Social Media for the Hospitality Industry: Part I – Blogging & Facebook

Social media is going to become increasingly important for your business.  Optimising your ROI is probably a major challenge but it need not be a time vampire.

Since social networks are transforming the way your customers interact with your business, through all stages of the customer journey, you had better hop on board and claim your share of our wisdom.  Here we will give you evidence and criteria to help you choose your most suitable platform BUT Insider Tips are available to Newsletter Subscribers ONLY!   Go Here.

We can help you make Social Media work!!

By now, and as we prepare you for our series of marketing webinars to be launched to you soon, you will have heard a continuous repetition of two key phrases:

  • 5 Stages of Travel
  • Customer Experience

The What? The Why? And most import The How! Of Social Media for the hospitality industry will help you overcome barriers to embracing this marketing opportunity.

10 reasons why your business must be “Social”

  1. Social networks are transforming the way your customers interact with your business
  2. You can create far reaching awareness for free.
  3. Majority of marketers believe that increased exposure is the No. 1 benefit of social media marketing.
  4. Stats show that 75% of people are likely to share content they like online with friends, co-workers of family. At least 49% do this weekly.
  5. Marketers see up to 74% increase in website traffic after devoting just 6 hours per week to social media.
  6. 8 out of 10 internet users are reached by social media sites and blogs.
  7. People are more likely to purchase products or services from businesses they feel like they already “know”.
  8. Social media is beneficial to both small business and big brands
  9. 53% of active social networkers follow a brand (or business)
  10. Social share buttons on your website’s pages can increase content sharing by up to 700%. No a typo! (quoting Source)

More proof
Here are the key excerpts from an Infographic about the State of Social Media in South Africa 2014 that you should consider when updating your 2015 Social Media Strategy.

  • 51% of marketers will increase social media budgets in 2015 — You should be too. The good news is the ROI is excellent provided your goals and objectives are clear and your target your audience effectively.
  • Budgets will be spent on hiring and training over outsourcing — Redmatchstick is spot on with our “Show you How” service and it’s mostly for free!
  • Lack of time and budgets are the biggest barriers to entry — These are no longer valid reasons to hang back. Redmatchstick can help you save time and money.
  • 87% of South African Users access Facebook and 85% access Twitter via a mobile device — Ensure your posts are trimmed and in best resolution for mobile.
  • The most popular platform is obviously Facebook in 1st position, followed by YouTube, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest and Google+. (We are ignoring Mixit for the purposes of this report).– Your business should be active on the social media that reaches your target market and only if you can handle them effectively. By ‘handle’ I mean maintain a consistent and engaging presence –  a dead or boring platform will damage your brand. CONTACT US to save you time by analysing which platforms suit your audience best and to show you how to set up your content plan.
  • Across all platforms the most engaging content falls into these categories: Emotional – happy, sad, inspirational; Charity – Donations & causes; Shock – surprising & surreal; Trending News; Animals – causes and cute
Social media must be entertain to be engaging

So you entertain your Audience all of the time?

  • Last and definitely not least, an average 4 hour response time to guest feedback is totally unacceptable — In that time enormous damage have been done to your Brand. Respond immediately and take it off the network to a direct one-on-one discussion.

1. BLOGGING in the Hospitality Industry

Blogging and your social media strategyA business blog is an informal, easily maintained method for regularly communicating with your customers.

It allows customers to get to know your company, learn about your products, achievements and innovations. In your industry it gives you a great opportunity to be a go-to destination expert.

A well written blog with useful and interesting content will enhance your company’s reputation as readers will respect your business as an expert in your line of business.

Why Blog?
• Regular blogging with new and relevant content helps you drive traffic to your website good free for SEO.
• Google definitely prefers dynamic websites to static ones.
• Blogs are good for link-building which makes your site more visible on search engines
• Businesses that blog have 55% more web visitors.
• B2C businesses that blog generate 88% more leads per month
• B2B businesses that blog generate 67% more leads per month.
• Blogs help people and make them think more highly of the source
• People like sharing useful information
• A blog is a ‘voice’ to help manage your online reputation
• Your blog can save you money (Free advertising, PR & promotion)

Tips for how to be a good Blogger

Get it by registering for our Insider’s Newsletter here!

What is holding you back from publishing your Blog?  

Start a discussion below or mail us to help you.

2.  FACEBOOK in the Hospitality Industry

Facebook is the most popular free social networking website which is available in 37 different languagesFacebook Logo

It has a broad based audience helped by their mobile app. It is a people and relationship focused social media platform.

