Who is your target market on Facebook? (Part two)

How can you identify and get to know your fans (target market) on Facebook? In our previous post we had a look at why we need to know our Facebook fans and the process of defining them. Today we look at the questions to ask and growing your Facebook fan base:

Target your customers

Target your customers (Image from http://www.webscoutmarketing.com

Ask the right questions:

  • How many people are in my target market?
  • Where does my target market hang out?
  • What does my target market enjoy the most?
  • What does my target market worry about the most?
  • How much is my target market willing to spend?
  • Does my target market consist of different segments?
  • What makes the people in my target market feel welcome?

Now…what do you do with all this information? You use it to help you…

  • write better content and web copy that will relate to the right target markets and encourage them to engage with your brand,
  • understand where to spend more time when it comes to networking, and
  • see why people rather buy from you than from your competitors.

How can you grow your fan base on Facebook?

  • Update your profile and/or company page on a regular basis to keep information up to date. This includes your contact details, maps and directions to your hotel, guesthouse or restaurant, images of the destination, etc.
  • Follow leaders in your industry.
  • Comment on other pages’ status updates and pictures – just remember to keep it relevant.
  • Ask fans to share your posts. (Obviously the amount of sharing will increase if you offer them discount…)

For more tips and discussions on this topic, book your workshop with Travelling Mystery Guest by contacting Renate on enquire@travellingmystery.co.za / 082 336 1562.

Happy targeting! 🙂

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Who is your target market on Facebook? (Part One)

You might know who your target market is for your hotel or guesthouse, but do you know which part of that market is on Facebook? Kids under the age of twelve will most probably not be there, nor will most of your pensioner customers. So who is your target market on Facebook?

Facebook fans

Facebook fans (Image from http://www.niposoftware.com)

You can get to know a large section of your target market via Facebook, as every person on Facebook shares a certain amount of information about themselves with the world on this platform.

What can you learn?

Psychographics (what your customer likes, what makes them tick, what are their biggest problems and their biggest desires, etc.) are just as important as the demographics (age, sex, location, etc.) You’re going to want to know which television programs they watch, which sports teams they support, etc. Why? Because this gives you an insight into what motivates your customers, which will help you to understand what will make them want to buy your service.

The process of getting to know your target market:

  1. Take time to explore the individual profiles of your Facebook fans. Look at their demographics, their likes, status updates, links to other social media profiles and websites.
  2. Look at your fan page’s insights. Here you will find group demographics of your fans, as well as the posts on your page that they find most interesting and which encourage the most engagement.
  3. Use the Facebook search tool to find entire groups of people who fit your target market, follow their conversations and when you see an opportunity, take part in their discussions.
  4. Use the Facebook Polls option to ask your friends and fans about what they prefer when it comes to your kind of service.
  5. Create a highly targeted ad that invites the right people to take a survey elsewhere online. (A good, free option to use is Survey Monkey or Pop Survey).
  6. Keep an eye on your mini news-feed (on the right hand side of your Facebook page) to see what other actions your Facebook fans are taking.

We’ll be looking at asking the right questions and growing your fan base on Facebook in the next post.

Need some assistance with Facebook marketing? Contact Renate on 082 336 1562 or enquire@travellingmystery.co.za and book your workshop today.

Does your hotel need a Google+ page?

It is difficult to say yes or no to the question whether your hotel needs a Google+ page or not. The difficulty comes in when we think about the current activity on Google+. South Africans are not very focused on this social media platform, even though it offers quite a few benefits.

If you ask me, having a profile with your hotel’s basic information and posting once or twice per week might just do the trick for now. But that’s just me.

Google+

Google+

What are the benefits of having a Google+ page?

  • It increases your hotel’s search rankings and traffic on Google,
  • Therefore you will also have an increased web presence,
  • And a greater subject authority.
  • Google now devotes more energy to Google+ people and page suggestions than on other social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter, so if you are on Google+, chances that you could be suggested in searches are better.
  • Google has made social media, specifically Google+, an integral part of every business’s SEO campaign. (SEO: Search Engine Optimization)
  • More customer engagement via the Google+ Local social features
  • Direct access to customers that you can connect with them on a more personal level, encourage feedback and ask for reviews.
  • Integration with Google Maps which allows customers to find more information like your hotel’s contact details, address, directions and hours of operation.

