Let’s Be Honest about Facebook & Hotels

Let’s face it, Facebook is really hard for many hotels. As I sift through social media for hotels that are doing it well, it’s much rarer to find examples of hotels with engaging content on Facebook than it is on Twitter. A litany of Facebook strategies are out there for hotels, so I’m not going to rehash what you probably already know. However, I do want to give you a few things to consider about Facebook, because it makes a difference in your brand, which affects your reputation, which affects your revenue. Brand=Reputation=Revenue (or) Reputation=Brand=Revenue.

  • Goodbye Social Media Manager, Hello Facebook Concierge. I was on the Facebook page of a four-star New York hotel the other day. A potential guest asked how far the hotel was from the MET, and the hotel’s response was basically “Walk half a mile and take a right.” There was no, “We’re looking forward to your stay;” “Oh, if you haven’t been to the MET, there’s a great exhibit right now;” “Please let us know if you have any other questions.” NOTHING. This person was serving as the hotel’s concierge in that moment, and as a potential guest, I would have chosen another property if I had already known the concierge were that impersonable.

Ask your Facebook concierge to be themselves (which we’ll assume includes being courteous and generally pleasant.) Put it all out there. What do they love about the property, the people, the city? Talk to people about what they enjoy then share it. Take photos. Which leads me to… 

 

  • Toss that expensive photography. If I had my way, a hotel would only post a commericial photo in one instance; there’s an occasional hotel that has a signature photo by which a guests would recognize that hotel and only that hotel. (See Mosquito Blue in Playa del Carmen. Because this hotel has a very unusual and dramatic “courtyard,” they can use this commercial photo over and over and get away with it.) Otherwise, I’d place a ban on commerical photography anywhere for any hotel on Facebook. Get out a phone and get on instagram and get to work making your property interesting. Have a look at Canary Hotel’s Facebook page. They’re on to this idea.

 

  • Listening is a skill. The best way to turn your Facebook presence into revenue is to listen. In order to listen, you have to stop doing all the talking and have a conversation. Ask, respond, delight in your relationships, and don’t be scared to get negative feedback. When you get it, do something with it and then show your community very clearly that you’ve heard. That said, I’d be careful of the “Recommendations” app some hotels are using. There’s not a clear way to respond to the comments, so it could do more harm than good.

 

  • Avoid promo overload. Facebook is a promotion happy place and users seem to rather like it, but nobody wants a perpetual sales pitch. Think about your community and limit your promotions to those you think really fit the “neighborhood.” More on this idea and how it ties into reputation and revenue management in my next post.

What else would you add to this list? Feel free to post in the comments. Let’s have a conversation!

Tony Ciccarone

Tony Ciccarone is a web developer who is experienced in making high-quality professional websites, writing clean & reusable code, and creating data-driven web applications.

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