In Facebooking Your Hotel, we talked about why using Facebook to promote your hotel was a sensible, profitable and fashionable option. Here, we discuss how to get your Facebook strategy right. The idea is to discuss things besides the usual tips that can be easily found on the web, i.e. we are trying to explain things from a hotelier’s perspective without too much generalization.
Maintain Your Facebook Balance
Preserving the balance between interaction & marketing defines how useful Facebook will be for raising your bottom-line. If your Facebook account seems like just another social media handle that incessantly promotes a brand, you are soon going to lose followers and the “Likes” might soon dry-up. Merely bombarding your targeted audience with offers and marketing literature isn’t going to raise your Facebook popularity. Restrained advertising helps to create a personal connect than can snowball into a slew of personal references for your brand. It is integral that you maintain a certain level of Facebook integrity, this includes:
- Keeping your Facebook handle active
- Creating some point of entertainment or fun
- Providing information in an easily understandable manner
- Interacting with Facebook members beyond the point of conducting business
Being Interactive on Facebook Raises Your Consumer Connectability
Being connected to Facebook members raises chances of receiving a lot more recommendations. For keeping your Facebook handle interesting, share plenty of updates. This could include the most humble changes you have made in your property, like installing new wallpaper. Even better—make the process more Facebook-centric, share images of your new interiors and seek opinions for the choice of wallpaper!
Productive Facebook-ing Essentials: Get the Content Right!
Keep browsing through the hotel industry blogs and News sites. Pick upon interesting topics. Post the links and share your opinion. This is the surest way to engage more interactions which will invariably mean your hotel getting highlighted. This is an interesting way of attracting the target audience even when competing against much bigger hotels. Often, Facebook fan recommendations are more potent than customer testimonials posted on travel sites or OTAs. These are akin to word-of-mouth marketing that can have a major impact on a traveler’s decision-making when choosing a hotel.
No Matter How Humble, Always Reward Loyalty—Sweetening the Facebook “Deal”
Traditional brand patronization just takes too much time to be created. It is better to apply the ‘give and take’ paradigm for faster results. Encourage your guests to post some pics from their stay on their Facebook pages. To incentivize this, promise them something that doesn’t seem too marketing-oriented or manipulative. For instance, tell your guests that for sharing your hotel’s pics on Facebook, they will get a complimentary serving of ice-cream! This seems innocent and passable enough without impacting your Facebook credibility. This indirectly means your hotel property being viewed by thousands of potential customers. If your business cannot afford such incentives, promise something as modest as being the first to be informed about special offers, new menus, grand openings, etc.
Unparalleled Consumer Connect via Facebook
When you get queries from potential customers, try to divert them to your Facebook pages. For instance, apart from providing basic information like room rates and services, ask them to check-out the facility’s images on Facebook. Try to seek feedback from your Facebook community, even if this means receiving a bit of flak. This induces an impression that you are confident about the level of customer satisfaction you deliver, underlining your abilities as a service-provider.
What to not-to-do when Facebook-ing your Hotel?
Firstly, Facebook itself preaches what is considered unethical. Even if you don’t have the patience to read it, just understand some basic Don’t Dos of the Facebook game:
- Hyperlinking too much & Not hyperlinking at all
- Paying for getting Likes/Reviews (can get you legally penalized)
- Using too many cleverly-disguised/misleading hyperlinks
- Making every Facebook update look like a brand promotion effort
- Commenting too less or too much (don’t write a story or three-word tagline)
- Badmouthing competing hotels/competitors (abstain from slandering)
- Getting into arguments with the Facebook community (swallow your pride)