If you have a Google+ page, but you have neglected it because you were not sure how to use it, perhaps now is the time to at least update your profile and include the most important aspects into your profile, like:

  • Photos with descriptive captions that highlight your hotel / guesthouse / restaurant
  • A link to your website
  • Links to your other social media accounts like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and your blog
  • Videos

Even though Facebook and Twitter are the current leaders in Social Media in South Africa, Google+ might soon be the platform with the most SEO value to add due to its standard integration with Google’s search results. It would be a good idea if you start learning more about this platform in the meantime – small steps at a time.

For workshops on the basics of social media, contact Travelling Mystery Guest on enquire@travellingmystery.co.za / 082 336 1562.

Should I have a company / personal profile on LinkedIn?

Needing or not needing a company profile on LinkedIn is not necessarily the question. The question should rather be: what do you want to achieve with your profile on LinkedIn?

LinkedIn

LinkedIn

Looking at LinkedIn, we all know by now that it is a professional platform on which people and companies can interact on a professional level about industry related topics. It is not a social platform, like Facebook, which is mainly used to stay in touch. LinkedIn is used to link people for business purposes rather than social purposes.

You need to decide whether you, as the owner or manager of the hotel or guesthouse, would like to “get linked” with other people in your industry or if you would like people to follow your hotel’s brand. The problem with the brand is that the brand needs to already have gained a certain amount of popularity in order to even be visible on a platform like LinkedIn. Interacting via the company profile is also much more difficult than from a personal LinkedIn profile. Your company profile would for instance not be able to link with people, even though people can follow the brand. The only interactions possible for a company profile would be to follow other brands (company profiles). The usage of the LinkedIn company page is therefore very limited and I would therefore prefer to have a personal profile instead. Why?

  1. I will be able to interact with fans of the brand in person.
  2. Fans will interact more easily with a person than a brand.
  3. It gives conversations and discussions more credibility as it can be traced back to someone specific.

Be careful:

With a personal profile related to a certain brand (i.e. your hotel) you need to ensure that the brand’s promise, values and beliefs are always visible throughout. If you decide to have a personal profile on LinkedIn with the aim of promoting your company, it is important to remember that the profile will then only be used for business purposes and not for socializing. (Not that LinkedIn is meant for socializing in any case). You will have to have a clear policy with regards to personal profiles on LinkedIn whenever they are linked to your brand.

For Travelling Mystery workshop bookings and tips on the basics of LinkedIn marketing for hotels and guesthouses, contact Renate on 082 336 1562 / enquire@travellingmystery.co.za.

Why your guesthouse needs to be on Facebook

Have you ever wondered why your guesthouse might need to be on Facebook? Are you afraid of opening a Facebook page or do you just not have enough time to manage it?

Facebook

Facebook

I have found that guesthouses seem to have a very low presence on Facebook even after many seminars, blog posts and discussions on the matter. Reasons for this might be due to ignorance, social media incompetence, the lack of time (or effort), the lack of consistency, a lack of understanding with regards to the benefits of social media or just no interest in the matter.

Unfortunately, in our ever changing industry (and fast changing world) social media has become a necessity, as this is the main platform being used by customers to engage and interact with brands.

Your guesthouse (the brand) needs to think like your customer (the guests) and interact with them on a level they will understand through a medium / platform that is most convenient and user friendly for them. In order to do so, we need profiles and pages on at least Facebook and Twitter, as these are the main social media platforms from which guests plan their trips, do research on certain accommodation establishments, ask for quotations and more information and even book accommodation.

I believe these five reasons should encourage each and every guesthouse owner out there to immediately open (or re-open) a Facebook account:

  1. It gives you a competitive advantage against other guesthouses who are not on social media.
  2. It creates more awareness online for your brand as more people will be able to see your presense on Facebook.
  3. It gives you the opportunity to share your story (which forms part of your brand identity) with your fans.
  4. It gives your regular guests and other guests the opportunity to engage with you in a more convenient way than usual.
  5. It shows that you are willing to adapt to your customer’s needs, which will encourage them to stay at your establishment rather than the not-on-facebook-guesthouse around the corner.

