Facebook marketing for hotels
Even if you’re not a fan of Facebook or social media in general, you probably have an idea of the impact it can have on basically every facet of society, including the success of hotels. Relying on OTAs alone to reach and acquire guests is not enough, nor is it always the most profitable.
The influence of social media simply shows no signs of slowing down and, even as new platforms like TikTok emerge, Facebook is still one of the most popular and powerful networks in the world – don’t worry, we’ve found some stats to prove it.
In this blog we’ll give you a complete (but hopefully simple) overview of why Facebook marketing can be so important for your hotel, how to get started, and a bunch of tips and tricks to do it effectively.
Table of contents
Why your hotel needs a strong Facebook marketing strategy
Not being present or active with your hotel business on Facebook would be a huge misstep, especially given how likely it is that your competitors are using it to grow their brand and capture bookings.
But instead of just telling you that you need it to achieve better business results, let’s show you with 12 compelling statistics we found thanks to Facebook itself, HootSuite, Sprout Social, and Stackla:
- Facebook has 2.74 billion monthly users in 2021 – an increase of 12% since September 2019
- More than 55% of Facebook’s audience is under 35 years of age – a savvy, energetic demographic who are keen to travel. However this also signifies older generations are avid users of Facebook – highlighting the platform’s broad appeal.
- 76% of leisure travellers use the Facebook family of apps for travel related activities
- 38% use Facebook messenger to chat about trips to friends
- 74% are influenced by friends and family when deciding on travel plans
- 73% of US users login daily, while 93% login weekly
- Two-thirds of users visit a local business page weekly
- An average user clicks 12 Facebook ads each month
- 80% are exclusively mobile users
- The average ad price for Facebook decreased 9% in Q3 2020
- 86% of people said they’ve become interested in a specific travel destination after seeing user-generated content
- 52% of consumers say they’ve made plans to visit a destination based on media their family or friends have shared
Not only can statistics like this display how vital it is to engage travellers on Facebook, but they can also start to guide your plans too.
How your hotel can get started
Marketing on Facebook can be a lot easier than you think! There’s a lot you can do for free, quickly and easily, to influence your audience.
Before you get started…
First things first though, if you’re a new business owner or haven’t tried it before you need to set up your hotel Facebook page. To do this you need a personal page first. Once you have your profile active, you can create a new page for your hotel and get started on your business profile; choosing a category, entering property information and photos, before sending out invites to begin building your audience. The information you include on your hotel’s Facebook page should be much the same as your Google Business Profile.
Check out these tips for a full range of do’s and don’ts when creating your page.
Ensure that you include:
- All current contact details
- Your property’s location details
- Professional or high-quality images
- Language that is accessible and aligned with your brand
- Links to your other online platforms such as Instagram or TripAdvisor
- Accurate and consistent information that matches your profile in other places on the internet
Now you’re ready…
Free marketing is the best marketing so you’ll want to build your number of followers as quickly as possible so you can start promoting your offers. Plus, once your page reaches 2000+ likes you’ll have an option to create custom page tabs so you can further customise your content.
Getting more likes and building your audience
To grow your hotel’s Facebook page organically – that is, without spending on ads – there’s a lot you can do to get some quick wins.
Start off by:
- Inviting your own contacts and friends to like your page
- Asking people you know to share and recommend your page or posts
- Add links to your Facebook page on your website, emails, Google Business Profile, and other social media sites such as Instagram or Twitter.
- Encourage guests or visitors to your hotel to join your page by putting displays on tables, your front desk, or on welcome packs in your rooms
Tips for content and community engagement
After the initial influx of followers you’ll have to work a little harder to grow – but you can still do it for free by posting quality content regularly and actively engaging with other pages and businesses.
For content, follow the 80/20 rule: 80% of posts should be about the local area and only 20% of posts should be about the hotel itself. Use insights to find out what your audience likes and when the best time to post is. We know from recent Sprout Social data, the highest engagement days on Facebook are Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday. Posting three to 10 times each week can be used as a general guideline.
Additionally, if another local business or organisation mentions your hotel in a post on their Facebook page and tags your page, thank them, like the comment, and join in with the conversation. Facebook is a community so a sharing mentality here will serve you and your hotel well. Following and engaging with local businesses can benefit you in the long run.
