The other day I had a meeting with our Communications and PR Manager, who internally also deals with our Social Media endeavours. In this conversation we were re-analysing the specific goals for the various Social Media platforms and we discussed how to better measure the results and what specific tactics to apply.
Besides the almost obligatory, but rather rhetorical “Is social media really worth my time and effort, especially when I have a thousand other things on my plate”, one of the problems we encountered was differentiating between the objective and the tactics used in reaching the objective.
Allow me to explain. One of our original objectives was increasing the monthly fan/followers base by a specific number for our resorts. Not wanting to go in to a rather male analogy that size might matter and knowing that the absolute fan number is just a numbers game proving little; on the other hand a pond with just a few fish will give little joy to any angler, but the most stoic enjoying nature and not after the catch…..
The number of Fans/Followers is a “traditionally” a metric of Return on Investment, while Return on Engagement asks how many people are “liking,” commenting and sharing your content. Here are some suggestions for hotel marketers to measure Engagement:
- Average number of comments per update: Indifferent of the Social Media platform, look at the number of comments. Not getting much response then it is time to take a look at why. Do you finish off your posts with a question or discussion point? Are your posts challenging or controversial?
- Number of Retweets per topic: When building engagement on Twitter, you want to have content that is sharable and than the retweet is key in growing your audience.
- Twitter/Facebook to website clickthrough rate: When using social media to build website traffic, looking at your clickthrough rate is essential. Just because your fans find your Facebook content engaging does not necessarily mean they visit your website as well. Give them a reason to visit often by linking to new and updated website content.
For all of the above metrics, it is best looking at the trends and cross-reference those with the calendar of your social media campaign tactics in assessing which campaign delivered more traffic to your website.
Return on Engagement – or even Social Media if you want – is about people and meaningful relationships. The more you make conversation with your guests whether it is through review sites, Facebook pages, or actually in your hotel, the more potential you have to gain valuable ROE and valuable word of mouth marketing.
Ask yourself, what does your audience know about your hotel today?
- Aware, but never stayed at the hotel
- Stayed at the hotel once
- Repeat Guests
Then, pick two segments to focus upon and make sure they are adjacent on the above scale. [It would be 2 strategies when targeting advocates and people that have never heard of your hotel!]
Some last words – Social Media is a Marathon, Not a Sprint. As with many things in life – to get the most out of social media, it is critical to be consistent and vigilant in devoting a certain amount of time – a half hour to forty five minutes a day is a good start – in engaging with (potential) customers on social networks.
How do you measure Engagement via Social Media in your Hotel? Comments underneath!