Which makes it even more odd that hotels and motels are only just now getting on board with social media marketing.
Since social media marketing has been exploding across the business landscape it would seem that hotels, who cater to business travelers, might have seen this trend coming from a long way off. Instead, they only now beginning to tap into the social media marketing networks to promote their brands and reach out to customers.
What can hotels gain from social media marketing?
First, social media is the best way to stay in touch with existing customers and attract future ones. Everyone is jumping into the social media swimming pool at this moment, so unless you want to be left behind, you better jump too. Don’t worry, lifeguards are on duty. We’re called social media professionals.
For hotels looking to book rooms (which are a time sensitive commodity) social media makes perfect sense. You could send out a blast across your social media network advertising reduced rates when you have open rooms; promote upcoming events in your area and link to their web sites. You can even keep in contact with people who have stayed at your hotel, reminding them how nice it was in case they pass your way again.
Social media is all about communication.
For hotels, they are coming to the game a little late, but it’s better late than never. Really.
Owners of hotels, motels, bed and breakfasts, and inns will be making more use of social media marketing this year. TripAdvisor’s survey of over 1,000 accommodation owners in the US found that over half (57%) expect their social media marketing budgets to increase this year compared with 2010. Just 6% believe those budgets will be cut.
In comparison 22% expect to spend more on email marketing and 17% to spend more on paid listings on user-generated review sites.
Promoting deals and special offers (54%) and responding to customer service queries (48%) were the top reasons given for implementing social media strategies. Promoting events (40%), sharing general industry news (26%) and promoting contests (18%) were all activities for which social media was considered effective.
Mobile, too, was cited as a top marketing area and one in which 27% of accommodation owners will dabble for the first time during 2011. Another 27% who have previously run mobile campaigns intend to continue to do so this year. The remaining 46% have no plans to engage consumers via mobile in 2011.
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