We have looked at hints and tips on how Twitter can effectively be used to market your business and gain more bookings: Facebook is also another tremendously valuable business tool that should be a certain contender in your marketing campaign. Read on for some important suggestions on how you can use Facebook to increase your business’s bookings.
Why use Facebook in your Campaign
Facebook has over 500 million active users and that number continues to increase. Creating a Facebook page provides a fantastic opportunity to directly interact with prospective and existing customers. Facebook also provides a free way to carry out market research – you can ask questions amongst your fans, evaluating their reaction to ideas before you go ahead with anything.
Business Pages versus Personal Profiles
Do not create a personal profile for your business. Profiles are for people, Pages are for businesses. Facebook is constantly building functionality for businesses, which is only available to pages and NOT profiles.
The last thing you want is for users to find your Facebook Page and then leave straight away. Therefore the content on your page is of the utmost importance and should be made relevant and interesting. Consider using photographs,videos, audio, blogs and other interesting content that would be of an interest to your target audience. Also possibly consider things such as games, quizzes, and other types of active content to help keep fans on your Facebook Page for longer durations of time.
Fans that return to your page often are much more likely to become paying customers. Therefore it is very important to keep your Facebook page fresh and updated. The most important thing here is persistence. Unless you keep interacting with your fans on a regular basis and continue to post appealing content, you are going to find it hard to attract new fans.
Encourage Community Interaction
Ask your fans questions on the Facebook pages ‘Wall’ or share company or even personal insights with them. Post photos of your business and service offerings and invite your fans to do the same. Also consider asking Fans who have stayed with you to post reviews on their stay. Give your fans a reason to want to communicate. The more you update and engage with your community, the more visible your page is to your Fan’s friends. Every interaction on your page, whether made by you or one of your fans, will show up on every one of your Fan’s news feed. And this results in more visits.
Marketing your page
Invite friends, friends of friends, customers etc. Provide links on your website or any other online presence to click through to your Facebook Page.Try offering exclusive deals to Facebook fans and promote this fact to everyone that you come across - verbally, paper marketing and anything else online that you may be a part of to encourage people to join your page.
Post and Tag Users in Photos and Videos
Tagging users in photos and videos is possibly one of the most effective promotional activities that you can do. This is because as soon as you tag a user, all of their friends see it and then other users are guided towards that album which in this case, is located within your fan page.
Now you have your Facebook page looking good and actively promoting your business, you must have a strategy in place to convert your fan base to paying clientele. Perhaps you will offer a special event, coupons, discounts and other incentives. The bottom line is to let your fans know exactly what you want them to do. Be sure to pace your offers. If you’re hosting any events, be sure to also use the Facebook Events feature.
For some, Twitter has demonstrated to be a highly effective way to connect with customers and build a community. For others, tweeting has been nothing but a useless waste of time and energy. However, if used correctly, Twitter can be one of the most fashionable social media tools to help drive quality traffic to your website and develop an ongoing group of supporters. In this article we will look at important tips on how to build a profitable twitter campaign, how to maintain and increase your followers and what you should do in order to increase the traffic to your website and hence increase bookings.....
- Add a Picture - Twitter is a Social Networking tool and should be used to correspond with your followers in a similar way as you would by meeting them face to face.. The first thing people see of you on Twitter is your profile image and it is a fact that people usually form instant impressions. It is usually better to use a personal photo of yourself rather than a business logo – as people usually don’t build relationships with businesses; but with the people who work in them.
- Add a Profile Bio- Who are you? What do you do? What do you like and why should people click your follow button? Whether you think you’re a sales person or not, to gain followers you need a bio that makes people want to click your follow button and interact with you. This means you have to sell yourself and your business. Do you offer a cosy home from home experience in your B&B on the Scottish Borders... ? Then make it evident by stating that.
- DON’Tsign up for twitter and follow hundreds of other people immediately. You do not want to be mistaken for a spammer, so instead sign up, take your time and follow people slowly.
