As more and more hotels’ social media pages climb to thousands of followers, it is safe to say that the digital age has slowly found its way into some of the most challenging markets. After all, with the internet presence at an all-time high, even businesses from the hospitality market realized that modernization is unavoidable. Hence why the vast majority of them now rely on sources of “hot traffic” and interest-based targeting, which both come from online platforms. So, is it fair to say that social media is one of the most important tools for hotels? Not exactly.
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The greatest upside of websites like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, which are three of the leading providers, is interest-based marketing. By tracking millions of members, these platforms can accumulate unprecedented amounts of data on people’s buying patterns and transaction histories. As a result, they assign various interests to those individuals, and hotels can subsequently use such interest to create the perfect customer profile.
Consider, for example, a London-based hotel that wants to increase its revenue from longer stays. Trying to find buyers through traditional platforms would be borderline impossible given the type of this offer. With social media, however, hotels can choose to only target buyers who have recently researched London and have a previous spending history in the area of long-term-stay packages. Something so specific will narrow down their prospective visitors by an enormous margin.
A Cheap Way to Raise Awareness
After switching to social media campaigns, the vast majority of hotels will notice a drop in their marketing expenditures. This is one of the main reasons why Forbes recognizes these platforms as “marketing marvels.” For example, the aforementioned hotel from London would only need a few dollars to place their ads in front of 1,000 viewers. Trying to achieve the same efficiency with television- or print-based alternatives would be impossible absent larger budgets.
The Nature of the Industry
Before giving social media the marketing crown, it is important to comprehend how the hotel industry operates. Unlike most other markets, customers who are interested in going to a hotel seldom do so on a whim. On the contrary, booking a room tends to be a part of a much greater process that usually involves things like vacations, weekend getaways, and similar. So, while social media will certainly improve the hotel’s exposure and potentially bring new customers, it is unrealistic to expect it to completely revamp its business model. After all, no amount of Instagram promotions or Facebook ads will convince someone to travel across the country.
Is Social Media Worth It?
Ultimately, saying that internet platforms are worth it would not be a far-reaching statement. Hotels can find many different ways to utilize them, especially when it comes to changing or improving the brand’s image. What would be quite unrealistic, though, is assuming that online presence has become crucial to any organization that works in the hospitality market. Since they offer services which most people carefully plan for, there will be very few, if any, social media campaigns that can instigate hotel visitors to impulsively book their stays.