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The Nanny Nine: The Depot Minneapolis

Big thanks to Aimee Cheek, Corporate Marketing Manager, for answering The Nanny Nine about The Depot Minneapolis!  It’s very interesting to follow them, and to see how they use Social Networking for their hospitality sector.

“The Milwaukee Road Depot boasts two award-winning Minneapolis hotels by Marriott, a 15,000 square foot indoor water park, a full service bar and restaurant, a variety of unique banquet and meeting spaces, heated underground parking, and an enclosed, seasonal ice skating rink.”

 

1. How long have you been using Social Networking for your business?

We’ve been using social media in the hospitality sector of our business for 2 years.


2. Is your business using Facebook &/or Twitter?

We use both Facebook and Twitter but see a lot more engagement on Twitter.


3. Facebook vs Twitter – do you like one better? If yes, why?

We see a lot more interaction on Twitter, but mostly because it’s much more public and we can respond to requests or things we see and offer suggestions for solutions (re: either places to stay, things to do in the cities, or happy hour locations). We can also utilize the connectivity of hashtags, which broadens our reach even further by interacting in current events and specific groups.

4. Do you post daily?

We generally post at least daily, probably less on the weekends, when we are least staffed. But if there is activity and opportunity, we will generally try our best to post or respond any day at any time.

5. What is your favorite thing about Social Networking?

The best thing about social networking for a business is the connections you make with people. The online relationship strengthens the business partnership and also creates an offline (“IRL”) loyalty with our customers. Social Networking also allows us to be a better community partner and help support and bring awareness to some of the great local charity events that are happening in our neighborhood or at our facility.

6. What do you think is the biggest benefit of Social Networking?

Social networking allows us to “eavesdrop” on what our customers and guests are saying about us and provides great feedback on things to keep doing or ways to improve. It is also a really good gage or litmus test on what promotions and packages will have a larger audience appeal. You can always try a few things on twitter or facebook and if they are received well, you can roll them out on a larger scale utilizing other media.

7. How do you measure Social Networking, & explain:

ROI – Return on Investment, obviously our upper management want to see this as the number 1, so any business booked from either direct promotions or event referrals are all tracked.

ROE – Return on Engagement – I think this is one of the most valuable in my opinion because it keeps your business in the forefront of guests minds, gives your brand enthusiasts a platform to promote your brand for you, and provides free PR of sorts that is “unbiased” and not seen as “marketing messaging”.

ROL – Return on Loyalty, engaging w/ some of our regulars & hoping they return. We like to see return business and referrals and we try to recognize those that we’ve interacted with online when they show up to our hotel. We try to track those encounters when we can to show success of social media.

 

8. What is the best moment you’ve had on a Social Networking site?

One of the coolest moments was when a guest tweeted a photo of The Depot and downtown skyline from their 4th floor room & we liked the photo angle so much, we used the idea in our own photoshoot a couple of months later. We love when we get good ideas from our guests!  (see before and after below)

Your twitpic inspired a photo at our latest shoot: http://twitpic.com/35mqr6 RT @hnic1971 Photo at Depot hotel http://gowal.la/c/2AkMS?139

Another fun moment for us was when Brett Favre announced he was coming to the Vikings (for the first time) and our Stone Arch Bar promptly got into the spirit of things and offered a $4 special at the bar for a pizza & beer during the press announcement. It was one of our most retweeted promotions and even caught the media’s attention and WCCO showed up to a full bar and interviewed a few of our guests regarding their reaction to Favre joining the team.

9. What is your best piece of advice to other businesses about Social Networking?

If people are talking about your business or are asking questions your business can solve, it is time to join the conversation. Even if the time commitment is small, you have to start somewhere but the key is to start! And most importantly be real and authentic in your communication: at the end of the day, people do business with people so stay personable in your approach.


The Depot Minneapolis

225 3rd Avenue South

Minneapolis , MN 55425

 

Facebook Fan page: www.facebook.com/DepotMpls
Twitter: @DepotMpls

 

 

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