When we talk to hotel owners or general managers about setting up a Facebook page for their hotel, we hear the same concerns – I have no clue what to do, how much time is involved in maintaining it, and will the hotel benefit at all from our efforts?
Facebook has more than 800 million active users, with more than 50% of them logging onto Facebook every day. With that many users and activity, we know you should have some sort of presence there. With a little bit of initial set-up time, and a few minutes each day, you can have an active and engaging Facebook page for your hotel. So what are the basics to maintain a good hotel Facebook page?
Seems like the obvious, but many hotels will start a page, be active for a few weeks, and then forget about posting for several months. Facebook has a system in place where your fans must interact with your hotels page, to keep your posts appearing to all of them in News Feeds – so post at least a few times a week, and keep the content engaging.
Visually Tell Your Story
The best way to tell your story and to get your fans to interact is to show them. Pictures and videos are the obvious choices to add to your page, but taking it one step further could enhance the effectiveness of your social media campaign. Instead of uploading your top 10 pictures to one photo album, try creating several themed albums. Create albums for accommodation types, hotel amenities, staff recognition, group volunteer activities, etc. Another idea is to have fan submitted photos. This will help you connect with your fans, but will also be more effective at educating and engaging them about your property. Don’t forget about adding quality descriptions too-this is free space to add the details and information that will keep them looking at your page.
Expand Your Reach
Posting to your wall is one thing, but why not get more exposure for the same time invested? Simple things like posting a fan submitted photo contest, an event (open house post renovations, charity fundraiser, etc.) or a classified ad on Facebook Marketplace are three methods that feature your hotel in different ways. Another, and very effective approach, is to partner with a local restaurant or spa and create a package with them (if you haven’t done so already) and when you announce it in your post, make sure you mention the participating company’s Facebook page – displaying your post to their fans as well.
Think Like A Revenue Manager
It’s important to write posts regarding what’s new at the hotel, your amenities, recent press or accolades, and even what’s going on around town. But a revenue manager sees Facebook as another channel to fill rooms, at the rate and dates needed. If it’s Friday night and you have a group cancel for the weekend, post a last minute deal for local customers. If the holidays are coming up, remind people that they can give the gift of a getaway, and order gift certificates at your hotel.
Rekindle The Experience
Regardless of whether your guests stayed with you for a family vacation, romantic getaway or a conference, there was something about your hotels destination that added to their experience. Create posts that don’t just mention an event happening in town next weekend, but that talk about the local favorite dessert being served there. If the city or area were recently covered in a major magazine or television program, let your fan base know about it. Reminding them why they came and stayed with you in the first place, will keep them thinking about a return trip.