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Advising the hotel industry how to increase their online revenue

Search Marketing or Display Ads: the Facebook case

Ok, forget what I said about display ads if it comes to Facebook!

I’ve just seen a blog today saying that Facebook is now the most popular social media site in the UK. Facebook has definitely made a lot of headway if it comes to advertising after much critique about their business model last year. On Econsultancy today the question is asked: Are marketers moving their Google search dollars to Facebook’s display ad business?

While this may be a bit over the top at the moment, the advantages of running display ad campaigns on Facebook are obvious. People voluntarily share information about themselves which enables marketers to target their ads much more precisely. Facebook has increased its market share and manages to engage its users more than other social media sites such as MySpace. Moreover, there is still less advertisers competing with you on Facebook than on Google AdWords and both systems are auction-based.

Research has shown, however that local advertisers are much more successful than large companies. The latter are often seenby Facebook users as being intrusive. People value information about local offers and events while they feel annoyed when they come across the same banner advertising on their community site – which they regard their private space – as they see everywhere else on the web.

For hotels, Facebook could therefore be a brilliant opportunity to advertise to the local market: meeting space, weddings, events and F&B, like those numerous Christmas parties and brunches and lunches coming up. Think about it!

Filed under: Display/Banner Marketing, Social Media Marketing, , , , , , , , , , ,

Is Twitter trying to compete with Google?

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Twitter has just launched a new home page with a prominent search feature:

New Twitter Home Page promoting search

New Twitter home page promoting search

Is Twitter trying to compete with Google?

There has been talk about Twitter as a search engine for a while and it is already used as such, for example by journalists and marketers, to discover the latest trends. While Google’s News results are pretty up-to-date, they are also mainstream, i.e. news provided by the big agencies and newspapers. Twitter, however, is a social media site and therefore shows what people in the street consider news. In that sense Twitter certainly offers something Google cannot provide at the moment and fills a niche.

Trends, i.e. topics that have been tweeted about most during the last 24 hours, are listed underneath the search box on the new home page. Both, the prominent search box and list of trends will probably attract new users when they find topics that are of interest to them.

So, yes Twitter seams to be aiming for expansion and could well compete with traditional search engines in a web 2.0 world. Even more reason to use Twitter to promote your hotel. But don’t just be there – have a plan!

Filed under: Hotel Online Marketing, Social Media Marketing, , , , , , , ,

Social Media: don’t just be there – have a plan!

Even though this is meant for restaurants, I’m sure it applies to hotel marketing, too. The main point being that you actually think about how to use Twitter and Facebook before you start using them. Don’t just create accounts because everyone else has one!

It should be pretty easy to determine your target audience and choose the networks accordingly since, contrary to common believe, not everyone is on Twitter.

Finding interesting topics and keep the updates coming might be slightly harder. Tip number 2 from the article is essential – do some research before starting! Set up a research system for permanent use (for example using Google Alerts). This would also enable you to respond to tweets in the way another blog describes it: Twitter’s Real Value Is In Personal Connections. Responding to tweets is very important because Twitter and Facebook are conversational and not just one-way.

Be visual! The number of tweets can be enormous when you follow more than a dozen tweeters. The most compellent tweets are those that have a link to click on which opens up more information or even better shows an image. Images make it personal, people love looking at them and they will also remember visual information better than a plain message.

I also like point 5 in the article, to create brand ambassadors. Let’s be fair, there is quite a lot of work involved in keeping social media marketing afloat and it’s taking up resources. So, if you can find people who are passionate about your brand, utilize them.

Whatever you do with social media – and the possibilities are endless – do have a plan first! Not only so you know what you are doing but also so that you can put the necessary resources into place to enable you to sustain your effort.

Filed under: Social Media Marketing, , , , , ,

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Corinna Witt : e-commerce, hotel internet marketing expert for hotels and the travel industry

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