For hotels just starting on their social media strategy, they often wonder how they will get fans to “like” their page. Some of these tips will work for other businesses, but we’ve had success with hotel pages for sure!
1) Get the word out to the locals: contact your local CVB, Chamber of Commerce, Economic Development Agency, etc. Especially if they are already using Facebook as part of their strategy this is an easy way to spread the word that you now have a page as well. If you are a member of these organizations many will help you spread the word by posting on their page a link to your new page inviting everyone to “like” you! Also as a member of these organizations you often have opportunities to promote through their email lists and/or mailing lists, so give them a call and ask what you need to do. In return for their assistance you can offer to assist them by promoting their upcoming events, member events, local news, and more. Also, if the hotel utilizes any local media for advertising ask them to get the word out on their pages. For example, one hotel advertised with a local internet news site and local radio station. For no additional cost, both of these posted several posts with links for the hotel’s page asking everyone to “like” their advertisers page.
2) Attend local networking events: You are probably doing this already for your business, but be sure to attend business after hours and other social events. If the organizers allow it take pictures of other business owners enjoying the event, and tag those businesses when uploading the pictures (Include tags of the CVB, Chamber, etc as well). These tags will appear on those business pages and will bring awareness to their fans that you also have a page.
3) Claim your Place, link it to your page, sign up for Foursquare or one of the many other location social sites, and set up deals to gain more interest in “Check-in‘s” on these sites. More on “Check-in‘s” next.
4) Use your personal account to “Check-in” using Facebook Places at local businesses to help them get noticed and ask them to do the same. The great thing about check-ins is that they are visible in all friends News Feeds, so their friends think you are a cool place to be.
5) Put signage in the lobby that makes everyone aware that you have a Facebook Page, and then give them a reason to like your page. Please don’t just say “Like us on Facebook.” Give them a reason to… first to hear about upcoming specials or deals, be the first to get info on upcoming events (great for full service hotels).
6) Use QR Codes: Create a QR code that takes guests right to your Facebook Like Button. Have one large one created as a window cling for the front door, have additional ones on sales office doors or administrative office doors, also consider utilizing them in all collateral, menus, guest directories, meeting room note pads, be creative. Use these QR codes on your business cards and at trade shows have visitors to your booth try out the code. Get buzz going at your booth and get more likes!
7) Have a front desk incentive/contest for the front desk representative who gets you the most new fans within a certain timeframe. Give them business cards using the QR code to hand out to guests at check-in or check-out, and tell them to write their name on the card. Have the guest like your page, check-in, and mention the desk person in a comment, so you can track who gets the most.
8) Run a Contest: On this one be sure to read Facebook’s rules on contests first. Bonus points to your brand’s loyalty program is often a great choice because if they aren’t already a member you will also gain a new member!
9) Share interesting content and do not over promote. This should probably have been #1. Remember it’s not all about “Me, me, me!” If all you do is promote you will lose the fans you are working so hard to gain. Share local info, especially event information and other local travel related tips or events. More than likely your fans are interested in not just you, but your area as well. Share posts from the CVB, Chamber, and other local businesses. Share local sporting event information or other upcoming shows at local theatres or other entertainment facilities. If you need content to mix in share crazy holiday information… did you know there’s a National Chocolate Day or Ice Cream Day? Keep things fun and interesting, so your fans won’t hide your content… What good are a bunch of fans if none of them see your posts. Also, share what your staff is doing with local charity organizations? Did you all just volunteer for the YMCA, Special Olympics, United Way, etc? Take pictures and videos and share them! (By the way, pictures, videos and links with posts help your EdgeRank within Facebook.) More on that later! Or check out some great posts on socialmediaexaminer.com. They have some awesome articles!
10) Tag, tag, tag: Whenever working on your content think about what organizations, entertainers, businesses, etc that you can tag in the post. For example, a hotel near a concert venue can post about an upcoming concert, and they should tag not just the venue, but also the artist.
11) Use booking links when you do promote rates or packages: Many major brands have booking links that you can create for groups, local accounts, and packages. Anytime you are offering a special or package create one of these links and include it with your post. Give your fans a simple way to book that deal without having to go to your site and hunt for it. You will likely get more bookings.
12) Create Events: These can be for Managers Receptions, bands in the lounge, special parties or entertainment you are hosting at the hotel, business after hours, etc. Create a Facebook Event for it, and promote it to your fans, then go back to step 1 and have all of them promote it for you as well! You will probably pick up more fans, and attendance at your next event will grow! (By the way, if you are using an entertainer of some sort, chances are they also have a page, so ask them to also share your event on their page to all their fans. One hotel did this, and the band had over 3000 fans, so they were able to increase attendance to their event from 100 to 350… not too shabby!
13) After your first 25 fans, go to www.facebook.com/username, and claim a simpler username for your page. Then you can use a simple link on all your collateral. (It will look like this: www.facebook.com/MyBusinessUsername, and you can also use www.fb.com/MyBusinessUsername… they will both direct you to the same page!)
14) Also, don’t forget to add the Facebook Like Box to your independent website. These make it easier for visitors to like you right from your website.
Remember that this is just a start to get you going. Your first fans may be more local, but as you gain local fans, word will spread to all their friends (including those that often visit from out of town), and you will gain more fans who will need your services.
How do you get more fans? We’d love to hear your ideas! Please share them in the comments below!
Another great article on Increasing your Facebook Fanbase!
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