Hotel owners have struggled to identify whether Facebook is a necessary part of their marketing plan. Likes have seemed to be nothing more than empty clicks and check-ins of even less value. Until now.
Because of the two new tweaks to Facebook, hotel owners need to revisit their thinking regarding the Facebook platform. Facebook adjusted the functionality of its Nearby feature within the mobile application in late December and introduced Graph Search yesterday. Now, Facebook’s one billion plus users (600 million on mobile) will be given localized search results like never before.
I stayed at a hotel yesterday located on a busy interchange in a college town. There were five hotels within eyesight of the one I was staying in. When I got to my room, I tried the newly tweaked Nearby feature, which allows you to search for businesses by category—hotels is a category—within a few miles of your location. The nearest hotel that showed in the search was two exits away and only had 17 fans. None of the hotels on my exit showed up in the results.
The hotels on that exit, like many others, are missing a key opportunity regarding where our industry is now. The Nearby feature promotes your hotel to Facebook mobile users based not only on its likes and check-ins, but also on positive feedback, especially feedback from friends of the user performing the search. For those on Facebook desktop, Graph Search positions Facebook as a trip-planning tool. Hotels are displayed in the search results based on location, social activity, rich media, and positive feedback. These two new developments to the platform mandate that your property is maintaining active relationships with Facebook users so that you don’t miss out on the merger of social, local, and mobile.
Each of you reading this has hotels that fit into one of the following categories:
1. No Facebook page
2. Inactive Facebook page
3. Dependent on brand’s Facebook page
4. Active Facebook page
If you are in any of the first three categories, make the decision for yourself as an owner/operator to create a Facebook Place page with rich media, consistent activity, and a targeted fan acquisition strategy. Only then can you capitalize on the two new tweaks to Facebook.
At Pipeline, Facebook management is our core activity. Let us help you get on the Facebook map. We have a one-time Facebook placement service and we also manage Facebook for hotels on a contractual basis.
Pipeline designs and manages the entire social media image for hotels including a fully functional website featuring a custom blog, Facebook fan page and Twitter profile that are all updated on a weekly basis. Pipeline can be reached at (678) 814-4601 and found online at www.PipelineSMS.com.