Since Facebook went to be a public traded company on Wall Street, it has been creating more ways to improve their revenue by selling ads, and boosting posts for marketers, small businesses and hotels. You proably have noticed during this year by looking at your Facebook insights that you are not getting the engagement you were use too, and your posts are not being viewed by as many of your fans as you think. Did you know that a Facebook Business or Celebrity page only receives 1% to 2% of views to their post or offers? Thats a small number for hotels and businesses that have less then 100,000 followers.
If your hotels Facebook page only has 1,000 LIKES which is fans, you do the math with figuring the highest, so when you make a post on your page on average only about 20 will see it in their news feed. Which is basically nothing. So were going to give you 4 really simple tips on how you can boost your reach with your Facebook posts with out spending any money.
4 Free Tips To Boost Your Hotels Presence On Facebook
Short Description- Many people are really missing it when it comes to the short description. You need to look at your short description for your hotels Facebook page as a meta description for search engines. You also need to be careful and make sure your short description also entices future guests to visit your page. Making sure location, and hotel are in this description. I know it sounds tough, but if you look around at other hotel pages, and websites you will start to get the idea.
Long Description- Now this is where it becomes powerful. Make sure you fill out as much space that is allowed. The more in this section the better. In the first paragraph you want to tell people your story of your hotel, and use your keywords in this section. Then lead into your amenities and services. Towards the end of the long description make sure you put in things about special events that draw out of town visitors, and information about some of the bigger employeers in your area that bring in rooms.
#HASHTAGS- Hashtags came onto the scene first with Twitter. Its used as a way to catergorize tweets. Facebook adopted this a couple of years back to use for their grap search. When you place a # next to a word it will go into an online file cabinent so to speak, so when anybody types in those keywords in search, posts that are relevant will show up. Grap search has taken a while to take hold, but people are starting to use it more and more these days. So its important to post about relevant information, and use a #hashtag with your major key words. Do not use hash tags in every one of your posts. If you do this it will look spammy.
Hash Tag Examples:
#Beverlyhillshotels #hotelnearimax #hotelnearfairgrounds You get the idea?
Educating Your Fans and Future Likes About Facebook Page Settings- Facebook made some major settings in the last few weeks that is really hurting hotels and celebrities pages. Watch this video to learn about it, and how you can battle against it.
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Is The End of Small Business On Facebook Happening?
When Facebook first created Brand, Fan, and Business Pages a few years ago, small businesses along with Fortune 500 Companies started creating their online presence on the biggest social media platform to hit the internet. With over 1 Billion users it was the smart thing to do. Small Business owners started building large followings on their pages and creating engaging content for their fans that followed their page. However since Facebook has went public they have been looking at ways to increase their revenue and share prices.
At first we started seeing more and more ads in our personal news feeds, and why we had the option to promote a post on our business or fan pages, if you had over 500 Likes on your page your posts usually hit close to 30% of those people if not more depending on the engagement the post received. This was allowing small businesses to keep in contact with their customer base and keeping their brand in the minds of customers that were looking for their services. Back in December they rolled out a new algorythym that cut that organic views down to 6% by the end of last month. So if you are the local grocery store down the street and you have lets say 4,000 Fans/Likes on your page your average post is only going to reach 240 people depending on the time your Fans are on the internet. So you can proably cut that down by another 10 % of the 240.
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So with that being said in order for Small Businesses to get seen on Facebook they will have to create more engaging posts so their posts are shared organically by their fans. Otherwise Small Businesses will have to start paying to promote their posts, filling the pockets of Facebook and their share holders. Will you pay to promote ads on Facebook? Will this be part of your marketing budget?
What we have started to do here at New Simple Marketing is, why we still use our Facebook Page we are putting more of our content out on Google Plus. The reason we were so big on using Facebook Fan pages was for SEO puproses. Well a couple of years back Facebook stopped having their real time search pushed out through Google, and started using BING as their official off site search engine. So with that being done, and now organic views being cut, we needed to start looking for a way to get our content out socially and for SEO purposes in building traffic to our sites. This is why we are focusing more on utlizing Google Plus as our social media site of choice.
