Facebook was the first big platform in the social media revolution and it continues to be a force to be reckoned with today. There are 1.71 billion monthly active users and 38.6 per cent of the world’s online population makes use of the website. The average user checks their account 14 times a day and spends an average of 20 minutes browsing their news feed, checking out friends’ photos and viewing videos that interest them. This incredible reach means Facebook became not only useful for pals trying to connect with one another, but also for brands trying to get in contact with their customers and potential buyers.
While Facebook is no doubt already part of your hotel social media strategy if you’ve got a property to market thanks to the potential to target audiences and go beyond the organic reach, why not consider using the site for advertising too?Facebook ads – the basics Any company with a branded page can easily create ads via the portal and set budgets for as low as £1 a day, whether that’s using cost per click or cost per thousand impressions. Multiple ads can be run by the same advertiser simultaneously, but only three at a time will show in people’s news feed, meaning there’s less competition than with traditional channels.
Start and end dates can be set up 30 days in advance and built-in analytics software can track the progress of campaigns as they run.How to create good Facebook ads Since it is a relatively new form of advertising, Facebook ads can seem trick at first. Actually though, they’re much easier to get right than traditional ads in magazines because they’re so much more targeted. You can get right out in front of your target audience on a regular basis just by using the settings in your advert manager tool and tempt them to your hotel by matching their interests. This takes advertising beyond the ‘cold calling’ approach and means you’re already building a favourable relationship with would-be guests by offering something they want or need.
There are scores of ways to target Facebook users and it’s a case of experimenting by working out what you want to achieve and then narrowing down your reach. For example, there’s interest-based targeting, which zooms in on people who have liked pages related to yours in some way.However, you might be surprised that you could put almost anything into your search box and Facebook would find a suitable audience for you to reach out to.You might select users who have expressed an interest in hiking, for instance, or business travellers. Narrow things down by opting for men aged 25 to 35 who live in London and you might capitalise on those who need a last-minute break, or select people in a new relationship to boost your bookings on Valentine’s Day. It’s even possible to find those who have an anniversary coming up, someone with a degree or parents of children at a specific age – Facebook is that specific.That makes it hugely useful for hotel marketers because it’s possible to write multiple versions of your ads to cater for specific groups, but it’s also easy to come up with package breaks that would appeal to them and encourage them to click through and make a booking.
Essential advice for Facebook advertising As you can see, it’s surprisingly easy to make a start with a Facebook ad campaign, but it’s essential to turn interest into conversions by following up on those tempting ads.You should always ensure that any advertisements published lead through to relevant, aesthetically pleasing landing pages with calls to action. If people clicking through them come up against a website that hasn’t been updated lately, doesn’t appeal to them and isn’t easy to negotiate to make a reservation, then they’ll just bounce back and you’ve wasted your money. Also, don’t just create a raft of ads and expect to use them forevermore. Facebook is constantly changing and that means your campaigns must too, so test your advertisements regularly and alter them if they’re not particularly effective.You could even send two different advertisements to the same audience and see which works the best, although that will have to be over a decent amount of time if you are to avoid bombarding your target audiences.
After a while, you should become adept at spotting what is working well and what isn’t, which will allow you to polish your campaign and make the most of the advertising revenue you’ve set aside.Facebook is a real goldmine when it comes to the data it collects on its users and the low price of advertising means it is suitable for even the smallest hotel. Taking the time to research the demographic you appeal to and then creating targeted ads should result in a successful campaign to rival even your biggest competitors.