Social Media for Hotels: One of your most important “shares”

By Mike Kistner President, Chief Executive Officer & Chairman of the Board, Pegasus Solutions | June 10, 2012

A colleague of mine has been conducting an informal survey for the last year. It's just one question, "What have you ever bought on Facebook?"

So far, 100 percent of the respondents have answered, "Nothing."

While the prospect of Facebook-generated reservations creates an enticing reason to jump in to the social universe, direct revenue generation should not be the main focus of your hotel's Facebook presence. Booking through social media is still a new concept, and most users are still uncomfortable providing payment details through social media platforms (have you?). Though minimal reservations are made through Facebook, we do see traffic being driven from social media to a hotel's website.

Simply put, social media is media for social interaction that should be used to engage guests and drive them to your established revenue-generating channels such as your mobile or desktop site.

In an effort not to sound like Meryl Streep's Donna in Mamma Mia, who says she has finally tapped the "Internets" to drive business to her island hotel, I enlisted, Meghan Furtado, social media marketing manager for Open Hospitality for her top shares on hotel social media.

What I learned is that social marketing has the same foundational rules of traditional marketing: what you say and where you say it totally depends on who you're talking to.

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Coming up in June 2019...

Sales & Marketing: Selling Experiences

There are innumerable strategies that Hotel Sales and Marketing Directors employ to find, engage and entice guests to their property, and those strategies are constantly evolving. A breakthrough technology, pioneering platform, or even a simple algorithm update can cause new trends to emerge and upend the best laid plans. Sales and marketing departments must remain agile so they can adapt to the ever changing digital landscape. As an example, the popularity of virtual reality is on the rise, as 360 interactive technologies become more mainstream. Chatbots and artificial intelligence are also poised to become the next big things, as they take guest personalization to a whole new level. But one sales and marketing trend that is currently resulting in major benefits for hotels is experiential marketing - the effort to deliver an experience to potential guests. Mainly this is accomplished through the creative use of video and images, and by utilizing what has become known as User Generated Content. By sharing actual personal content (videos and pictures) from satisfied guests who have experienced the delights of a property, prospective guests can more easily imagine themselves having the same experience. Similarly, Hotel Generated Content is equally important. Hotels are more than beds and effective video presentations can tell a compelling story - a story about what makes the hotel appealing and unique. A video walk-through of rooms is essential, as are video tours in different areas of a hotel. The goal is to highlight what makes the property exceptional, but also to show real people having real fun - an experience that prospective guests can have too. The June Hotel Business Review will report on some of these issues and strategies, and examine how some sales and marketing professionals are integrating them into their operations.