Comments on the Top 50 of Algarve Hotels on Facebook


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.

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2 Responses to Comments on the Top 50 of Algarve Hotels on Facebook

  1. Martin Swieykowski says:


    Interesting topic and results; however, have you given any thought to origins of the like/fan functions. More definetely I mean, in our case most of our fan-clicks and FB response can be classified primarily in two groups: guests whom have already visited us, or that will be visiting within the near future.
    The former group could be regarded as hotel/brand embassadors whom gladly share the click with the rest of their community, as a way of saying” I’ve been there, had a good time, check this out”. Susequent questions from this group; any stats or thoughts on the impact of hotel feeds on online communities showing on users news feed, suggesting potetial repeat business? Or just a mere reminiscense of a good experience and an extra post which is discarded/overseen while just browsing news feeds?

    The later group, informing/showing off there up-coming destination awakening the interest of people on their network whom will/may ask post the visit on the experience.

    In addition, any thoughts on the effects of publicating private pictures ref brand image and viral marketing effects?

    Greets from Norway!

    • marcsontag says:

      Hi Martin, great thought and indeed the idea of assessing who had been a guest on our FB fan base had crossed my mind in the past. Unfortunately not actioned upon yet though. Did also consider using Flowtown to see which of our guests are using what particular Social Media Channels. In practical terms though – and knowing our repeat guests – I would think that only around 5-10% of our Facebook Fans are factually a (repeat) guest.

      To your other comment. We have done some picture/film tagging contest, but with a relative small fan base (6.300) at this stage, this has not resulted in massive interactions – just a couple of dozen. I am not really certain how to relate this to the brand image and the viral impact. Would say, that as long as there are positive emotions involved of guests having a good time there would be (in part) a match of our brand value with their lifestyle value.

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