| by Pedro Colaco
Importance of Hotel Facebook Page Design
While your hotel’s website is your best sales
representative, your hotel’s facebook page is your best Public
representative. Therefore, it is critically important to arm your hotel
facebook page with the proper tools to engage your facebook fans. Below
five simple tips to turn your facebook page into a successful PR
5 Tips for a strong hotel
- Designing the page differentiates from competition: For
obvious reasons the most visible characteristic of a hotel facebook
page is the logo, as the hotel page design is facebook’s. Display your
logo in an unexpected way. Provide a strong hotel overview page that’s
both informational and fun. When creating your new hotel facebook page
ensure that it reflects the colors, textures and the experiences that
the property offers but also matches with facebook’s style.
- Tagging photos spreads the word: Studies indicate that
images are the second factor right behind pricing in terms of
influencing the choice of property to stay in. With today’s technology,
taking a good picture is easier than ever. Facebook is great at sharing
pictures and engaging users – every day 100 million photos are tagged
on facebook. So, ask your guests if you can take pictures with them,
then tag them on facebook. Your property will be seen by many of their
- “The Hotel” menu item engage users: Having an easy-to-use
and user-friendly navigation on your hotel facebook page is a decisive
factor for how engaged your visitors are going to be. Bad navigation
and usability can lead to visitors abandoning your facebook page. Keep
it simple. Don’t try to overwhelm people with lots of options: 3 or 4
menu items are enough: hotel overview, rooms, special offers and a map
are probably enough.
- Promotions and sweepstakes stimulate visitors to come back:
It is important to provide social incentives to website visitors so
they choose your property over the competition. Creating special offers
on your facebook page and offering sweepstakes will create a loyal
following. Also, it can help you sell distress inventory in a way that
it doesn’t cannibalize your regular sales and you can optimize your
search engine ranking by offering fresh content on the website.
- What happens on facebook, stays on facebook: In most
facebook pages, there is very little “spillover” traffic to the hotel
website. Hence, you should provide directly on your hotel facebook page
the ability for travelers to check rates and availabilities for the
travel dates, and book. Moreover, many travelers nowadays have flexible
dates and are actively bargain hunting and willing to trade off some
convenience for a better price or package. Make sure your calendar
overview displays a longer-term view of the rates and availabilities so
travels can choose the perfect vacation or business trip according to
their needs and possibilities.
Whether in the US, UK or Spain the lay of the land
2011/2012 is pretty homogeneous. The good news is that by far and large
occupancy crisis of 2009 and 2010 seems to be behind us.
Lowering Your Commission Payments to OTA's
While hoteliers are grateful that OTAs
like Expedia and
booking.com saved the day in 2010, hotel managers are growing
annoyed about large commission checks paid to OTAs on a monthly basis.
consensual opinion is that OTAs are focused on driving competition and
prices. Hence, hotel managers are increasingly looking for solutions
them capture most of their revenue directly on their own websites.
Five rules for increasing direct
bookings and decreasing commissions to OTAs
- Display a modern website. Many properties have built their
websites before 2008 and feel that they are still appropriate. Think
again: a website built in the beginning of 2007 means that your website
is now four years old, but more importantly it was built before there
was Kayak, the Google Chrome web browser, the iPhone, Android
smartphones or the iPad. Probably it’s due for a refresh…
- Display great photos of your hotel experience. Add video if
you can. While price continues to be the #1 reason for booking, photos
are #2. So ensure that your website has large banners that display the
experience at your property and the surroundings. Ensure to show large
pictures of the rooms and bath rooms. If you don’t display them on your
site, consumers will look for them somewhere else. And if you have
access to some video footage of your hotel use it and abuse it.
- Make it easy to book. One of the top reasons why OTAs still
play a very significant role in hotel distribution is because many
hotel websites don’t instill the confidence to book. Many hotels still
have complex multi-step booking engines with pop-ups (!) which make any
sophisticated user abandon. To increase direct bookings hotels must
offer availability maps, rate calendars and a simple booking process so
that consumers are not driven back to OTAs and high commission costs.
- Embrace tripadvisor. Whether hotel managers like it or not
over 70% of consumers booking hotels rely on tripadvisor for anonymous
advice on their property. Hence, it is critical to embrace tripadvisor
and work tripadvisor comments.
In summary, while occupancy rates are recovering, hotel
managers are now going to focus on optimizing their marketing mix and
looking for ways to provide incentives for customers to book directly
hotel. This can be easily achieved with a modern website, great photos,
booking engine, good customer reviews and special offers.
- Offer exclusive deals on your site. OTAs have been on a
“rate parity” crusade for the last few years. But rate parity does not
mean that your hotel’s offering needs to be the same on all channels.
You can still reward consumers for early booking or becoming a facebook
fan or twitter follower. Driving direct bookings with special offers
will increase loyalty and drive referral sales on your hotel’s website.
Top 5 Reasons for
Hotel Mobile Websites
With all the buzz surrounding mobile usage for travel, many hoteliers
are wondering whether to adopt mobile as a component of their online
- 19% of all hotel queries are mobile. Since November 2010
mobile traffic has been growing at explosive rates. In April 2011,
mobile hotel website visits represented already close to 5% of total
traffic. A blog post from Google on May 11, 2011 named Mobile Insights:
19% of hotel queries come from mobile devices highlights the need to
deliver a mobile experience to mobile users.
- Mobile traffic is growing exponentially month-by-month.
Mobile devices like smartphones and iPads represent already 3% to 8% of
visitors, and traffic is growing exponentially every month.The US is
more advanced than the rest of the World. In our customer base, mobile
visits in US hotels are close to 2:1 more important than in the rest of
the World. Clearly the adoption of smartphones and flat rate data plans
has been helping. The rest of the World still has to struggle with
- 3% of mobile visitors engage the hotel. Hotel mobile
websites generate an immediate return. A staggering 3% of all mobile
visitors engage with the hotel in some way: many call the hotel or get
directions to the hotel via Google Maps.
- 1% of mobile visitors book. While mobile booking is still
fairly new, especially for independent hotels, 1% of all mobile
visitors actually book a hotel reservation once a mobile booking engine
is deployed. Most hotels that deploy a mobile hotel website solution
get a reservation within the first few days of deployment. So, return
for a mobile solution is instant.
In addition, we also observed that about 75% of mobile users that show
an intention to book, actually end up not entering the personal and
payment information. This is a natural obstacle that time and adoption
of secure techniques like displaying security seals in mobile
applications will overcome. So, hotel mobile bookings are going to grow
exponentially, and we can expect booking rates significantly higher
- Mobile can be done in one tap. In today's market there are
mobile solution where there is no extra effort involved. Your website
content (text, photos, video) can be optimized for mobile delivery and
mobile users can still experience your property’s look and feel, your
rooms, and the experience in a big, bold way.
So, if one out of 5 searches for hotels are from mobile, shouldn’t
hotels be early adopters of a mobile-optimized experience for guests?
resources provided courtesy of GuestCentric. For more information
please visit: http://www.guestcentric.com/shortmovie/