Social media has evolved significantly in the last few years and has no intention of stopping or pausing. Hotel brands have kept pace by using industry influencers, traveller stories and audio visual mediums to optimize upon them. Hoteliers are also open to idea of advertising on social media more freely now than ever before.
According to eMarketer, 46% of travel brands advertised on social media in 2016 since they feel social media ads are effective at reaching their target audience.
Facebook remains the big fish of social media marketing, providing a mature platform for hoteliers to connect with the relevant audience.
Facebook has significantly changed with time, evolving to become an ideal channel for business needs. The platform includes features such as check-ins, reviews and call-to-action buttons that link directly to booking engines simplifying the complete travel shopping experience.
Infact powerful hotel management systems like Hotelogix allow your followers to book their stay on the hotel’s Facebook page itself. As a hotelier, you are making the booking process easier for your guests, while tapping into the database of your loyal fans on Facebook. This a win-win for everyone, as it saves time for the guest and let’s the hotelier win commission free bookings.
Hoteliers can also integrate various Apps onto their Facebook page, allowing their page to be a central hub with all of the hotel’s information, thus streamlining their online marketing efforts.
Facebook ads are extremely popular among hoteliers, with feature upgrades being released every few months, aimed to reach the right audience without compromising their overall feed experience. For instance, Facebook advertisers can distribute their ads through the Facebook Audience Network or increase viewership through Facebook’s 360-degree travel videos. The updated ad preferences and dynamic ads since last year are more such interesting updates from the Facebook Advertising portfolio. Users now have more control than ever over the kind of ads they want to view.
Of course, the smartphone is central to everything. With hotel softwares evolving to the point where front desks are becoming redundant, how can your hotel’s marketing strategy be planned out of a mere desktop? Facebook’s Head of Travel, Christine Warner, puts it very aptly; “hotels are definitely missing out if they aren’t paying enough attention to mobiles”. The social network recently rolled out a feature called ‘City Guides’ that help travellers book hotels, restaurants, tours and plan their complete vacation with just a few taps on the App. This shows Facebook is serious about providing the most genuine and authentic travel experience to its users.
Still unsure why mobile is so important?
Here’s our top three reasons;
- The guest experience begins long before the stay. Every hotel brand has the opportunity to talk to guests in a personalised manner, made easier through mobile on WhatsApp or Facebook messenger.
- An average traveler goes over 56 travel-related touch points in their purchasing journey, including many on mobile devices. That means including mobile in your hotel’s marketing strategy is essential.
- Love of sharing when you travel is powerful. Not only Facebook, but channels like Instagram, Snapchat, etc., can help create wonderful travel stories. But, sharing them while on the go is only possible with mobile devices.
We must not forget that the popularity of Facebook is based on its capability to create stories that are powerful and impactful. As we know, storytelling is one of the oldest and greatest platforms for building long standing engagement with guests.
“Facebook allows the brand to extend its persona and serve its values better than other channels”
VP of Public Relations, Allison Sitch, Marriott International
5 top tips when planning your hotel’s Facebook page
- Assign a dedicated person to manage your daily posts, comments and updates.
- Immediate response represents a brand that cares and is ready to listen.
- Sharing guest testimonials helps create a better buzz.
- Post and share relevant content (strictly no-salesy).
- Employees are your biggest brand advocates, involve them to promote Facebook posts.
Hotels often treat Facebook as a mere social media platform. It’s high time you start viewing it as an important tool in your hotel’s marketing arsenal. Afterall, Facebook is a mobile content discovery platform, where 1.2M people come together to discover new brand stories everyday.
Whether yours is a 30 or 300 room property, Facebook integrated with a powerful cloud hotel management software can unlock new opportunities for your hotel.