FROM SOCIAL TO TOTAL

I originally started Hive Marketing as a social media agency for the hospitality business after having early success with a social campaign for a hotel I was opening in 2008. When my ideas were replicated across the brand, I knew I was onto something. I launched in May 2009 with three social media packages and a whole lot of enthusiasm.

It took the hotel business a little longer to match my enthusiasm. Ha.

In the meantime, I picked up social media clients in all kinds of industries, from Fortune 500 businesses to local restaurants to other types of consultants. Hotels came around, and I had a very robust roster of hospitality companies as well. Together, my clients and I had five solid years of success and growth using social media and other digital marketing tactics, winning kudos and awards along the way.

Social media marketing executed through funny, interesting, and authentic content worked really well, for a long time.

And then....

I started getting itchy about Facebook in September 2013. I noticed that reach (how many people see a given post on Facebook) was declining for my clients, and using the engagement strategies that worked in the past didn't fix it. My theory was that Facebook was trying to force businesses to buy ads, and (spoiler alert) I was right. Facebook made a formal announcement on on January 21, 2014, confirming that they were throttling engagement. I knew other platforms would soon follow, and (spoiler alert) they did. The financial model no longer made social a home run for individual hotels, and the change made me contemplate a major strategic shift.

At the same time, my hotel clients were asking for more services -- market studies; deployment analysis; online reputation help; all kinds of things. It was time for that strategic shift I was thinking about.

In the last few years, we've grown Hive from a small social agency to a full-service hospitality sales and marketing consultancy. We still look at social for hotels, but it's through the lens of the overall sales strategy that will produce the strongest results for your business. We do all kinds of other projects that help hospitality companies solve strategic problems so that they can sell more efficiently and effectively. The beauty of expanding our thinking about what services to offer is that we can bring senior level thinking and experience to projects that don't justify a full-time employee's salary.

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Backstory, SocialSusan Barry