Finding and Engaging Target Guests on Social Media

By Tim Sullivan Chief Sales and Marketing Officer, Cendyn | February 18, 2018

With so many options, and so much growth potential, targeting guests on social media should be a top priority for every company in the hospitality field. The challenge becomes how to efficiently and effectively get your message across to current and prospective guests, inspiring customer loyalty while driving revenue growth.

Know Your Platforms

Seven in ten Americans use social media, and nearly 90% of internet users in the US have a Facebook profile, with three-quarters of Facebook users checking their profiles at least once a day. Because of its universality, Facebook has become a valuable reference tool for finding recommendations from friends and family, with a strong word-of-mouth component and powerful advertising reach.

With its compelling visual nature, Instagram has also become an important channel for hotels, and it dominates when it comes to interactions with followers, boasting the highest engagement rate of any social platform. The number of companies using Instagram for marketing has doubled in the past year, topping more than 70%, and 80% of users follow their favorite brands on the platform. It has evolved into a very strong platform where we can directly attribute measurable revenue growth to targeted campaigns.

Snapchat is a newer platform, and though we haven’t seen much revenue that we can directly attribute to it, the user engagement level is very high. The channel reaches 41% of 18-34 year olds, with over 400 million snaps sent every day, and 55% of users report following brands on Snapchat. The targeted advertising we’re doing on that platform is following a similar trend to what we saw in the beginning with Instagram, where we weren’t getting much direct response, but a lot of engagement on the content. We’re doing additional testing, and the platform itself is making heavy investments to better support brands and businesses.

It’s All About The Data

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Coming up in June 2018...

Sales & Marketing: Opinions Matter

Hotel Sales and Marketing Directors manage a complex mix of strategies to attract and convert customers into guests. Part of their expertise includes an awareness of customer behavior during the reservation process, so they can make sure their hotel is favorably positioned. One such trend is the growing popularity of travel review sites. According to one recent survey, 61% of prospective customers consult online reviews in order to validate information about the hotel before making a purchasing decision. Another survey found that the average hotel customer reads between 6-12 reviews across 4-10 properties before making a final decision on where to stay. Similarly, other studies have shown that consumer reviews are a more trusted source of information for prospective customers than other kinds of marketing messaging. In fact, reviews are often considered to be as influential as price regarding whether a customer decides to complete a purchase or not. Plus, travel sites with the most reviews - including recent reviews from satisfied customers and thoughtful responses from staff - were also found to be the most appealing. So having positive reviews on a travel website is essential and can help to increase a hotel's conversion rates dramatically. Of course, there are all kinds of additional marketing strategies for sales and marketing directors to consider - the importance of video and the emergence of live streaming; the implementation of voice search; the proliferation of travel bots; and the development of Instagram as an e-commerce platform. 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.