Social Media sites like Facebook, Myspace, and Twitter have long been thought of by businesses as places for teenagers and geeks. That may have been true two or three years ago but now these sites have become places for adults. The appeal of these social networking to reconnecting with old friends, have your own “place” online, and have the ability to find new and interesting people and events makes social networking even more appealing. I have reconnected with a number of friends from high school and college, and use the space to post photos, and keep people updated with what I am doing. From a marketing perspective, these sites offer so much more. Facebook in particular has some nice features any online businesses can take advantage of.
While adults are getting onto these sites at an ever increasing rate, especially well informed and educated adults, teenagers still the majority. For the hospitality industry, this is a unique chance to target a very influential demographic. While teens are not usually the ones who make the final decision on vacation plans , they offer a huge amount of influence over the decision making in most every family. Forgetting to bring a lodging property to the attention of these voices can be a huge mistake. Imagine that sulky teenage girl on your next family vacation – completely irritated because you’re staying at a resort full of “old people.” Instead of trying to entice a younger demographic to your site through typical marketing techniques, why not attempt to draw them to your site by engaging them where they already are. A Facebook business page is a great way to bring your business to them.
Facebook business pages offer a number of built in functions that can help you realize your goals:
- Brand your page by placing your logo at the top of the page
- Entice the teenager by emphasizing things they’re interested in like “free wifi” and “pool scene.”
- Supply basic business information like website address and physical location.
- Very easy to upload photos and your clients can upload photos as well
- Engage your clients in a conversation using the discussion board or “The Wall”
- Post events that are happening on your property as well as the area
- Add notes, which act just like blog post or you can link your blog to the site easily
- Uploading videos could not be easier. The quality and speed of playback on videos is very impressive
- Most important is other users can become fans of your company
These tools, when used effectively can engage your audience and give them a chance to learn more about your location as well as your business in general. Give them a place to ask you questions about your property and a way to let easily people know that they really liked staying with you.
Facebook has made it even easier to promote your page by placing a recognizable image link on your main website. This may drive traffic to your Facebook page but you still are able to control the message and attract bookings on your site.
Your Facebook page:
- Lets teens know that you care about their ability to influence their parents’ decision.
- Gives everyone another place to find your property, while still linking back to your site.
- Gives you one more opportunity to win over potential clients by showing them more about your area in order to make an informed vacation decision.
By quickly searching Facebook I found resorts with over 200 fans quite easily. There are not that many resorts, hotels, or vacation rentals listed on Facebook, yet. You’re going to change that! Building a Facebook profile now is a great way to get in on the bottom floor and start attracting those customers who are looking for places to stay that are willing come to their online neighborhood to engage and appeal to their vacation whims.
For an example of a Facebook business page please look at our new Blizzard Internet Marketing page on Facebook. For an Example of a personal Facebook page visit Trent Blizzard‘s profile (you will have to sign up to see Trent’s profile but our business page anyone can see). If you do sign up feel free to become a fan of Blizzard. You may even find and Account Manager or another employee that you know and want to add as a friend.