News for the Hospitality Executive
Does your property’s Facebook page merely exist?
| November 23, 2010
Engaging profiles run by a dedicated staff can pay dividends for your property. Utilizing Facebook features like “Reveal Tabs” takes your social media to an even higher level. Read on for Five Facebook tips and to learn about Reveal Tabs.
Facebook has over 500 million users and over 900 million objects, including pages, groups and events, which people interact with. The average user is connected to 80 of these objects. More than 150 million users access the site on their mobile devices. So what do these stats mean to your property? Is it beneficial for your hotel to have an active Facebook page? The short answer is yes. But there are several components your property must successfully execute to reap the benefits available.
Five Tips to Make Your Page Valuable
1. Have engaging posts numerous times a day.
Posting once a day or a few times a week simply doesn’t put your property in front of your audience enough. Considering Facebook users average over 120 friends and approximately 80 pages of businesses, communities, groups, etc., the amount of daily posts they see is already overwhelming. Therefore, it’s vital that your property posts enough, engaging posts everyday, without annoying your fans.
These posts can include special Facebook only offers, packages, incentives, guest reward information, reviews, guests testimonials, guest photos, news about local events, reminders about local attractions, property upgrades, travel news, etc. You have to consistently provide your fans valuable information. If you don’t, they’re going to remove your page, move on, and perhaps never interact with your property again. If you do provide them value, they’re going to share the page, refer friends, and perhaps, become loyal, repeat guests.
2. Have a plan with a dedicated person to execute it.
There must be at least one staff member at your property that takes ownership of your Facebook account. If it’s juggled around from person to person, with no true owner, the consistency of quality posts will quickly disappear. And that means the effectiveness of your profile will disappear as well.
Almost everyone is active on Facebook, or at least familiar with it, so finding someone to manage your property’s profile shouldn’t be difficult. However, to be a true and worthy owner, this person should be trained, or at minimum, familiar with Facebook and marketing. Because after all, it is social media. And social media for hotels is a way to provide a communication platform and increase reservations.
3. Capitalize on guest testimonials, stories, photos and videos.
As much as independent and branded hotels can promote themselves and make promises, testimonials from guests speak volumes, because they’re unbiased and trustworthy. They should be considered priceless, especially if they sell the experiences enjoyed at your property. Whether it’s two sentence testimonials, detailed stories, photos of kids enjoying the pool or home videos of families vacationing, travel shoppers can relate to these and form an emotional connection to your property – a key aspect of any buying process.
Besides being a great third party sales pitch for travel shoppers, these testimonials give your property instant credibility and allow the shoppers to feel comfortable with your property. They see kids enjoying their surroundings in a video and imagine their own family doing the same. Encouraging guests to post home videos by offering incentives and linking to YouTube will pay big dividends for your property.
4. Incorporate custom Facebook “Reveal Tabs” to increase visitors.
Facebook’s new custom “Reveal Tabs” or pages, like the one here, are the best way to customize your property’s profile to deliver unique messages to visitors. They can be set up so that when a visitor lands on your profile, whether directly typing in the URL or following a link to it, they land on a custom tab, instead of the main information page. The benefit is, that you can better persuade them to become a fan of your profile by offering them a custom message with copy and imagery – whether it’s a Facebook, “VIP only” room rate or a special code for your property’s booking engine. But the requirement is, to get the full details of the offer and take advantage of it, they must first click “Like” to become a fan of your page. At that point, the details of the offer are “revealed,” instantly forming a connection with the travel shopper, and perhaps, producing a reservation. Click here to view a live example.
5. Embed you booking engine or link to it.
Of course, the main objective with any online marketing is generating awareness and reservations. Although most bookers can’t be directly attributed or tracked to your property’s Facebook profile, you can still embed your hotel’s booking engine in your profile, or at least link directly to it via a call to action. You can even link to your booking engine in individual posts, and give out special promotion codes, exclusive to page visitors. And even if new travel shoppers are on your page and don’t immediately book, they’re still exposed to your property’s news, offers, brand and third party testimonials.
You should also link to your Facebook page, along with YouTube, Flickr, etc., from the homepage of your property’s Website. This is one of the main avenues where guests and travel shoppers will navigate to your profile… assuming your Website is search engine optimized (SEO) and can easily be found. Every little bit of link building helps SEO too, especially to a reputable social site like Facebook.
All in all, think of your Facebook page as a vital component in your property’s branding – mainly the credibility and reputation aspect. It gives your guests a platform for feedback, travel shoppers an opportunity to view third party opinions and your staff an opportunity to showcase your hotel and put faces behind it. If you do not have an active, consistently managed Facebook profile with the aforementioned pieces in place, now’s the time. Shoppers are too social savvy, and your competition is too eager to beat you any way they can.
William Bellis III is a Marketing Manager at VIZERGY®. For information on award winning hotel Internet marketing and the new Facebook Reveal Tabs, please call 904-389-1130 or email [email protected]. Visit VIZERGY’s Website and Facebook and Twitter accounts.
VIZERGY, founded in 1998, is an award winning Internet marketing and strategy development company that empowers hotels and resorts to drive revenue through the Internet. VIZERGY offers Internet marketing, search engine optimization, paid search ads, Website design, e-mail marketing and reservation services to help hotels aggressively compete online.
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