You’ve no doubt already got a hotel social media presence as a way of better marketing your property to a larger audience. But how can you really make the most of your Facebook profile and turn it into a tool that encourages bookings?
According to a Digital Visitor study, around half of brands found their presence on Facebook increased their reservations, but here are a few ways of getting that page to work even harder.
1. Encourage aspiration A study by Google found that 83 per cent of leisure travellers use social networking, video or photo sites as sources of inspiration, so really make them daydream when they’ve stopped on your Facebook page.Use eyecatching photos of your rooms and amenities and create videos that show off your hotel, resort or city in its very best light. Don’t forget to ensure everything is fully optimised and branded too, as every social media portal should be a reflection of the brand itself.
2. Capitalise on reviews Facebook’s star-rating system means you now can use the site like a review aggregator as there’s a separate tab for it. This can really reap rewards, as aBrightLocal study found 88 per cent of consumers trust reviews they find online just as much as they would a personal recommendation.Ensure your glowing praise stand out prominently and monitor comments so they are recent – and so that you can pick up and respond to any negative ones straight away. Would-be guests will warm to you more if you demonstrate that you deal with problems than if you attempt to pretend you never receive negative reviews.
3. Run competitions People love competitions and the opportunity to win something, so running them can make a real difference to your Facebook traffic. Make sure visitors need to do something that benefits you in order to win, such as signing up to your newsletters or liking your page. This means that you will keep popping up in their newsfeed and hopefully, keep you front and centre when they next need a hotel room.
4. Promote events It can be hard to come up with fresh content for Facebook, but providing information about local news and events can be a great way of getting around this, plus it highlights your status as community-focused. You can even run your own events to encourage bookings, such as eating competitions and carnival days, then post photos of everyone having fun. Don’t forget to promote your own special offers such as couples’ promotions and themed nights either.
5. Encourage email marketing signup Getting hold of people’s email addresses can prove quite tricky, especially if you can only really collect them when they’ve made a booking – you’ve hooked them in already that way. However, Facebook represents an extra chance to collect this information, which people may be quite happy to provide if they think they might get a reward such as coupons.Once you’ve got would-be guests signed up, you can then target them with carefully tailored email newsletters that may encourage them to make a booking.
6. Make Facebook a booking toolFinally, always ensure you have regular calls to action on your Facebook page, as it should be a booking tool as well as an advertisement for your hotel. Whether you have it diverting people to your own booking engine or use it as a booking system itself, you should allow travellers to take that final step and whip out their credit cards if you are to make the most of its potential.