Tip from the author: “Facebook page is a tool for building online relationships.”
Facebook is hands down one of the most coveted tools of social media engagement. There are numerous articles on how to improve social media engagement using Facebook. There are experts in the industry who can help the hotels drive Facebook campaigns. More often than not, we go to a hotel’s Facebook page and the minimum expectation would be to see a lot of enticing pictures, videos of the hotels and promotional offers. In fact almost all hoteliers have invested in a Facebook page.
“Before getting into the techniques on how to covert fans into guests, there is one point which I would like to address first; for me a Facebook page is a tool for building online relationships. For instance, take an employee of your hotel – After a lot of training we can teach the basics of customer service, what to do and what not to do. But underlying all the training, the basic nature of the employee will define how well he or she would ultimately do in customer service.” In my opinion, this holds true for a Facebook page as well. A hotel’s Facebook page, apart from making sure of posting interesting and engaging content on its timeline needs to ensure that it also reflects the hotel’s character. In other words we need to first decide on the persona of our Facebook page and then align it with the following strategies for the commerce that it will generate.
1.Facebook – a Customer Relationship Tool
Hotels almost always have the email addresses of the hotel guests. “Requests” to like your hotel page should be sent to all guests. This is a great tool for building an online relationship and will work even better than email marketing. To ensure that maximum guests like the hotel’s page, offers and discounts on services can be sent.
2.Engagement with the Facebook Fan Base
The hotel needs to concentrate on not just collecting the maximum number of likes and fans but to make sure that the page is able to generate enough engagement. Most important here is not to bombard your Facebook fans with promotions and offers. A balance needs to be maintained. In my opinion 65% of the content needs to be about information on travel, hotel, services, food & beverages etc. 20% content should be on offers and promotions. 15% needs to be personalized information on hotel staff and customer experiences geared towards building a persona of your hotel that you decided at first. Some examples here would be a picture of the chef in action, best employee of the month, any event organized by the hotel with guest participation.
3. The Visual Investment
The hotel needs to invest in good photographers and media artists to make sure the pictures and videos posted on the Facebook page are of the best quality and tempting enough for the viewer to start visualizing themselves in the hotel.
4.Commercializing your Facebook Page
A “Book Now” button is a must have on the hotel’s Facebook page. It would work better to have a booking function within Facebook to ensure offers and promotions for fans on your page instead of having a tab to simply direct the user to the website.
Facebook has become a crucial tool for building the hotel’s brand, reputation, customer engagement and increasing sales. Facebook strategy is not about simply posting great content. As discussed earlier, we need to know the persona of our guests and use that to decide the tone and character of our Facebook page. Keeping that in mind, if the Facebook strategy focuses on developing a relationship with the customer, the commerce is sure to follow.