According to Hootsuite, organic reach hovers around 5% and Facebook is continually evolving its algorithm to “provide a better user experience”, which often comes at a cost for businesses. We know that hotel social media marketing is an important part of any well-rounded hotel marketing presence, but how can we make the most of our efforts?
Though well-executed organic campaigns can be effective, the simple truth is that you will get the biggest bang for your buck by pairing important organic campaigns with paid advertising. As the world’s largest and most engaged social media network, Facebook provides a wealth of opportunities for advertisers. Not only does the highly visual nature of the platform lend itself nicely to showcasing experiences, but Facebook also offers a travel-specific ad format (Facebook Travel Ads).
Facebook offers several advertising ad formats that can be effective for hotels, though the ad format you choose won’t matter if you do not target the right audience. Honing in on a highly specific audience that is properly aligned with your overall campaign goal can make or break your Facebook ad performance. And despite Apple’s 2021 privacy update, there are still plenty of ways marketers can reach the right audience on Facebook post iOS 14.5.
But before selecting the audience you want to target, we recommend defining a goal first.
Defining Your Facebook Advertising Goal
Are you trying to generate awareness about a new on-property amenity or a new special/package? Are you trying to generate new leads? Are you trying to increase sales during a promotion? Defining your goal will help you best decide which audience (and ad format) will best help you achieve your goal.
Keep in mind sales and revenue are not the only goals of a campaign. While social media can work to generate real dollars for your hotel, social media is far more effective at building relationshipswith past, present, and future guests. It’s also an effective platform for reaching new people and generating brand uplift.
Simply put, social media is just one touchpoint, albeit an important touchpoint, throughout the customer shopping journey. Your primary goal should be to be helpful and relevant at all times – versus being a giant sales billboard. Your fans won’t like your content, they won’t engage, and down goes any organic reach in an endless spiral of failure.
Now that we have defined our goal, let’s start exploring the vast array of targeting options available through Facebook and start defining a few guest personas. Keep in mind that while we will discuss each targeting option on its own, targeting is far more effective when multiple elements are combined to define a specific audience.
Let’s start with the basics.
Geographic targeting allows you to target users in a specific location. Despite the initial obviousness of this targeting option, there are a few nuances that can come in handy for hotels.
Facebook’s location targeting option features a drop-down menu that allows you to select different “location” definitions. Advertisers can choose to target “everyone” in a location, people that actually “live” in a location, people that were “recently in” a location, or people that are “traveling” in a location. These distinctions can be very important, depending on the goal of your campaign.