So Beware! The most effective Facebook pages aren’t just advertisements for your business.

Unless you add targeted advertising to increase your reach, your business and marketing-oriented content will be less visible in Newsfeed.

You are competing with more than 300 million photo uploads per day.

The trick is to balance and plan your posts to engage your Fans!

This information is by no means the be-all and end-all of Facebook. It is a complicated tactic to use – it is practically a full time job. Don’t be embarrassed to ask for help. Success will only make you look better and enhance your value to the business.

More Features
• Facebook has evolved to accommodate business Pages vs. individual Profiles.
• Profiles: allows registered users to create profiles, upload photos and video, send messages and keep in touch with friends, family and colleagues
• Pages: allows members to create and promote a public page built around a specific topic.
• Marketplace – allows members to post, read and respond to classified ads.
• Groups – allows members who have common interests to find each other and interact.
• Events – allows members to publicize an event, invite guests and track who plans to attend.
• Presence technology – allows members to see which contacts are online and chat.
• Facebook Advertising allows you to “bid” for clicks and impressions at a predetermined budget; Build up a fan page quickly with qualified leads or promote your Page posts to friends of fans
• Teens (13-17) on Facebook have declined -25.3% over the last 3 years.

More reasons for you to be on Facebook
• Facebook is still, far and away, the most popular social media platform
• Facebook is the only social media platform that you need to be on irrespective of what type of business you are in.
• Facebook is becoming the middle-aged network and is an excellent tool to reach this market. (No longer Teens and young 20’s)
• FB has the most evenly-distributed demographics of any platform
• Facebook users are 53% female and 47% male
• Age group 55+ has exploded with +80.4% growth in the last 3 years and the biggest segment is Parents on Tablet
• Age 25 to 34, at 29.7% of users, is the most common age demographic
• Best suited to Companies with visually driven products
• Most effective platform for B2C products and brands to increase awareness
• 77% of B2C marketers have acquired customers through FB
• 74% of all marketers say Facebook is important to their lead generation strategies.
• 42% of marketers report that Facebook is critical or important to their business
• You can boost your reach and generate leads with a minimal budget.
• Facebook has grown 1.35 billion monthly active users, worldwide
• Nearly half of all Facebook users are active each day
• Every 60 seconds on Facebook: 510 comments are posted, 293,000 statuses are updated, and 136,000 photos are uploaded
• It is the biggest social network sitting at +9.4 million users in South Africa (Grew from 6.8 million users in South Africa in 2013).
• 78% of SA users access Facebook from a mobile device.
• Average time spent per Facebook visit is 20 minutes
• Each Facebook user is connected to an average of 80 pages, groups, or events
• Users check their News Feed and average of 15 times per day.
• Video content is the most engaging
• 42% of FB fans like a page in order to get a discount or voucher
• 35% FB fans like an FB page to compete in a contest
• Links posted before 8:00 am and after 8:00 pm are less likely to get shared.
• Facebook toppled Mxit from the number one position in SA in 2014

Tips for how to be a Facebook fundi

Get it by registering for our Insider’s Newsletter here!

What day of the week and time do you get the best engagement on your Facebook? Start a discussion below or mail us to help you.

Digital  Marketing Tools

Our report has been compiled for you following extensive research and the many sources are listed here if you have the time to delve deeper. I believe it is not unreasonable to assume that the State of Social Media in South Africa 2014 Report is a good indication of trends for the Southern African region, especially since your guests come from near, far and further. Obviously we have also taken material from research and articles originating in US and Europe.

SOURCES
http://www.quicksprout.com/2014/09/05/what-social-media-platforms-are-best-suited-for-your-business/
http://thenextweb.com/socialmedia/2014/03/05/social-media-platform-best-business/
http://t2marketinginternational.com/what-is-pinterest-infographic/
http://www.searchenginejournal.com/social-media-platform-use/108057/
http://www.j6design.com.au/ClientArea/Whyhaveabusinessblog
http://entrepreneurs.about.com/od/salesmarketing/a/Social-Media-Marketing-Intro.htm
http://www.nashua.co.za/the-south-african-media-landscape-report-2014/
http://www.bluemagnet.co.za/blog/the-state-of-social-media-in-south-africa-2014
https://zephoria.com/social-media/top-15-valuable-facebook-statistics/
http://blog.heyo.com/facebook-image-size-cheat-sheet/#ixzz3PlD2zeRH

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4 thoughts on “Social Media for the Hospitality Industry: Part I – Blogging & Facebook

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