Nearly every business, in and outside the hospitality niche, aspires to use Facebook for increasing profitability, branding and online marketing. With Facebook ready to attain the pedestal of 1 billion users in 2012, using it for furthering your footprints in the social networking landscape remains an unarguably wise choice. Using Facebook for increasing footfalls in your hotel or raising the number of reservations isn’t as difficult as it might seem.
Why Facebook for my hotel business? Is it worth the effort?
The most prominent reasons that make Facebook such a useful hospitality business aid include its ability to provide real-time interaction with prospective clients, including posting messages (and replying) to feedback/comments. As a business owner, you get the chance to upload pics of your property, highlighting its appeal. While OTAs and other distribution channels are more important, they don’t provide this kind of transparent customer interaction. Yes, Facebook is not meant to compete with your established reservation-generating resources, i.e. it is supposed to supplement them and can help you attain some degree of OTA independence.
Facebook Paves the Road for Free Targeted Marketing
An important reason for using Facebook is Customer Segregation. Most businesses using Facebook tend to launch campaigns or special offers. The ROI on such promotions is easy-to-calculate. Over a period, the kind of hotel bookings precipitated from different Facebook campaigns can be analyzed. This includes understanding the ability of different Facebook promotions to engage actual business from different regions, seasons, age-groups, Facebook communities, etc. helping you choose the most profitable customer niche.
Benefit from Free, Social Media Omnipresence
To understand this, consider a simple, real-life scenario: which of the two have a present a bigger probability—people searching for your property on the web or coming across your Facebook page as a part of their social media browsing. Obviously, the latter holds a bigger promise, over a longer period. Even as people are on-the-move, presence of mobiles & other handheld web-enabled devices ensures they are constantly logged into their social media accounts. The number of people Googling your hotel is most likely to be lesser than the number of people who might come across your Facebook page when networking across the social media landscape.
It would be an exaggeration to say that Facebook always delivers, i.e. from a business perspective. Essentially, it raises the propensity of getting more reservations or at least, raises your hotel’s online visibility. Yes, having Facebook fans means that you can instantly promote your room nights across a sizeable audience (and get your hospitality brand noticed).
Apart from driving first-time reservations, impressive Facebook credentials also raises probability of repeat business, i.e. if your Facebook-ing skills are more-than-average. Facebook-ing your hotel property also means increasing your degree of online engagement without needing to spend on Google Ads or getting your website optimized for search engine listing (SEO).