Google Plus helps builds your small business, and or brand as an authority based on your content and how its shared around their site, pushing not only your posts up in Search results, but your brand, and website as well.
See ourGoogle Plus Page for marketing updates, SEO News, and things that help drive traffic to your brand and website.
2014 Is Crucial For Hotels To Have Social Media Presence
This year is more important then ever that hotels build a social media presence in order to survive. As the internet expands just having a good website is not enough to bring in online sales. Overall 88% of travelers go to review sites such as TripAdvisor.com and about 40% of those travelers look even further into their travel plans by seeing what their freinds are recomending. The only way to do that is through Social Media outlets such as blogs, Facebook, Google Plus, and Instagram.
This day an age people are looking for recomendations because they do not want to spend their hard earn money on a trip and then have it be a bomb due to bad service or worn out hotels. Social Media has grown to give them just that kind of feedback. There are quite a bit of consumers that look specifically for hotel Facebook pages to see what kind of buzz is surrounding the property along with trying to find helpful tips for their next stay. With this being said hotels that do not have a social media presence are really missing out on grabbing their fair share of the market in their areas. Just having a Facebook page is not enough. Hotels need to develop a Social Media Marketing Plan.
Just Building Social Media Platforms Is Not Enough
Ok so your reading this, and you might be feeling a slump in occupancy at your property and your going OK I am going to build a Facebook page. Well thats great that you decided to take that step however just building a page and letting it go is not enough. Its about how you use that page that really gives you the full impact. You need to designate someone on your front office team that is familar with social media to operate these pages for you, or hire an outside company such as ours to handle your social media. You want to make sure that you are getting the technical stuff down so that your page will show up in search engines to help better rank your websites, and you want your pages to be social and engaging with people that visit your page.
You want to make sure that people can see information fast, and will also interact with your page by likeing posts, sharing comments, and sharing your posts with their networks. Some hotels even offer a way to book rooms on their Social media pages and offer an incentive to do so such as a Fan Discount or a Fan Rate. Social media is also a great way to retain people and keep your property and brand in their minds on a daily basis.
Being able to have your guests and future guests attention is almost priceless, and if you utlize your social media platforms correctly and think out side of the box, it can be a very important guest service tool and revenue generator for your property.
We found this blog post the other day and it really lays out what to do to get the most of your Social Media marketing. We strongly recomend you read it. Also we will be posting about the various social media platforms that we use for the hotels we market and what is working for us incase you decide to go this alone.
MUST READ DOES YOUR HOTEL HAVE THE RIGHT SOCIAL MARKETING PLATFORM?
Its been proven that 2013 is a great year for hoteliers but occupancy hasnt changed in some areas, and hotel owners, managers, and sales people are looking for ways to boost their occupancy and increase rate. If you are in one of these areas you need to focus on one thing before the other, and that is occupancy. If you are hurting on over all revenue and your not selling over 50% of your inventory every day, you need to focus on occupancy before trying to drive rate.
If there is not a demand in your area then why drive rate when you have over 50% of your rooms empty? Driving rate before demand is the mistake some hotel managers and owners make when things are getting slim. Your in the business to sell rooms and until you get a comfortable base of business, I wouldnt try pushing rate when your starving for occupancy.
23 Steps To Increase Hotel Sales
If you follow the 23 steps we lay out here in this post you will start seeing a rise in occupancy with in a couple of months. Remember there is not miracle way to boost your hotel occupancy over night, and we strongly do not suggest you drop your rates to the bottom of the scale either. Just follow these steps and see how they work for you. They have worked for me numerous times at various properties.
