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With 26 million 25-60 year olds using Facebook in the UK alone (not to mention the global figures) there is every reason for your hotel to have a presence.

Building a community
Producing consistently strong content is vital in attracting new people as it is more likely to be shared by your community. To boost your Likes more quickly, consider running a competition giving away either a grand prize, or a high volume of smaller prizes. You might be surprised at how quickly you can grow a community by offering to give away small-but-useful, prizes such as promotional pens.

Engaging your community
Your website and social media channels should work together as a “closed loop”. This means that, while your social media pages are delivering engaged consumers to your website, your website should be simultaneously linking to your social media pages, continuously maintaining the attention of consumers.

Creating brand ambassadors
Previous visitors are the best ambassadors for your hotel. Have materials in the hotel and on the website that encourages them to like your page and share their experiences. The more active and happy your visitors are, the better the impression new viewers will have so you could try incentivising them by rewarding the best reviews or pictures uploaded.

Make use of Facebook tools
To set your page apart, make full use of all of the features that Facebook offer business owners:

  1. Ensure your address is listed and that visitors can ‘check in’ when they are at your hotel – this allows for guests to tell their friends they are staying with you and share comments and pictures during their stay
  2. Enable public reviews so that visitors can rate you and leave comments on their experience of your business
  3. Enhance your Page with bespoke Facebook tabs, allowing for the addition of room brochures, bar and restaurant menus
  4. Make use of Facebook Deals to reward your community with exclusive offers.

Content is king
Don’t bombard your community with sales messages as this gets boring very quickly – especially if someone has liked several brand pages. The first reason people use Facebook is to talk to their friends and it is a page owner’s privilege to be part of their experience. Ensure that the content you publish is always valuable and shareable to our audience.

The golden rule of content
Follow a rule where 80% of all content is not hard marketing. For hotels, a good way to achieve this balance is to act as a travel guide for visitors, providing information on things to see and do whilst visiting, or where to eat and drink during their stay. It’s worth posting at least once a day, but no more than twice. Ensure your content is eye catching as one of the biggest mistakes made is when an image isn’t included – a sure fire way of your post getting lost.Hotels: Driving bookings through social media

Data collection
Data collection is key. At Spider PR, we build bespoke competitions and promotions for our client’s Facebook pages, giving entrants the option to sign up to the Hotel’s newsletter. This allows us to capture contact information for future communication outside of Facebook, a very powerful tool that doesn’t rely on Facebook’s presence to stay in contact.

Outsourcing
Depending on the size of your organisation, you may have dedicated marketing, communications or social media employees who can look after your online presence. If this is not the case, it may be worth seeking a social media expert to help you. These can be surprisingly cost-effective.

By Jasper Rosenau, Director, Spider PR (Digital Communications)

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