Dubai reigns when it comes to showcasing some of the world’s finest hotels. Yet even though the region boasts some of the most luxurious properties, not all is rosy in the garden.
Following a recent survey carried out by Hotelier Middle East, whilst growth is expected in 2016, the city has a lot of work to do before it’s as good as it was ...
Many factors impact on the success of hotel bookings, including, currency fluctuations, oil prices, politics, guest demands and expectations!
So how does the hospitality sector raise its game to meet the demand of the forward thinking customer?
For the purpose of this post I am going to focus on how hotels use social media to drive bookings.
Whilst there is an increase in the usage of social media to attract visitors, how many hotels are actually seeing a rise in bed bookings and a clear return on their social media efforts? Having taken a look at a selection of ten 5* hotels, I would put my neck on the line and say that the return on their social media efforts are minimal!
My first observation is that a lot of the hotels still use “Broadcast” media when posting content, the content published does not encourage conversation. The entire point of “Social Media” is that it is in fact social!
I realise there is still a huge reluctance for companies to embrace the social conversation, for fear of negative feedback and irate customers, but that really only opens the doors for you to turn a negative into a positive.
My second observation is that content is scheduled sporadically. If you know your customers well enough, you would know the best times of day to post your content, to encourage interaction.
With a following of over 30,000 on Facebook there should be more than ‘5 likes’ on a post and ‘0 comments’. Alarm bells should be ringing in the social media manager’s head at this stage.
Let us go back to basics.
What are the questions you need to ask yourself to ensure that your social media efforts are working?
If you can answer all of the below honestly, test it, tweak it and amend it you are sure to experience an evidential return on your social media efforts:
- What are your goals?
- Have you defined the hotels tone of voice? Are all the team up to speed?
- What resources do you have to achieve the above goals?
- Have you set your SMART objectives?
- Who is your target audience?oBusiness or LeisureoFamilyoNew Millennial
- What social channels does your audience prefer?
- What information is important to them? (*rating, budget, events, food etc.)
- Run a competitor analysis.
- How can you drive the “Customer Experience” through social?
- Do you have a bank of images and video to use?
- How will you measure ROI and define success with your social media strategy?
- What is working with your social media marketing efforts?
- What is the customer journey from search to purchase?
- When was the last time you asked your customers what they would actually like to know?
One final observation, whilst perusing through the various 5* hotels social media channels, I also took a glance through their websites. If your social media platforms are going to be one of the main driving factors to online bookings, why then hide the social media icons down at the very bottom right hand corner on the page?
Aesthetically it might look pretty, but this is about doing business!! Don’t make it difficult for your potential customers to engage.
Author: Naomh McElhatton