No Vacancy: How Hotels Can Use Social Media to Book More Rooms

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Social media has made it infinitely easier for travelers to plan their next adventure from the comfort of their homes. Visual platforms inspire endless wanderlust and discovery, while reviews and geotags enhance the research process.

In an increasingly-connected world, hotels that leverage the power of social media can have a better chance of capturing the attention of future visitors, booking more rooms in the process.

INSPIRE PEOPLE WHO PLAN TO TRAVEL

Certain people are planning to travel, but haven’t honed in on a specific destination just yet. They may have landed on several different hotel or travel sites, but not gone beyond the home page. They’re still early in their search, which means they’re likely open to discovery. This audience of explorers could be a fantastic audience to reach through advertising with imagery that showcases what’s special about your hotel and where it is located. With a simple toggle of a switch, you can “prioritize delivery to people who plan to travel” and delight the people who you reach.

REACH PEOPLE BOOKING FLIGHTS

With just a few checks of a box, Facebook allows you to easily cross-sell hotels to people who have searched for and/or booked flights. This is a great way to capture interest from an audience that is taking an active role in their travel plans. If they’re seriously looking at flights, you’ll catch them when they’re ready to make the commitment.

TARGET BASED ON INTERESTS

Think about what types of activities and amenities your hotel provides, and how these perks could be of interest to a potential visitor. On Facebook, you can target based on a few or several interests, and carefully select people whose interests align with what your hotel has to offer.

FILTER OUT LESS RELEVANT AUDIENCES

If you’re an adults-only resort, you may want to filter out people who are looking for family-friendly experiences. You might want to remove people who are booking flights that arrive and depart on the same day, as they wouldn’t be needing to book a hotel. By separating the people who wouldn’t find your ad relevant, you’ll make sure you get the most value out of your advertising dollars.

CONSIDER DYNAMIC TRAVEL ADS

Facebook has powerful tools that can help you show relevant ads across Facebook, Instagram, and Audience Network to people who are more likely to travel. These ads can allow you to target people who expressed interest but haven’t yet converted (booked) and show them information that matches their trip details. By reaching a potential customer with the exact information they’re looking for, you’ll show that you’re relevant and savvy.

According to Facebook, you can create a feed with information straight from your site consisting of many dynamic elements:

  • Hotel details (name, description, brand)

  • Hotel location (city, country)

  • Check-in and check-out dates

  • Hotel price

BUILD LOYALTY WITH AN INSTAGRAM CONTEST

Utilize your network to build excitement (and potentially capture content, too) by hosting your own contest on Instagram. Ask visitors to document their travels for a chance at an extra night, a free meal, or a discount on a future trip. A little scavenger hunt featuring historical landmarks in the area could inspire fun as well as repeat visits.

CREATE SPECIAL BUNDLE OFFERS

Consider creating a bundle offer just for the viewers of your ad; if you’re a ski resort, consider incentivizing on-the-spot booking with the offer of one free lift ticket, or offering a percentage off for visitors who book their rooms and purchase their lift tickets at once. Tailoring your offers, and making potential travelers feel special, is also a great way to set yourself apart from the competition.

HOW TO MAKE IT WORK FOR YOU

Whether your accommodations consist of sleepy beachfront bungalows or snowy mountain ski chalets, there are so many ways you can apply these social media tips to book more rooms. While advertising opportunities through Facebook are generally straightforward, it’s certainly helpful to work with a team of people who understand the platform and how to best optimize ads to reach your target audience.

Considering using social media to build your hotel business, but don’t know where to begin? Contact the Doukas Media team for a consultation!




Rachael Doukas