How Facebook affects the hospitality industry
Social media has revolutionized the hospitality industry. Instagram helps you showcase your hotel visually and engage with guests. Twitter strengthens your relationships with customers, helps you manage your hotel’s reputation, and lets you handle customer service issues in a humanized way. How does social media search play into this?
If you want to be ahead of the next big social trend, take a good look at Facebook Search. Formerly known as “Facebook Graph Search,” this feature allows users to search for anything in the Facebook database--including people, places, photos, topics, and even specific posts. This could be Facebook’s answer to Google’s stranglehold on search.
Try searching for something on Facebook right now. Type in “Puerto Rico hotel” and see how many of your friends have posted about their vacations.
Our prediction is that eventually, you’ll be able to use Facebook to search for vacation spots, as well as simple things like “Chinese food on the Upper East Side.” Instead of using Google and Yelp to find reviews, people will do all this research within Facebook.
When a user searches for a destination on Facebook, the results highlight any reviews and posts from that user’s friends. By focusing on customer experience, your brand can leverage social media to drive business.
Many hotels, resorts, and tourism boards use celebrities to promote their locations. But step into the consumer’s shoes for a second: What’s more influential—a paid endorsement from LeBron James, or a legitimate story from a more familiar face?
When consumers know the person recommending the hotel or experience, the testimonial is much more credible. Users are also more likely to trust their friends’ Facebook posts and photo albums—or even a positive review from someone they knew in high school—than anonymous Yelpers and TripAdvisors.
Maximizing Facebook search
Facebook users search for specific locations. Ideally, you want your brand to come up at the top of the results--with enough vibrant imagery to grab their attention.
To amplify your presence, encourage visitors to take more photos at your hotel or resort. Set up a few picture-perfect spots, with signage that pushes people to share their photos on Facebook. You can even incentivize this experience and give guests a chance to win a prize if they tag your brand in their posts.
After taking advantage of these “photo ops,” visitors will post directly to Facebook and other social media channels. Once the photos are online, friends and family will want to share those experiences—by visiting your hotel and taking photos of their own.
If guests keep “paying it forward” with photos and posts, your brand will become a Facebook powerhouse.