Building Your Brand on Facebook - Part Three in a Five-part Series “A Hotelier's Guide to Social Media Marketing”

By Michael McKean CEO, The Knowland Group | March 06, 2011

By now, most hoteliers know that Facebook is not just a place for college kids to post pictures from last night's party. Today the social networking giant has been wholly embraced by everyone from young professionals to politicians and corporate CEOs to soccer moms. Its appeal as a marketing tool is obvious: With more than 500 million users from across the world, Facebook offers businesses the chance to instantly communicate with one of the largest and most diverse communities in existence. Best of all, this opportunity is available to any business, anywhere, free of charge.

Hotels need to take the time to build a meaningful presence on Facebook. This does not mean simply creating a fan page, adding a link to your web site, and checking back every couple of weeks or so. It does mean growing a loyal base of followers. Offering exclusive content. Throwing in a little personality. Adding value. Successful Facebook pages are a great way to start a conversation about your property and build your brand.

Attracting and keeping a fan base

The only sure way to build a large and loyal following on Facebook is to continually provide interesting content. This can take the form of a photo, a video, an insightful article, or a simple status update. The great thing about a hotel is there is always something new going on, so there's never a shortage of content to share. Here are a few tips to keep people coming back:

Treat your hotel's page like you would your own.

A simple rule to follow when posting to your hotel's Facebook page is to treat it the same way as posting to your personal page. That means keeping it short, and making it engaging and clickable. Be witty. Say something unique. Be the first to share an interesting article or tip. One way or another, you've got to give people a reason to be interested in what you're posting, and you've only got a limited time to do it.

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Coming up in March 2019...

Human Resources: An Era of Transition

Traditionally, the human resource department administers five key areas within a hotel operation - compliance, compensation and benefits, organizational dynamics, selection and retention, and training and development. However, HR professionals are also presently involved in culture-building activities, as well as implementing new employee on-boarding practices and engagement initiatives. As a result, HR professionals have been elevated to senior leadership status, creating value and profit within their organization. Still, they continue to face some intractable issues, including a shrinking talent pool and the need to recruit top-notch employees who are empowered to provide outstanding customer service. In order to attract top-tier talent, one option is to take advantage of recruitment opportunities offered through colleges and universities, especially if they have a hospitality major. This pool of prospective employees is likely to be better educated and more enthusiastic than walk-in hires. Also, once hired, there could be additional training and development opportunities that stem from an association with a college or university. Continuing education courses, business conferences, seminars and online instruction - all can be a valuable source of employee development opportunities. In addition to meeting recruitment demands in the present, HR professionals must also be forward-thinking, anticipating the skills that will be needed in the future to meet guest expectations. One such skill that is becoming increasingly valued is “resilience”, the ability to “go with the flow” and not become overwhelmed by the disruptive influences  of change and reinvention. In an era of transition—new technologies, expanding markets, consolidation of brands and businesses, and modifications in people's values and lifestyles - the capacity to remain flexible, nimble and resilient is a valuable skill to possess. The March Hotel Business Review will examine some of the strategies that HR professionals are employing to ensure that their hotel operations continue to thrive.