Attracting and Retaining Spa Clients with New Media

By Melinda Minton Executive Director, SPAA | July 15, 2012

Social media has changed by leaps and bounds just in the last 6 months. In the next year it will change the way you view marketing at your properties and spas. Please READ THIS because social media is not going away, fading away and you may have already been beaten by your competition in a fashion that will take a lot of effort to dig out of. There are several major mind shifts that can make you a successful social media marketer.


Traditional marketing methods and their various methods have been dwindling over the years and consumers like never before are simply ignoring print and media ads. Meanwhile, I would guarantee that a lot of your marketing and publicity strategy hasn't changed a bit. The saturation point was long ago met when it came to grabbing notice by travelers, spa goers and club members.

This is how the typical marketing account of your dollars spent was once laid out:

  • 50 million viewers
  • Readership of 10,000
  • 8, 30 minute spots per prime time
  • 4 page, 4 color glossy spread to an A list travel magazine

Like addicts we are still drawn to what once worked, what sort of worked and what feels safe. Think about the vast difference of matching consumer preferences by a simple method like Facebook advertising vs. the age old mantra of, "We are beamed into 120 million homes weekly." Beamed to exactly who? Not to mention that with new viewer choices of live TV and cable: cutting the viewership of commercials down to a 10th or less of previous viewer-ships. Still the budget for social media is an afterthought gaining only a portion your marketing expenditures primarily because that is what you are familiar with.

Compare the real costs of social media vs. traditional media. Real estate giant Century 21 took a big step in 2009 when it dropped its traditional marketing methods like TV advertising and print and set up a presence in social media. With 94% of homebuyers start their search online it no longer made sense to advertise locally or in print to get the attention of homebuyers. Hoteliers are no different with searches for hotels, vacations and travel brands now being started online when researching for a travel package, corporate travel plan or family getaway. Not only is travel shopping an online prospect now but so is brand building.

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Coming up in February 2019...

Social Media: Getting Personal

There Social media platforms have revolutionized the hotel industry. Popular sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Snapchat, YouTube and Tumblr now account for 2.3 billion active users, and this phenomenon has forever transformed how businesses interact with consumers. Given that social media allows for two-way communication between businesses and consumers, the emphasis of any marketing strategy must be to positively and personally engage the customer, and there are innumerable ways to accomplish that goal. One popular strategy is to encourage hotel guests to create their own personal content - typically videos and photos -which can be shared via their personal social media networks, reaching a sizeable audience. In addition, geo-locational tags and brand hashtags can be embedded in such posts which allow them to be found via metadata searches, substantially enlarging their scope. Influencer marketing is another prevalent social media strategy. Some hotels are paying popular social media stars and bloggers to endorse their brand on social media platforms. These kinds of endorsements generally elicit a strong response because the influencers are perceived as being trustworthy by their followers, and because an influencer's followers are likely to share similar psychographic and demographic traits. Travel review sites have also become vitally important in reputation management. Travelers consistently use social media to express pleasure or frustration about their guest experiences, so it is essential that every review be attended to personally. Assuming the responsibility to address and correct customer service concerns quickly is a way to mitigate complaints and to build brand loyalty. Plus, whether reviews are favorable or unfavorable, they are a vital source of information to managers about a hotel's operational performance.  The February Hotel Business Review will document what some hotels are doing to effectively incorporate social media strategies into their businesses.