In continuation of our Facebook Marketing series, here is part 4. You can also check Part 1: Beginner's Guide To Facebook Marketing!, Part 2: Facebook Marketing Tips For Small Businesses! and Part 3: Facebook Marketing For Non Profits, Social Media To Leverage Social Causes!.
First a given thing- Facebook can be really good for your hotel or restaurant promotion. Why, you ask, well we have a convincing reply. No, it is not a list of mindless statistics, it is simple logic, which as a hotelier or a hotel marketing exec., you will appreciate.
Why Must Your Hotel Be On Facebook?
Facebook can help you reach out to a local as well as global audience (whatever be your requirement) and it makes you popular by the method, which has always worked for the hospitality industry- Word Of Mouth! This is how the chain will go-
“Wow! I love the food here!” A group of customers appreciate your services-> Their friends see this-> They come to your page-> LIKE your page, read what you offer-> Decide to pay you a visit-> Come back to Facebook and write on your wall “Wow! I love the food here!”
The chain goes on and it is endless. The reach- the sheer number of prospective customers you can reach out on the social network is phenomenal.The cost of a Facebook marketing plan is really low as compared to regular marketing and promotion plans.There are 750 million people on Facebook and they all have to eat or go on a vacation sometime! So, you need to be there to address these requirements when one comes looking for them.
The Five Course Menu Of Facebook Marketing
Now that you know the huge marketing potential of Facebook, then by following these simple steps you can promote your hotel and build steady relationships with the people.
To begin your Facebook campaign, you need to create a page on Facebook. It is a simple procedure that allows you to put your brand out there. How to create a page? See this. The page must have the following things-
- Information about your hotel, your mission and declaration of high quality services.
- A link to your main website and a complete address
- A map to guide people when they decide to come over.
This page is the basis of your entire campaign. The route with which you will interact with the customers.
Once your Facebook Page is active you must try to make it as impactful as possible, by creating a customized “Facebook landing page.” This landing page is the first page that people will see when they come to your business page. This has to be attractive enough for the people to LIKE your page! It is all about the first impressions. That is why a landing page must have these features:
- Clear Call to Action- People must see clearly that they have to LIKE the page to see what all you are offering. Entice people to click the LIKE button with your exciting offers.
- Represent your restaurant’s concept to first-time visitors
- Show the visitors the delightful dishes you can offer them like your signature dish or popular menu choices
You have to make a first impression that will make the visitor want to join your page ans become a fan!
See for example the landing page of Pizza Hut India. It has a clear call to action button and has an interesting display of the latest offers on the landing page.
For another example see the landing page of the Westin Richmond. As a resort, they have to bank on being beautiful, comfortable and come with a promise of a relaxing atmosphere. Hence the picture on the landing page is of a flower, it has clear links that the visitors can follow and take action on.
You can get a customized landing page made by web designers or Facebook marketing companies. Make sure it is attractive and arresting.
So, now that the entrees are over, you need to get on to the main meal. You have the page. People like it. Then what? What do they see? What content do you share on Facebook? Well keep these tips in mind while interacting with followers-
Be Informative- Tell people more about your menus/offers/rooms and services. You should also provide a mix of content to keep your audience engaged. Inform about any press coverage you got, or if you are planning on introducing something new. Here is a quick guide-
- Post interesting news/updates related to your hotel/restaurant.
- Restaurants can showcase the food, provide recipes, and explain the origin of a dish.
- The Hotels can put out interesting pieces on spa treatments/ swimming pool exercises.
- The latest conferencing technology updates.
- Handy tips on- organizing a wedding reception or proposing while on a dinner date.
There is a variety of content that you can create to interest people. But do not be self promotional all the time. Put of different things to interest people. See for example the way The Connaught UK, works on its Facebook page. They put up local events as well other interesting news items for their fans to share.
See this video for detailed input.
You must not have a one sided conversation, let your followers say something too.
- Ask them to post their favorite recipes
- Their favorite dishes and why they like them
- Share their wedding feast pictures
- Put forward any questions they might have.
- Invite them to share their feedback on your services.
- Conduct an interesting poll.
See the Facebook page for Dominos Canada. How they ask general yet interesting and engaging questions to their fans.
The main idea is to make sure that the fans keep coming back to your page. You have to form a relationship with them. Only then will they talk about you. You must remember that word of mouth marketing is the most effective. So, you must motivate your customers to become sort of brand ambassadors by interacting with them and being interesting and engaging. Get a loyal fan base and they will make you go viral on Facebook.
People love free stuff-giveaways and prizes. So give your fans something to win. It could be a free flight, a free night stay, a free meal or whatever. Hold contests as they are a great way to engage your fans. A simple contest can be asking them to submit pictures or videos of a kind (The best wedding buffet you ate or the pictures of the best place you visited). They will be judged on the basis of the entry. See the sweep stake contest that Virgin America is running on Facebook.
Be Visually Appealing
Food looks good. Nicely done hotel rooms look beautiful. Well maintained hotel lawns look exotic. These picture make people want to experience the promises made in the picture. That is why you must post pictures. They can be of your latest dish, or an event you held in your hotel or of a wedding that happened there.
For hotels and resorts, a further word- beautiful scenery is always nice. Show the followers how beautiful a stay at your hotel be-pools, spa rooms, beaches, wildlife, local sights, restaurants. Use a good camera and a talented photographer to click the pictures.
Videos can take your cause a bit further. This is all you can post:
- A video of your chef cooking a popular dish
- A video menu of your dishes.
- A video of customers enjoying a sizzling pasta or a creamy dessert attracts people.
For example, see how the Terranea Resort in California posts videos from the weddings that have happened on the beachfront property. This makes a social connect with people while you promote the facility as a wedding venue too.
Video is one of the most powerful and effective means to communicate. That is why you must sure to include video in your Facebook marketing campaign.
Make sure that you respond to what people have said. Whether it is some enquiry or even criticism. You must respond immediately. They must feel important and must get the impression that you value their feedback. Even if it’s just a thank you for a nice remark, be sure to respond to your fans.
See for example how on these pages customers have given feedback and the admin has replied promptly.
The key is to respond quickly and smartly. Be polite and informative.
Once you have your page going, see the fan base increasing steadily. Stick to the above pointers and you will be OK. If you want to speed up the response, do take up Facebook Ads. They will lead you to targeted users. But remember to link your site to your Facebook page. Tell about your Facebook page on your menus. Most importantly provide these facilities from your Facebook page-
- Home deliveries/Orders
Let people know you are there and you want to serve them better. Then lay back and enjoy the taste of a successful marketing campaign! Checkout part 5 of our series: Facebook Marketing Series – Tips For Promoting Tour And Travel Industry!.