Facebook, are you utilizing it?

Much like the introduction of Google in the late 1990’s, Facebook has taken the world by storm. With over 500 million users and more than 70 site translations it is statistically one the most widely used programs around the world. It is not only used for people to interact with one another but also as a business mechanism and free marketing outlet. Since the introduction of social plugins in April 2010, Facebook has approximately 10,000 new websites integrate with it every day. It is truly amazing what this program has accomplished since its inception in 2005. Check out this fascinating image:

Photo Credit – www.onlineschools.org

With that being said, I feel that it is a crucial tool in the success of social media marketing for all hospitality companies. For instance, The Westin Bayshore  is working at integrating this outlet into their social media marketing. They currently promote specials and showcase different elements of the hotel. In addition, their information is very detailed and informative to users. It clearly outlines the location, property and company overview in a concise summary. They are also developing great partnerships with local bloggers by linking to their sites.

However, they only have 531 check ins and 399 likes. For such a dynamic and well-known property you would think these numbers would be substantially higher. A downtown Vancouver property with over 500 rooms should be showing a steady increase of likes and check ins and the Westin Bayshore is not producing these numbers. A few things that may be impacting this are:

  • The limited interaction from guests or potential guests
  • There are very few photos or applications to make the page interactive
  • The saturation of staff posts
  • The quality of information they are posting
  • The lack of scheduled post consistency

The Westin Bayshore is certainly not doing an inadequate job of maintaining this social media platform but I would make some suggestions for improvement. They have beautiful photos displayed on their website, it would be beneficial to incorporate these on their page. In addition, I would post at least once per day and not just list specials. Items such as hotel events, events around Vancouver, hotel initiatives, community involvement and blog posts to name a few. Individuals need to see a variety of information to maintain interest rather than just promotions. I would also suggest they have the staff member limit his postings to once a week. Finally, I feel the most important element to bring to life is guest interaction. Currently, they are talking at their guests not with them. The Westin Bayshore would benefit by asking questions or have a contest that asks guests to post their experiences at the property.

As a hotel guest, what is important to you when you view a properies Facebook page?

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4 Responses to Facebook, are you utilizing it?

  1. agri02 says:

    I like the addition of the “obsessed with Facebook” image.
    Your posts are always really informative, and I always learn something new. Thanks!

  2. Silviamg says:

    Posting stuff that is not directly related to the hotels (sales, etc) but to tourism is a good idea. Like links to nearby restaurants, landmarks, events. However, I’m not sure this is the kind of business that would benefit much from a Facebook page, to be frank. How many people are going to be checking it and for what reason? Will one-time customers really “like” a hotel? If it’s people who do repeat business, what kind of updates and information would they like to hear about? Do they really want to know tourist stuff or are they there solely for the sales, special and such?

    • Kim says:

      Hey Silvia,

      Good points, I think it is really dependent on the individual. Maybe, the one time customer won’t but what about the repeat guests who enjoys the added service?

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