1. Read the local paper for leads- This is a good way to get leads in your own backyard. Maybe a larger employer in your area is hiring, or one of the room generators in your area the contact person got a promotion. Reach out to them and congratulate them.
2. Order A Travel Agent Production Report Yearly for your area and then reach out to those travel agents and make sure they have your property loaded.
3. Develop Packages for your property - Team up with some area local businesess and create a couple of packages that you can put on your website and advertise through your local CVB.
4. Develop a Facebook page- Why this form of marketing takes time to take hold, no hotel or small business should be with out a Facebook page. Over 1 Billion people that are online use Facebook.
5. Develop a Twitter Page- Just like the Facebook Page Twitter is a popular way to get your business noticed and then keep up with current guests and to get leads.
8. Talk with your guest in your breakfast area and find out what brings them to the area. You might be able to get more business from what you find out from your guests that are already staying with you.
9. Contact Local Parks and Recreation departments for future events such as sporting, family reunions etc.
10. Drive your competitions parking lots twice a week. Tuesday and Thursdays are best days to do this. Write down the company names and then contact them the following day to see if you can earn their business.
11. When was the last time you updated your website information?
12. Do you have a hospital or nursing home rate? Set one up and contact your area nursing homes and hospitals.
13. Established Distressed rates with the Airlines
14.Sign your hotel up for Hotelplanners.com
15. Make sure your listed on booking.com
16. Are you checking rates on Kayak.com and making sure your competitive with the area hotels/
17. Dig out your old sales files that havent been traced in a long time, and start re tracing them.
18. Trip Advisor - What are your guests saying about your hotel, and what are guests saying about your competition.
19. Are you inspecting your rooms to make sure the quality standard is there?
20. Advertise to local churches and church groups.
21. Become the official overflow hotel for your competitors
22. Welcome new businesses that are coming to your community. Talk to realtors, leasing companies, the chambers and local banks for leads
23. Check with your local permit office for leads on future construction projects.
Follow these 23 items, and with in 90 days if they are executed properly you will start seeing an increase in your occupancy. You can see results faster then 90 days but you need to work really hard at these steps. If you would like more information on how to increase your hotels occupancy email us at newsimplemarketing and give us your name and email address and will add you to our list.
Local events in your area can be very large room generators and some hotel managers and sales directors don't realize as to how many local events they have in the area that can bring in rooms. To increase your hotel occupancy with local events, you must first find out when the events are, and to find out who is coordinating the event.
Talk with your local CVB. Local CVB's usually have a large list of events and the contact persons name that is hosting the event. Once you build a list of your local events place them on a calendar. Once you get these all placed on the calendar so you know what dates they are being held, then you will want to check your hotels availability for those dates, and then look up past history for those dates. If those dates were not sell out dates, then for what ever event is being placed that day, you can call on them and offer a special rate.
Some Local events want their vendors to help sponsor the event in order to get the business. That is fine, but make sure its going to be feasible for you to do something like that. Every time you pay for marketing or any kind of event advertising you want to track the ROI to make sure your getting your bang for your buck!
Blog About Your Area Local Events
Now once you get done calling directors of events, and paying for your advertising if there was any costs, you want to make sure that you are visible on the internet. People that come from out of town to these events usually do a hotel search for hotels near the event center. So make sure you put your location and how far you are from the event center along with searchable key words. Blogging for events can be time consuming, but from past experience it does help to make sure you get your piece of the pie. In my opinion blogging about events on your hotels website is a must and will bring you room nights. Its never let me down with my properties in the past.
Use Social Media To Talk About Local Events
Don't forget that this day and age people are social more then ever before especially due to the popular social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, You Tube, and Pinterest. Make sure you share your blog on these channels and post perodically about those events so they will be planted out on the internet and help you when people are doing social searches or even searching on search engines. This will plant seeds out there on the web stating that your hotel is part of the event and will come up when people search for these local events.
These steps will help you increase your hotels occupancy with these events even if you never got rooms from them before.