At the end of September 2015, Facebook had over 1.55 billion monthly active users, which is a 14 percent increase over the same period of the previous year. Furthermore, in September 2015, 1.01 billion people logged onto Facebook every day. In other words, Facebook is much too big for any business to ignore, especially an independent hotel.
Facebook is a social media platform that helps level the playing field for independent hotels. Chain hotels have massive budgets to spend on marketing, but on Facebook, the size of your budget is nowhere near as important as how you use it. An independent hotel on a shoestring budget can “demolish” a chain with millions to spend on marketing, because success on Facebook is based on your ability to connect with and engage your audience, not on how much money you can throw at ads.
The key to succeeding on Facebook is engagement, but how can an independent property create engaging content? How can you create the type of content that will not only have your audience coming back repeatedly, but also sharing that content and even closing the deal by making a booking? Here are a few suggestions to help you do just that.
1. Use images
We live in a digital world where much of the content we interact with is text. However, text alone doesn’t cut it anymore. No matter how great the content is, no matter how interesting or how well written, people aren’t satisfied with only text anymore. They want to see images. Again, the adage of a picture is worth a thousand words holds true. And nowhere is that more obvious than on Facebook.
According to Wishpond, posts that include an image receive 180% more engagement than posts without photos. The same source also states that people upload over 300 million photos to Facebook every day. Obviously, you need to include images in almost all of your posts.
So, take as many photos as you can of your property, the surroundings, your location, and even your guests if they agree to it. While you can’t keep posting photos of your rooms every day, you can certainly post images of your guests having a great time in your hotel as often as you like.
2. Simplicity is essential
On Facebook, it’s also important to keep your messages short and sweet. According to Track Social, posts that are 70 characters or less get over 3,000 likes, compared to posts that are longer than 230 characters, which get a little over 2,000 likes. That’s around 30% more likes for shorter posts. So, clearly, the shorter the post, the better the engagement. Also, shorter posts are more likely to be shared.
Getting your message across in a short post is often much harder than you might expect, so take the time to properly craft your message. You want people to understand your message and to get it quickly.
3. Engagement is the product of engaging
If you want your audience to be engaged, then you need to engage with them. That means responding to their comments – all of them. Yes, it might take time, but if you are going to be on Facebook, you might as well do it properly. So, make sure to respond to each comment individually.
When responding, though, take the time to think about your answer. This is especially important when it comes to people who are complaining about your brand. Your first reaction might be to get combative, but this is the biggest mistake you can make. You need to address people’s issues in a professional manner and do your best to solve the problem they had while staying at your hotel, as well as finding a way to make it up to them.