Today, social media is an integral piece of branding and advertising for any business. Of the U.S. population, 67% of people say they have a Facebook account, amounting to over 200 million people who are active on Facebook in America.
Social media has evolved beyond just a tool for people to connect online. Social media has become one of the most powerful digital advertising tools one can use. It allows business owners to tailor their advertising to hyper-specific audiences.
A Facebook page can do a lot of good for hoteliers looking to boost business. Facebook pages can enhance a hotel’s online presence, increasing online bookings. There are even options to create a Facebook Booking engine, making it possible for customers to book directly from social media.
The Importance of Digital Marketing
These days, social media is a vital element of digital marketing for hotels. When trying to advertise a hotel, it’s very important to use online channels.
Using digital marketing for hotels, a hotelier will enjoy the following benefits:
- Increased audience
- Expanded your global reach
- Increase brand awareness
- And more!
What makes social media marketing so important for hoteliers is that it’s relatively low cost as compared to other options and reaches a wider audience of potential customers.
The Different Social Media Platforms
Today, there are several social media platforms to choose from when considering how to set your hotel up for success on social media.
Of the social media available, Facebook has the widest user base. Facebook also attracts people of all ages. Unlike some newer social media platforms, Facebook has been around longer than a decade. As such, the young people they captured as teens are now in their 20s and 30s and looking to travel.
Facebook attracted over 30-year-old crowds by promising a way to stay in touch with distant family members and friends. Among Americans aged 30-49 years old, it’s estimated that 65% have active Facebook pages.
Facebook’s interface makes it optimal for advertising. You can add photos, text posts, link websites, and plug-ins like messaging and web-based booking.
Beyond Facebook, there are other effective social media tools to use when advertising. Instagram is a largely visual platform.
It allows businesses to create an aesthetically pleasing profile that shows off their best assets. It’s estimated that a little over 110 million Americans have an Instagram account.
Since shopping for a hotel is such a visual experience, a good Instagram page can boost bookings for hoteliers by showcasing the features of the property. Instagram also offers the ability to advertise to hyper-specific groups of people. Instagram ads are visual and effective.
Twitter can be thought of as the opposite of Instagram. Twitter focuses heavily on text posts and links. Users can post photos on Twitter, but it’s not the most effective use of the platform.
Businesses can use hashtags on Twitter. Hashtags allow a business’s post to show up when a user searches a certain phrase or word, therefore hand-selecting what types of customers they’re attracting.
Recently, it seems users are shifting away from Twitter in favor of other platforms. Right now, it’s estimated a little over 77 million people in the U.S. have a Twitter account.
If your hotel wants to talk about a certain subject and inter-link to the hotel website or blog, Twitter can be a fast and effective way to do so. Hotels can also add their business website in their bio section on Twitter.
Identifying A Target Audience
The beautiful part of social media is it allows a business to have full control of its narrative. A hotel’s online social media presence will be of its own design. However, this also means hoteliers need to be intentional when creating advertising for social media.
Content that is created without an audience in mind is less likely to garner meaningful views. It’s best to identify your target audience and craft content that will appeal to their interests.
A target audience is not hard to identify. For hoteliers, all you must do is simply look at your past customer trends. Many PMS platforms offer features that store and keep archives of previous guest data.
When identifying a target audience, you should be identifying the following demographic groups:
- Where do most of your guests come from? Do you see a lot of international travel? Or perhaps, you see a lot of local travelers and weekenders?
- What age group do most of your guests fall into?
- Why do guests travel to your hotel? Do lots of guests visit your hotel for weddings? Or for honeymoons, or perhaps business conferences?
- What types of guests have reported bad experiences at your hotel? Look at any negative ratings you’ve gotten from guests and see if there is a trend.
Once you have compiled all this data, take a hard look at any trends you see. It’s important to ensure your advertising is reaching the right people.
Crafting Relevant Content Based on Your Target Audience
Once you’ve narrowed down a target audience, it’s time to craft tailored social media content. Many companies will hire a content creation specialist for this reason.
As an example, imagine your target demographic is college spring breakers. You’ll want to do a few things to boost your success on social media, such as advertise spring break specials, post photos of fun events for spring break nearby, and use copy that young people relate to.
Content creation takes a keen eye and lots of technical knowledge, so whenever possible it’s wise to hire a freelancer, or an in-house specialist, to get the best results.
Utilize the Facebook Booking Engine
We’ve already covered how intentional advertising and aesthetically pleasing social media pages can boost the success of a hotel. However, there are other features hoteliers should use to get the most out of social media.
An important tool is the Facebook booking engine. We offer a Facebook booking engine that can be easily integrated into your business Facebook page. The Facebook booking engine allows visitors to book a room right from your Facebook page.
Using the Facebook booking engine, hoteliers can secure more bookings. This booking engine mitigates the need for users to visit multiple websites to book a room, thus securing more business. The Facebook booking engine allows hoteliers to add a “Book Now” tab to their Facebook page, making it easy for guests to identify and use.
A savvy hotelier will use social media to enhance their bookings and garner more brand recognition. Social media is an integral piece of society today and is not going away anytime soon.
For businesses, this means focusing more on social media will have a great payoff. By building a great social media presence, and using booking tools like the Facebook booking engine, hoteliers will see great success with social media marketing.