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.

Awareness

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 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.