- Twitter is a community — not advertising space. Twitter is a fantastic tool to market and really interact with customers. It gives you the opportunity to have real-time conversations with them, but if you don’t interact and answer questions people have (business related or not), people will turn off and move away from you. Don’t constantly push with business information. Be social and see what your customers want or need. Have friendly conversations until people get to know you as someone they can trust. This requires you following what other people are talking about and joining in conversations that go beyond yourself or your business. This is very important as people will accept the promotion of your business in balance. But don’t expect to sign up for twitter, put out a few of your links and have a huge surge in bookings and sales overnight.
- DOstill post links to your website, latest blog entries, offers, etc.—but REMEMBER TO KEEP IT BALANCED.
- Pay attention and share(Retweet) links to other people’s giveaways, blog entries or sales items. By doing this, those people will be more likely to return the favour and give your stuff a look when they see it come across the screen. .
- DOuse twitter to invite people in your target audience OFF the space and onto your own website. From there you can be more promotional of your products, your services, etc. On twitter you’ll make and foster the relations—but you’ll actually convert sales, clients, etc. on your own site.
- Set Up An Autoresponder- Consider using an automatic responder so that when people “follow” you on Twitter they get a direct message regarding your website.
- Ask questions. Twitter is GREAT for getting opinions whether business related or not.
- Regularly use services like Twitter Search to see if people talking about you and your business. Try to participate where it makes sense.
TripAdvisor, the world’s largest travel site, assisting customers when gathering travel information, reviews and opinions of travel related content. While the average review on Trip Advisor is positive, as with other sites, opinions can range from all out there glowing reviews to... Well how can I put it?... A slightly less-than-favorable account. So....if Trip Advisor is causing your business more problems than profit... What can you do about it??
1. Respond - Quickly.
Don’t shy away from bad reviews. Instead, investigate the concern and turn it into a learning experience.
Respond to the reviewer directly (privately as well as publicly - this is particularly important to encourage the guest to return and re-experience your property). The timing of such a response is also important and most definitely the sooner the better. This demonstrates that you are attentive and receptive to feedback, and will leave a lasting impression. Also, the more quickly you leave a response, the larger the number of potential customers who will read your comments. Register with Trip Advisor so that you can monitor your reviews by receiving notifications every time a guest leaves a comment and therefore you can time your response appropriately.
2. Always be Polite and Professional.
Whether the guest comment is terrible or glowing, the tone of your reply should always be courteous and professional, just as you would handle any other customer service reply. It can be very tempting to respond unkindly to criticism, but remember the fact that your audience is hundreds, if not thousands of potential customers, therefore it is a ‘must’ that you keep your cool. The vast majority of people recognize that everything will not always be perfect. A lot of credit will be given for offering a well-mannered and thoughtful explanation, especially when the complaint is unwarranted. This is your chance to set the record straight.
3. Ask for Feedback
Ask every one of your clients for their feedback on Trip Advisor – put the request on their bill, ask them personally or follow up with an email thanking them for their stay. More positive reviews diminish the negative ones. Businesses with a lot of negative reviews should possibly consider looking at the reality of their guest experience and seriously consider getting some outside advice and training to help turn the situation around.
4. The way you write your reply....
The use of ALL CAPS, HTML tags or excessive typographic symbols, can appear rude and aggressive. Therefore do not be tempted into using any online jargon – keep your reply clear at all times.
5. Use it as a Marketing Opportunity.....
Use this as a marketing opportunity to tell the world about any new improvements you’ve made to your hotel or guesthouse. If you’ve dealt with something that has generated comments from your clients, it is important to state that you’ve taken all feedback seriously and made positive changes as a result.
6. Be Original.
Address each particular situation with an individually tailored response. Customers don’t respond well to rehearsed or pre-written answers and will appreciate an original honest response as an indication that you genuinely care about the client’s opinion and experience.
7. Show Your Appreciation.
Gratitude develops goodwill. Management replies are excellent opportunities to tell guests and customers that you are thankful for their positive comments, as well as their constructive feedback. Don’t hesitate to tell people that you appreciate them. It most definitely goes a long way.
In Conclusion......Follow these steps to help maintain a positive reputation online for your business. Remember, whilst you may only be responding to one reviewer, thousands of other potential client’s may read your comments and form opinions about you and your brand. Take care to give the opinion that you run a respectful, attentive and thoughtful business. Your client’s will appreciate your interest.