Calculating Your Social Media ROI: What Are You Really Getting Out of It?

By Patrick Ahler Partner & Vice President of Marketing, Lights On Digital | February 25, 2018

77% of marketers are utilizing at least one form of social media, and hotels are no exception. It can be difficult, however, to track how much profit you can return to your property from the effort and expense you put into your social media pages, which is your ROI (return on investment).

According to a survey conducted by Convenience and Convert, 41% of businesses have no clue as to the value of their social media activity. From failure to track the analytics, to not utilizing measurement tools, businesses remain in the dark with respect to their social media ROI accounting.

Is Social Media Advertising Appropriate for My Hotel?

It is important to initially note that social media activity is more impactful on higher star properties with amenities that appeal to those seeking leisurely accommodations in competitive locations. Typically, a budget motel on a remote highway is not likely to benefit much.

Additionally, social media success relies heavily upon a reasonable advertising budget that utilizes quality media content including professionally produced video and images. If you doubt the value of video, consider that it is projected to claim over 80% of all web traffic by next year and adding a video to your landing page can boost click-through rates by over 200%.

Best Tools For Tracking Social Media ROI

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Sales & Marketing: Selling Experiences

There are innumerable strategies that Hotel Sales and Marketing Directors employ to find, engage and entice guests to their property, and those strategies are constantly evolving. A breakthrough technology, pioneering platform, or even a simple algorithm update can cause new trends to emerge and upend the best laid plans. Sales and marketing departments must remain agile so they can adapt to the ever changing digital landscape. As an example, the popularity of virtual reality is on the rise, as 360 interactive technologies become more mainstream. Chatbots and artificial intelligence are also poised to become the next big things, as they take guest personalization to a whole new level. But one sales and marketing trend that is currently resulting in major benefits for hotels is experiential marketing - the effort to deliver an experience to potential guests. Mainly this is accomplished through the creative use of video and images, and by utilizing what has become known as User Generated Content. By sharing actual personal content (videos and pictures) from satisfied guests who have experienced the delights of a property, prospective guests can more easily imagine themselves having the same experience. Similarly, Hotel Generated Content is equally important. Hotels are more than beds and effective video presentations can tell a compelling story - a story about what makes the hotel appealing and unique. A video walk-through of rooms is essential, as are video tours in different areas of a hotel. The goal is to highlight what makes the property exceptional, but also to show real people having real fun - an experience that prospective guests can have too. The June Hotel Business Review will report on some of these issues and strategies, and examine how some sales and marketing professionals are integrating them into their operations.