Using Social Media to Generate Measurable Sales – It’s Possible

Jay Cooney, E-Commerce Social Media Manager at Omni Hotels & Resorts, joins the Social Pros Podcast this week to uncover Omni’s unique approach to social media management, how their social media efforts are directly tied to sales, and how Omni creates a personalized experience for all of its guests.

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Full Episode Details

Making Every Experience Memorable

Some people, especially business travelers, like to stay in the same brand of hotel everywhere they go. Omni Hotels is unique because it only has 60 properties in North America, and each one of them is different from the next.

This creates a special experience for every guest as the Omni property, partly because of its “upper upscale” approach and partly because it focuses on the exciting location-specific gems that each city has to offer.

Screenshot 2014-08-15 10.32.17Omni also focuses its marketing efforts on providing content that pulls at the heart strings. For example, their #ThrowbackWithDad campaign was launched as a Father’s Day initiative to garner more fans and raise awareness. Instead of a traditional “tweet-to-win” or other boring contest, fans had the chance to post old photos of themselves with their fathers and one lucky fan won a trip to an Omni property for their dad.

Social Media or E-Commerce?

Jay’s official title is E-Commerce Social Media Manager, which is interesting because many companies struggle with realizing the ROI of social media. The fact that sales and social media are directly tied in his title proves that Omni views social media as a measurable sales tactic.

While they are always focused on providing useful and specific material online, they maintain their overall goal of putting heads in beds.

In addition to setting up specific calls-to-action in Omni’s email marketing campaigns, Jay also oversees the contests, giveaways, and sweepstakes that Omni properties run both on the corporate and individual level.


Omni Nashville Biscuit Bar (image via

Because Omni properties are so few, the geographic tie-in is important, especially with social media. Omni has set up a strong listening program to make sure they are hearing and responding to the people that are talking about their properties or questions/issues related to them. This allows the Omni team to take a personalized approach in creating, sharing, and engaging with content online.

LinkedIn is the next frontier for Omni – they have begun using the professional platform to develop relationships with housing coordinators and drive group sales.

Holy Social!

This week’s Holy Social! is brought to you by Western Digital, who is known for their storage technology such as hard drives and cloud-based storage solutions.

Although their products aren’t innately sexy, Western Digital has started a fun campaign that plays on the fact that sometimes, personal things should be kept personal – not shared on social media.

It’s happened to all of us though – the accidental tweet or Facebook photo that you thought was safe – which is part of the brilliance of the campaign.

Screenshot 2014-08-15 10.36.04

Western Digital has also set up a content partnership with Buzzfeed called “Some Things Should Not Be Shared” to illustrate their hilarious examples for the massive audience that Buzzfeed attracts every day.

Social Media Number of the Week: 90

While not the most scientific of numbers, this week’s social media number is 90%. That’s the percentage of stories in Jeff’s newsfeed this week that mentioned something about Robin Williams’ sudden and unexpected death.

The news of Williams’ passing has resurfaced a serious issue that we don’t talk about enough – depression and its effects on the ones we love.

Thousands, if not millions, of people all over the world have been affected by Williams’ death. And more people than we know are struggling with mental illness and suicidal thoughts. Get help for someone you know by using the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline:

See you next week!