Social Media is an integral part of your sales and marketing strategies. The important thing is not to be consumed or bogged down with the daily/weekly rigors of posting, checking, and responding. The business/hotel Facebook page should be nothing like your personal page.
I found the list in an article today and thought it really summarized what (I think) your strategy should be on your hotel page:
10 Tips to Facebook Posting Success
- Keep it short: Share just a bit of what you’d like to say, but be brief. Try to keep the post to around 250 characters, without losing the message you want to share.
- Photos / Videos: To make your message stand out, a photo or video will bring the eye to the message. Give viewers an inside view of what makes the hotel tick. An example: Showcase your employees. Adding a first name and a face from the person to the service they received or will be receiving, offers that personal touch. Display a front desk clerk welcoming a guest . . . the housekeeper hard at work . . . or your marketing manager smiling at their desk. Always ask the employee for their permission before you post.
- Call to Action: Engage your audience by asking questions or suggest a link to visit, “like” the post, or share an experience.
- Offer a perk to your Fans: Create a special offer with link, exclusive to your fans. Links and calls to action add value to a Facebook campaign.
- Participation: Ask your audience to participate in the process of building your next package or promotion. For example, request feedback from your fans on what type of amenities they would like to see in a package? Free Internet, Free Parking, Free Resort Fees, Dinner for Two, etc. Use the feedback to create the package then let your audience know that they were a vital part of the process by their input.
- Be consistent and current: Post about local events around the hotel. Make sure that you offer links, and post consistently (once or twice a week is good).
- Create a Social Media Calendar: Plan a strategy to compliment your off line marketing initiatives. Topics, times, frequency that work best with the hospitality industry. Remember that these “best practices” of when to post are not relevant to every industry and every audience. Learn your audience; learn the audience of your industry.
- Target: You can create posts on Facebook specific to an audience. If you have a package available to only the residents of your state, then target post to the audience in that segmented location demographic.
- Schedule posts: You can schedule posts up to six months in advance in 10 minute intervals. This will help you manage your time more effectively.
- Have fun. Keep the “social” on your social network. Post fun trivia facts about your location; create engaging puzzles focused on your brand or city; send encouragement of support to your local sports teams, etc.
Facebook (and any social media vehicle) needs to have a PLAN and someone to execute the plan. It should never be “just a post”, but a part of the overall plan. Ever post needs to speak to your fans in your hotel’s voice…. following your property/brand identity. Posts should be casual but professional, and never negative, off-color or defamatory. Your posts should be current, and appropriate to your audience and season. Mix it up with information about your hotel, your staff, local events, happenings at the hotel, and offers. Remember, Facebook should be more MARKETING and more INFORMATIONAL, than hard sales. This is where you can let the personality of your hotel shine through by “suggesting” things for your customers and potential customers. It’s about the spiderweb of “friends”, “friends or friends”, and “friends of friends of friends.” Remember the Pantene commercial? You tell one friend, who tells one friend, who tells one friend, etc. This is the goal of social media.
Make sure you have a request for people to “like” your hotel’s page on every letter and email signature block, and every brochure, package or flyer! Add QR codes (I did a blog on how to do this in the past.). Put signs with QR code at your front desk, in the elevator and in the breakfast area. (Make sure you follow brand standards.)
Since we have all completed 2014 Sales & Marketing Plans, and most of you have social media strategies in those plans – make sure you have clearly identified your posting calendars and know what direction you want to take for the future.
If you are in the market for a company to take the reigns of your hotel’s social media, let me know as we work with a company who does a very good job at a very good price.