I've Created A Hotel Facebook Page… Now What?

By Jane Coloccia President & Chief Creative Officer, JC Communications, LLC | November 11, 2012

If you were to gather a group of hotel sales and marketing executives in a room tomorrow and ask them what confounded them the most with regard to driving business circa 2012, they would probably all agree on two little words: social media.

In today's wireless, connected, often over-exposed world, social media seems to be a necessary evil. We all know we need to be a part of this new landscape, but whether or not it is actually contributing to the bottom line and producing additional revenue on its own still remains to be seen.

If you have a hotel - whether it is a 10-room inn or a 1,000-room chain property - you really must have a Facebook page. In fact, it is still astounding that there are indeed properties out there - and name brand chain hotels at that - who don't have a Facebook page for each hotel and thus when a well-connected business traveler wants to tell his or her Facebook friends that he has just "checked in" at your property on his business trip to Dallas, DC, or Detroit - he or she can't. And that doesn't always go over well with this audience. If you want to take it one step further, letting your guests "check in" on FourSquare also shows you're right on trend.

Many hotel sales and marketing executives lament that they have created a Facebook page and don't know what to do with it. It either sits there dating itself with every moment that goes by because they haven't a clue what to post, or they feature seemingly inane information that probably doesn't resonate with fans. (For those who may not know the lingo, a "fan" is someone who has "liked" your page.)

For example, unless you are in a resort destination where people are looking forward to getting there so they can bask in the sun or ski down the mountain on powder white snow, you don't want to post that it is sunny and 65 outside today or you had a one-inch snowfall last night. Nor do you want to say that dinner in the restaurant tonight is served from 5 to 10 p.m.

Social media involves a younger, hipper, more casual tone. It's chatty, conversational, and current. You can't oversell with flowery, descriptive copy like you might do in a brochure or on a website. The tone needs to be straightforward and fun. It's an entirely new mindset and if you can't wrap your head around it, find someone who can.

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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.