We have mentioned before that employing social media marketing is never free. You might be tempted to suggest that you don’t have to advertise on Facebook, or use Promoted Posts there, both of which are true, but, at the end of the day, a successful social media marketing campaign is something that requires some time every day to sustain and time is money, in anybody’s business.
Now, of course, we are not seriously suggesting, in this day and age, that you don’t use social media marketing, bearing in mind that in the hotel and serviced apartments businesses that includes review sites, such as Tripadvisor, Booking.com, Yelp, Expedia and more. All we are saying is that you need to consider that using social media marketing properly has a cost associated. Social media marketing for businesses is not best left in the hands of a team member whose knowledge of it is limited to the updates and photos they post for the benefit of friends and family back home. You wouldn’t delegate your management accounts in this way and social media marketing needs the talents of somebody who has done it before for businesses. Someone who has already learned from mistakes, who already knows what works and what doesn’t.
There are some who might be tempted to think, in the face of such considerations, that they are best staying away from social media altogether. After all, not doing something is always free, isn’t it ? In this case, it is not, and here are some of the factors you should consider:
- If you are not undertaking social media marketing for your own property, many of your agents will be. Leaving your agents to market your property through social media means that all of the buzz about your property on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and more is going to channel business you could have got direct through agents and subject to their commission arrangements with you.
- If you are not undertaking social media marketing but your competitors are, it is most likely that business generated this way will go to your competitors and not to your property, resulting in a lower RevPAR than you could have achieved.
- It is generally accepted that reviews play a very considerable part in consumers choices of where to stay and ultimately impact your rates. It is also well proven that a hotel responding to reviews on sites like Tripadvisor can counter-act any impact on rate from a negative review.
- Being on Google+ is crucial to being on Google Maps, in Google Hotel Finder and much more. Having a Google recognised author or publisher of your web site adds credibility and ultimately impacts ratings. Being active and getting engagement on Google+ benefits you if you use Google Ad Words.
There are others but these four aspects alone could result in significant impact on your property’s bottom line from either:
- Not employing social media marketing, or
- Not employing social media marketing well.
Social Media Marketing is both an art and a science and it is something you should not shy away from but simply employ an expert to take care of for you. Have someone who has the skills (Yes, SmartOtels do) prepare a social media marketing strategy for you and give you a costing to carry it out. The strategy should have clear objectives and targets. There are many pieces out on the internet that suggest you cannot measure the ROI (return on investment) on social media marketing and, to a degree this is true. Where you will clearly see the impact is the cost if you do not use this way to talk effectively to – and listen to – your existing clients as well as to attract new business.