Lately I have been receiving quite some comments through various channels about the “Effectiveness” and “top 50” posts, questioning the approach and real ROI for hotels and I thought of sharing these with you.
Ana questioned me the following: “I just wonder for each hotel what is the % of fans that actually convert and become clients and the % that interact on a daily basis and are engaged with the company. Because having 20.000 + fans where none converts into clients is like having a big ZERO. It would be interesting if you reveal these stats that are the REAL VALUE of social media for marketing purposes, and not the number of fans.”
Similarly Carla questioned: “I’m Carla […] I just read your article “Top 50 Algarve Hotels on Facebook” and it is quite interesting but it makes me wonder why you value the “importance” or success of the hotels based on their number of fans???? Of course that’s important, but where in your study is the % of conversions and the % of engagement and interaction??? For example, you say that Vila Galé Hotels has 21.130 fans. Fantastic. But how many of these 21.313 converted in actual clients??? And how many are engaged and interact on a daily basis with the company? Because having 21.321 that don’t buy or interact is like having a big ZERO. So I really think that studies like yours can be interesting but are misleading and don’t reveal the key things on using social media properly for marketing purposes. […]”
Both I answered in a similar fashion to clarify:
I am an hotelier and not a consultant, and therefore need to base myself on publically available info. Of course, I also would be more interested to see something like: a. Percentage growth in bookings with respect to no. of FB fan count and b. Percentage growth in FB fan count with respect to frequency of content updates and measuring effectiveness in terms of real ROI to the hotel.
Having said this, in assessing this, I cannot track 50 pages and besides I do not think that my “colleagues” will share this sort of tactical information with me in order to set a benchmark.
However, as I know they are following this blog, they might surprise me and in setting a first step, I will underneath share some info with respect to our reality.
With this Blog I want to provoke a thought process and initiate a discussion, while sharing some practical knowledge. I feel that the hospitality industry is still trailing other industries in implementing an encompassing, effective strategy. Sure, we see e.g. occasional posts on Facebook, but at times they miss any relevance to the Fans or seem to be haphazard; rather a short term push strategy, than looking for engagement and brand development, while not consistently transmitting the same message throughout other channels as LinkedIn, Twitter etc.
I argue that any consistent branding tactic and/or related (online /offline) distribution and communication effort ought to have some relation with website stats and so capturing FB fans.
In conclusion, I advocate that in a multi-channel approach – where the branding and/or sales message relevant for that particular channel is consistently communicated throughout- all ought to converge in the booking engine – held on the website. Both Facebook and a hotel’s website are not mutually exclusive; when communicating effectively there must be a synergy and/or correlation, so resulting in reservations.
From my side I can share some relevant stats for the last 3 months
1) We increased the number of Likes/Fans 4.700 or by on average aprox 52 a day
2) In this period we had 5.870 Unique visitors or
3) a Capture rate of 0,8
4) Facebook was in this period our best referral site (Google Analytics) with 27% of referral traffic for our website
5) Facebook is for our booking engine the second best referral site, although with only 3,7% of referral traffic – clearly our website is the first source
6) Goal conversion (read reservations) for Facebook is 1,1%, whilst I assume that our general conversion is above market averages for similar hotels (feel free to challenge me!)
I look forward to receiving your comments.