Everything you can do for free
Limiting your ad spending is always preferable so it’s important you explore all the free avenues on Facebook to build brand awareness and get more travellers visiting your website and booking your hotel.
It goes without saying you’ll want to place a high focus on the content you create, including:
- Feed posts
Regular posts that will keep your audience updated and engaged with what’s happening at your property or with your brand.
Short clips or images that might show your audience behind the scenes of your operation, showcase your best elements, or show-off great guest experiences. This is a great way to generate excitement or FOMO (fear of missing out).
Show don’t tell. Sometimes if you can simply display a stunning image of your hotel or the local area, it can inspire people to visit more than any words ever could. And don’t forget to tag your location!
This is where your copywriting skills and marketing nous comes into play. Offer your followers exclusive and exciting promos that entice impulsive bookings.
Hosting events, even virtual ones, helps bring people together and may even introduce new people to your brand. Partner with other businesses to create events that will have travellers and locals excited.
Competitions are a great way to get people to share your content and bring new followers to your page, while drumming up revenue in the process. For example, ‘Like and share for a chance at 10% off your next stay in our couples suite’
Reviews are always crucial, on any platform that allows feedback. Make sure you’re always responding to reviews and resolving any issues, to get your review score as high as possible. At the end of the day, this signifies to travellers the type of experience they should expect.
- Tagging, commenting, sharing
Being active on the platform will help you build followers over time. Tagging people or other businesses, sharing posts you think your audience will like, commenting on posts you support, and using targeted hashtags are all ways to draw attention to your hotel on Facebook.
- Messenger communications
Around 1 billion people use Facebook messenger and it’s a great way to enrich your customer service and advertise your hotel’s services. Simply make sure your username is set, and then you can manage all messages from the admin panel of the page.
To increase valuable word-of-mouth advertising, encourage your guests to use check-ins or location tags on any videos or photos they post to their own social media.
Always remember that enticing customers with exclusivity can boost your volume of followers and engagement on Facebook, by treating your page more like a ‘club’. Offer promotions and deals that are only available to those that have liked your page.
How to save time and stay organised
Being a hotelier is busy work and you won’t necessarily have that much time to spend on social media all day. That’s why you need to plan accordingly and schedule content ahead of time.
Take some time initially to create a calendar of what you’re going to post and do each week on Facebook. This might include pinpointing when key events and holidays are taking place so you can have content and offers ready to go. Once you have a calendar mapped out, you can write your content in advance so there’s no need to worry throughout the year about having nothing to post.
Use your smartphone where possible too. You can operate Facebook easily from your phone and also take great pictures. So if you see something amazing you need to share, use your phone to quickly post a story or image on the run.
Facebook ads for hotels
Using Facebook ads and paid marketing strategies is where you can really take your business to the next level and boost your reservations significantly. Facebook has a tonne of tools you can use to reach both large and specific audiences.
Before you get started with ads and setting campaigns live you should set out a list of goals and aspirations. You want to spend your money wisely and convert travellers as cheaply as possible.
Some quick tips from Are Morch include:
- Being specific about what you want your ads to achieve such as building awareness and followers, getting more website traffic, or driving bookings
- Establishing how you will track progress and results
- Set realistic and attainable goals for your budget
- Keep your campaigns relevant to your brand and chosen audience
- Stick to reasonable deadlines for what you want to achieve
Perhaps the biggest factor is to identify and understand the audience you want to reach. This way you can target the people who are most likely to convert. Afterall, if your hotel caters predominantly to leisure travellers and families, there won’t be any point in your ad reaching business travellers. Facebook Ads manager can help you do this when you begin setting up your ads.
Creating your Facebook pixel
Getting a Facebook pixel is important for you to track key ‘events’ on your website, including visits, direct bookings, and other relevant actions. Your hotel can also use Facebook pixels to deliver unique experience offer ads to the most relevant customers.
What is it, you ask? The pixel is a small piece of code installed on your website that allows you to connect activity on Facebook to user behavior on your website.
It will help you optimise your ads in a few ways:
- Allow you to target and re-target people who have visited or taken specific actions on your website
- Lower your costs by informing automatic bidding to ensure you always reach the right audience
- Helps you measure performance
- Informs your ability to build effective ‘lookalike’ audiences
With the insights your pixel helps provide you can better optimise the ads you are using to increase the amount of conversions for your chosen events, such as someone making a booking at your hotel.
