Social Media and Hotel Marketing – a Fresh Perspective
There are various ways for hotels, resorts and the accommodation industry generally to capture additional revenue from social media. There are direct methods and indirect methods.
Most hotels are promoting their hotels directly through social media. This means that they advertise their property to new clients via their social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, etc. which is great.
However, there is an abundance of hotels that I have spoken to that are not capitalising on more indirect methods of marketing. In particular, building and nurturing existing relationships to encourage repeat visits. This involves maintaining an existing relationship with your clients.
There are obvious advantages for directly marketing your hotel rooms through social media. Namely; directing visitors to book through your website avoids paying distribution channel commissions.
There can be as much said for nurturing existing client relationships as there is about generating new clients.
A good way to do this is to create a simple business process at your front desk such as providing your clients a card that asks them to “like” your social media account can do a number of things:
i) assist with maintaining your existing clients up to date with the latest specials and packages – engaging clients is important; and
ii) make your social media page more popular which, in turn will make your website more popular in search engine rankings.
More information on hotel search engine marketing can be found in this article: Social Media and Hotel Search Engine Rankings
However, for now, your social media sites can have a very positive impact on your search engine rankings.
Another great tip is to have your Facebook “Like Us” and the Google “Plus 1” feature on your home page. That way, when you ask your visitors to like your page, they can just click the like button on your website – rather than go to the trouble of searching through Facebook to locate your page.
The information that many hotels publish on their social media sites is often aimed at new clients. It would be good to write information that appeals to existing clients.
So while you may lose some money by acquiring customers through channels initially, the relationship should then be nurtured through social media. Then, you can gain form commission-free direct bookings later.
The other indirect, effect of building and nurturing relationships with your clients is that your online ratings on feedback sites will improve. By building relationships from the start, clients will be far more likely to leave positive feedback on the hotel review websites.
a) build a business process at your front desk to ask clients to like your social media page;
b) include the Facebook “Like Us” feature and the Google “Plus One” feature on your website.
c) ensure that the information that you are writing is aimed at new visitors as well as existing clients;