easy to find than some others are. This is disadvantage for the hotel and for marketing it. I’m not aware of how easy it’s to affect these searching results but if it’s possible for Hilton to highlight their hotels more in Google maps they definately should do that. It make them more visible for customers and impove their selling that way.
In Google maps you are able to find more information concerning the hotels as well. There are some reviews about the hotels. These reviews are written there by people who have been staying there. Hilton Hotels staff should visit these pages regularly and try to answer question there and comment customers’ postings. It would give a good impression of the hotel and improve their image and that why improve selling as well. 

It’s possible to make reservation to a hotel through Google Maps as well. Or actually they have links there to different pages where you can finsh you reservation. But it’s possible to see in Google maps the prices of a hotel room and fill in the dates when you want to stay but the rest of the reservation will be made in another place. This is quite handy as well and could be a important distribution channel for Hilton Hotels & Resorts.

Facebook adds

Facebook is maybe the most popular social media at this moment. In that way it’s also a remarkable advertising channel for companies. People spend hours in a week in Facebook and are forced to see adds there as well. The adds which people can see in their Facebook are individual but at least I haven’t ever seen any adds concerning Hilton Hotels in Facebook. Actually I don’t remember that I would have ever seen any adds concerning accommodation in Facebook. That’s why Hilton should really put some money to advertising in Facebook. It would be something fress in their advertising and marketing and it would reach a large amount of people really quickly and easily.

My opinion is that advertising in Facebook is also really neutral way to get attention. Advertising there doesn’t annoy people and that way people don’t start to hate companies which advertise there. When planning advertising in Facebook Hilton Hotels & Resorts should of course somehow try to target their adds for smaller group of people and not to advertise for all people. It would be unnecessary. They could advertise for example certain hotels for people who are living in a certain area. Like Hilton Kalastajatorppa or Hilton Strand for people living in Helsinki region. 


Hilton Hotels & Resorts is using social media in a quite effective way already. Especially Hilton Hotels in Finland have put much effort on their Facebook pages. In the Facebook you can find page Hilton Helsinki Hotels and by liking it you will be able to get lot of information concerning three Hiltons in Finland. 
There are many pictures about the hotels. Including pictures inside hotel rooms and other interior and exterior photos which help customers to see easily what kind of decoration there is and what kind of looking restaurant etc. In addition to these informative pictures there are many other pictures which show other sides of the Hiltons for customers like photos about events they have been taking part or they have been organizing. Among the pictures can be found the menus of their restaurants as well. There are also links to the restaurants pages which helps customers to access more information if they are willing to.

By liking Hilton Helsinki Hotels you are able to get the latest news of three Hiltons in Finland. They tell in their news for example about all the events and happenings in the hotels. They also publish many offers and campaigns in their pages. Additionaly there are quite often some lotteries going on in which customers can win hotel and restaurant packages. These activities naturally attract visitors.
All this above mentioned things make the pages relly good already but there is still one thing which improves their pages a lot. They have a spot there were you are able to make a reservation to Hilton Helsinki Kalastajatorppa. You have to put there the dates you want to stay there and the number of guest and after that the browser takes you to another page where you can finish your reservation. They should really consider expanding this to cover Strand and Airport as well.
All in all Hilton Helsinki Hotels Facebook pages are extremely good and a really good example of effective use of Facebook and social media. The whole Hilton Hotels & Resorts organisation should start to use Facebook in a same way than people do here in Finland. It could be a really good marketing channel for them. One thing which would still imporove their pages is the better interaction with the Facebook users. They could engourage people more to start conversation on their pages and give feedback. Telling honestly what was good in the hotels and what could be improved. Guests could ask questions there as well which would reduce phone calls to their receptions too. Unfortunately there isn’t any discussion going on right now. 

Augmented reality

Augmented reality (AR) is a live view of a physical real-world environment. AR is computer-generated with the input of video, sound, graphics or GPS-data. Augmented reality is an extension to Virtual reality (VR) which  is a virtual space where the players are not hold back by the physical laws and material properties.

Augmented reality is quite new and therefore not so well known or used. In the near future Hilton Hotels should concider though making some apps/programs using AR. For example the hotels could be put into augmented reality so the users could see themselves how the hotel looks like. This could be a way to market the hotel before the bookings and this could became handy for the customers when arriving to the hotel, looking for their room, breakfast room etc. AR could also be extended to the neighbouring area of the hotel.


I dug into YouTube and searched for 'Hilton Hotels'. With that search word you end up with 14 300 results. Searching 'Hilton Hotels Helsinki' you find only 32 results. There was some good commercial videos but I think Hilton could do much better than that. They should be able to give more modern and elegant picture of themselves. Also there could be more videos of each hotel in Helsinki area, some could be more thorough and longer and some just short sneak peaks. Here is one okey good video I found!

Monday, 19 March 2012


With over 30 000 followers and a surprisingly active Twitter account (link in the name), Hilton gets a tip of the hat from me. 

The microblog includes both links to interesting articles (such as the rising hotel room prices in Singapore) as well as direct messages to people using their hotel facilities - and tweeting about it. Which is great: Imagine hyping about your upcoming holiday and your stay in a nice suite of a Hilton (we can all dream!) ... and the hotel welcomes you before you even enter it ! 

Obviously though, with 30 000 followers and a ton more of people tweeting about Hilton as single cases, it might be hard to keep track of all of the mentions. Maybe, time permitting, Hilton could divide its account into smaller sections - like customer service, Hilton news and perhaps complaints. Or countryspecific. 

The microblog sphere might not seem like a huge deal to a conventional business mind, but one shouldn't forget that Twitter is very popular with regular people, an easy & quick way to communicate. 

Monday, 12 March 2012

Google search

I couldn't help but notice that Hilton doesn't pop up very well in Google search. With searches like "accommodation Helsinki airport", "majoitus Helsinki", "hotellit Helsinki" Hilton is never on the top search results. Also their add only pops up if you search for hotels in the airport. This is definitely something Hilton should think about. With Google search only the airport hotel is at least somewhat likely to be chosen. Instead the two other hotels in the city will be left out of people's radar. I think Hilton should invest in more search words and that way try to get to the top results. After all these days most people make travel plans through intenet and especially using the help of Google.