It may not come as a surprise to learn that there are over 3 billion users across the world using Facebook and Google alone. This staggering amount has played a huge part in the boom of e-commerce and it has helped a number of businesses widen their audience and their clientele. There are many businesses who are thriving from this and their are others that are incorporating it into their business plans and who are reaping the rewards, such as those in the hospitality industry.
Hospitality is a great sector to work in as it is all about fitting in with the new trends to maximise your business’s potential. Social media is at its peak in popularity and so those in the hotel industry can and are maximising its use to not only gain a loyal following but to gain a steady flow of reservations through direct booking rather than using OTA’s. Social media is highly influential; over 25% of Americans time online is spent solely on social media and half of those who purchase something from the internet look to social media before actually buying it. With this in mind, setting up your hotel business to social media has never been more important.
Many hotels see connecting with social media as something they can do without, many decide to not use it at all which is a grave mistake. Those who see its potential are already reaping the rewards of customer recommendations on social media, word of mouth to family and friends and direct communication with past, present and potential customers which, in turn, has increased direct booking with the hotel booking engine. Followers on social media, if treated well, will take the reins and boost your business for you; those who have been to your hotel will upload photos, post status updates and write reviews about your hotel and, if they have been treated right, will encourage those who may be looking to stay with you to book. Be sure to combat any complaints or issues that guests, past or present, may have head on; approach in a courteous and helpful manner as it will keep you in their good graces and may incline them to book with your hotel again in the future.
As well as conquering social media, ensure that your hotel website is mobile friendly. Social media is used mainly on mobile phones, everything is now done on the mobile from payments to emails to photographs, and if someone is looking at your social media page and wishes to book on your website by clicking a direct link on Facebook, for example, your website will need to accommodate this. Nothing loses potential customers quicker than a website that is not mobile friendly. Over 40% of hotel reservations made are now done on a mobile phones; this is a huge gap in the market to miss if your website is not mobile friendly. Social media and mobile websites go hand in hand, so ensure your business is properly equipped to reap in the rewards.