For assistance on starting your guesthouse’s Facebook page and for the basics of managing a Facebook page, book your Travelling Mystery workshop by contacting Renate on 082 336 1562 / enquire@travellingmystery.co.za.

10 Tweeting Tips for Hotels

Tweeting for your hotel and using Twitter to your advantage might just make your guests return! Do not miss out on small opportunities on Twitter with these tips:

What is your Twitter handle?

What is your Twitter handle? (Image from http://www.digitaltrends.com)

  • Keep an eye on Tweets where your hotel’s name is mentioned and act on it. Did one of your guests tweet that they are busy preparing for a difficult meeting late at night and desperately craving chocolate? Why not surprise them with two or three homemade truffles from your in-house kitchen?
  • Studies show that 48% of brand followers mainly follow the brands in order to get discount. Have a look at who the followers are that regularly engage with your brand and offer them a discount voucher to the on-site spa or the restaurant.
  • Use Twitter to share nearby events and entertainment with your guests. If there is a band playing at the pub next door, share the ticket link on Twitter. This shows your guests that you are not focused on your brand only, but you take part and interact with your community.
  • Share links to your other social media platforms and blogs via Twitter, as well as current specials. Your followers will appreciate being first to know.
  • Retweet and respond. By doing this, you not only show that you are interested and you engage with your followers, but it also create more awareness for your brand and it might add some followers to your list.
  • Personalize your Twitter profile. People like to know who they are talking to. Add the name of your guest relations manager or your social media ambassador. The word “social” indicates interaction and therefore guests would prefer interacting with a person rather than the hotel. You may even consider putting a photo of the person on the profile.
  • Promote your Twitter profile wherever possible. Put your Twitter handle (the “@” symbol with your name which your followers use to tag you in their Tweets) up at the reception area, on your menus, and in other public areas in order to allow guests to follow you, Tweet about you and interact with your brand.

I’ve been to many establishments where I wanted to Tweet something about their great service, ambiance or my experience, only to find that they don’t give me the opportunity to find them on Twitter.” -Renate de Villiers, owner of Travelling Mystery Guest.

  • Be active on Twitter. This will increase awareness and it will build your reputation and trust. This also means that you need to interact. One Tweet per day is not going to cut it. Take part in discussions, start new discussions, share interesting things with your followers by tagging them and even try to take part in discussions with hash tags (#) that are trending.
  • Acknowledge retweets and mentions. This just shows your followers that you have noticed them, it will probably impress them and this might in event encourage them to retweet or mention you on a more regular basis.
  • Use keywords in your Tweets (words that will appear in searches) and also use only 120 characters in your Tweets in order to allow space for retweets (i.e. RT @TravellingMG)

Follow Travelling Mystery Guest on @TravellingMG and Renate de Villiers on @RenateTravel.

Happy Tweeting!

Storytelling for hotels and guesthouses – Part Two

Nowadays, with people being on the move, telling your story with words might be quite challenging, as people don’t have time to read. How can you tell your story, capture their attention and have them understand what you are all about?

Sharing Content

Sharing Content (Photo by: Marda de Villiers)

  • Tell your story visually – people like looking at and sharing images. Use platforms like Pinterest, Instagram, Youtube and Facebook, as well as photo blogs. With the typical guest using a dozen different touch points to research their trips, you want your story to be visible on as many platforms as possible.
  • Combine your hotel’s story with an educational tour around the resort or establishment or an art class that interconnects with your story (tourists prefer interactive and educational experiences these days).
  • Have your audience take part in your story and take photos of their experiences which you can share with them through social media.
  • Tell one part of the story today and the other part tomorrow.
  • Write only a part of the story and ask the audience to partake in a competition to complete the final chapters or to add the visual content to the story.

Why tell your story?

Because “nothing holds attention like a great story”. (MSGroup – Creative Storytellers). According to research the human brain still searches for a story to make sense of information. Stories are universal and therefore they cross the boundaries of language, culture, gender and age. They are told and retold and build a sense of community which in event establishes emotional connections and creates a shared sense of purpose.

By telling your story, you will be able to create emotional connections with your guests which would never have been possible otherwise.

Learn more about storytelling, content creation and social media sharing at Travelling Mystery Guest’s workshops. Contact Renate for more information on 082 336 1562 / enquire@travellingmystery.co.za.

Go ahead – write your story and share it with the world!