Hotel marketers, take note: If you’re not using some form of social media, you’re in a rapidly shrinking minority.
Of 880 marketers surveyed for the “Social Media Marketing Industry Report,” 88 percent said they’re using some form of social media to market their business. The report was conducted by social marketing guru Michael Stelzner and sponsored by the upcoming Social Media Success Summit 2009.
(Read the "Social Media Marketing Industry Report.”)
For those of you who didn’t board the train before it left the station, fear not: 72 percent of respondents who are using social media have been at it only for a few months or less. In other words, you don’t have to go too far to catch up.
The most popular tools cited by marketers were Twitter, blogs, LinkedIn and Facebook—in that order. The amount of time spent on any or all of those platforms? Sixty-four percent said they spend five hours or more each week, followed by 39 percent who said they spend 10 or more hours weekly.
While you needn’t strive to join that 39 percent—I reach my Tweeting threshold at 10 minutes, let alone 10 hours!—dipping your toes in the social-marketing sandbox isn’t a bad idea. Yes, it’s difficult to ascertain a dollar-value equivalent to each Facebook post or blog view, but social media provides an avenue to reach travelers, more and more of whom are using those same channels to make decisions about whether or not to stay at your hotel. A good viral marketing campaign in a targeted social network could push them in your favor.
If that isn’t a large enough incentive, here are five other benefits cited by respondents of the survey:
1. Exposure for your business
2. Increased traffic/subscribers to your Web site and other e-marketing initiatives
3. New business partnerships
4. Improved search engine ranking
5. Reduced overall marketing expenses.
For more information on the subject, check out HotelNewsNow.com contributor Kerri Fivecoat-Campbell’s article “Planning key to using social media effectively.”