Two types of events you might set up are:
- Standard events – These are predefined actions such as filling out a form, contacting your hotel, viewing a specific web page, or making a purchase.
- Custom events – Anything else you want to set up and add to your pixel code, such as for specific promotions, newsletter sign-ups, or particular packages.
Using Facebook Ads at for your hotel
The wealth of options and tools on Facebook Ads offers a great opportunity for your business to achieve fantastic results but it can also be confusing if you’re not clear on your plans.
To get you started, here are some examples of some ads you might want to use.
Trip Consideration is a feature that can be used to prioritise the delivery of your content to people who plan to travel. These audiences may have a general intent to travel, but have no specific destination in mind yet. These ads use a static creative that you select, rather than drawing from a catalog.
In this context it’s important that you:
- Correctly define your hotel’s audience
- Use the right content for that audience
- Target ‘lookalike’ audiences – those who have a similar profile to your existing audience
- Use retargeting tools
- Target ‘warm leads’ with your top quality content
Dynamic Ads for Travel (DAT)
These ads allow advertisers to engage with users lower in the sales funnel who have already visited your website but are yet to convert. Travellers are tracked through their browser so they can be shown an offer for your brand when they’re browsing different sites. This kind of retargeting can often prove quite useful in securing bookings from travellers who are still undecided.
Dynamic Ads for Travel for Broad Audiences
This takes DAT this a step further. This is a feature created specifically for hotel advertisers that allows you to reach people with travel intent – even if they’re yet to visit your website or app. You’ll need a Facebook pixel implemented on your website, and use dynamic ads for travel events to report which properties from your catalog are being searched, viewed, and purchased.
Facebook claims targeted ads on their site are 89% effective, compared to a 38% effectiveness for the average online ad, so segmenting your audience by categories such as location, demographics, interests, behaviors, and more will be hugely beneficial.
Tips on perfecting your hotel’s Facebook Ads marketing
Just like the organic content you post and share, your ads need to be engaging if you want people to click on them or take actions.
The way you present your ads, the audience you target, the medium you use, and a number of other factors will play a major role in how successful your ad investments are.
Here’s a whole list of tips to keep in mind when creating your hotel’s ads:
- Use videos more than images if possible – a recent Facebook Ads Experiment by Biteable found that video ads generate 25% more views, 480% more clicks, and 270% more leads than photo ads.
- Match strategies and tools to traveller goals – For example for a traveller in the planning stage you’d use Trip Consideration to encourage conversions on your website, and you might employ a carousel of images.
- Re-target – Showing ads to people who are already familiar with you is a good way to give them an extra nudge and hopefully convert them the second time around.
- Testing – Compare various versions of your ads to see what performs best, such as testing different headlines, text, and images.
- Try contrasting targeting tactics – On one hand you might go super narrow and target micro-audiences by locality or displayed behaviour, while on the other you might go broad and target a larger audience based on engagement with previous ads
- Go mobile – Our earlier stats made note that the majority of people use Facebook exclusively on mobile so make sure your ads are optimised for a mobile-first approach
- Be timely – Catching people at the exact moment they’re in the right frame of mind can be vital. Trip Consideration is great for this too.
- Create or use dedicated landing pages – Don’t muddy the waters by creating a great ad that simply sends people to your homepage
How to increase direct hotel bookings via Facebook?
To really generate direct bookings through Facebook, you need to make instant booking available.
Facebook also has the capability to build the ‘book now’ tab into your ads and posts as a call-to-action which can also make a huge difference.
- 76% of leisure travellers use the Facebook family of apps for travel related activities
- To get started you need to create a new business page once you have a personal Facebook profile
- Focus firstly on growing your audience organically
- Create great content that engages the local area and showcases your hotel
- Utilise different type of content such as posts, stories, live videos, tags and mentions, and more
- Set clear goals and objective before kicking off any paid advertising
- The biggest factor is to identify and understand the audience you want to reach
- Getting a Facebook pixel is crucial for tracking and optimising ads
- Trip Consideration is a key Facebook Ad tool your hotel should use
- Spend time testing and perfecting your ads by experimenting with different formats and messages
- Utilise an online booking engine to take bookings directly from Facebook