How to NOT Maximize Facebook - a Checklist for Lodging Managers
By Rob Kall President, Bookt LLC | May 01, 2011
Facebook is just a fad. If you agree with that statement, you have come to the right place. It is rather easy to NOT maximize Facebook. Who needs friends anyway? Not you or your business. You're too busy with work. What you need is a vacation. Let's start there – with a trip to Walt Disney World. Check this out!
There are over 5.7 Million people who "Like" the Walt Disney World Facebook page. And it is here that the folks at Walt Disney World "engage" with these friends, fans and followers. Which brings us to the first item on our Checklist...
Sell, Sell, Sell
If you do NOT want to maximize Facebook, take the approach that this social media icon is just another Sales Channel. People will love it that you are going Old School. Hit them hard and fast with your sales message. In fact, push it down their throats. Engagement is the opposite of that. Engagement is all about listening to your customers and prospects, and building a dialogue over time. Engagement done right leads to improving your processes, quality, products and services, and both growing and diversifying your customer base. Social platforms like Facebook have transformed the way new and past guests and lodging businesses interact, converse and influence each other. Engagement will result in differentiating your property with your targets and, if you are not careful, it could lead to a competitive advantage in your marketplace.
Put up a Wall
The Facebook "Wall" is where you hard sell-sell-sell to your friends-friends-friends. And all you really need on Facebook is a thick wall between you and your customers. Disney World on the other hand has wasted huge blocks of wall-selling time by adding other sections and pages like photos, accommodations, vacation planners, guest reviews, events and surveys. Disney World even devotes special pages to special offers and services for their friends. What makes these 5.7 Million people so special? And why do I need to read online conversations from past guests, including people I know – about their wonderful experiences at Disney World? It's not that small a world after all – is it? And why all the effort focused on promoting their Orlando-area destination as much as they plug themselves? This steers us to our next Checklist item.