Social networks as a promotion tool. Opinion of Maxim Gerasimov, Borodino hotel
Maxim Gerasimov, sales and marketing director of Borodino hotel is answering the key questions: What to do? What to choose? How to make a choice?
Promotion efficiency of social networks is the subject of much controversy. You can find the opposite opinions starting from «It does not work at all!» to «There is nothing better and more efficient». It seems to me, that the truth is somewhere in the middle at the moment, at least my experience proves it.
I suppose, that if you do something, you should do it well and understand all the details of the process. May be it was the reason why when social networks started gaining popularity in Russia and there were the first attempts of advertising and promotion, I got interested in the issue and started experimenting with various platforms.
We all have our own preferences. It is equally true for our favourite clothes brands as well as for social networks. There are people who prefer using vkontakte, there are followers of odnoklassniki, facebook, linkedin, twitter, instagram. The number of social networks is growing visibly. One project is a success and another is already history. The questions arise in this case: What to do? What to choose? How to make a choice?
I can say from my experience: if you want to promote a hotel or any other product in social networks, you should become an active user of the network you have chosen, submerge into it, get into the users shoes and see what instruments these platforms offer for promotion. As practice shows, promotion is efficient only if you know your audience and can influence it. If your target audience is absent in one of the networks, is it worth spending your time and effort advertising at this platform? I dont think so.
I have chosen facebook, vkontakte, twitter, linkedin, foursquare, instagram for Borodino hotel. But promotion strategies and goals are different in all of them.
Let us take facebook. In my opinion, facebook audience includes the very group of people who are our target audience (active business community aged 25-40).
The audience of vkontakte is obviously younger, but it also includes our hotels prospective customers.
Linkedin is a social network of a completely other level, it is the network for business contacts. Here business comes in the first place, so this is the most important promotion platform for our hotel. The problem is that it is only gaining popularity Russia, but its growth rate is impressive and I think you will hardly imagine a modern businessman without a Linkedin profile.
Twitter, Foursquare and Instagram, why did I mention them together? They are an open field for me now, the territory of experiments, our target audience is definitely present there, but we need to understand what influences the users of these platforms and how. One thing is certain the presence of a hotels profile and page in these networks is really necessary.
You can say that I have not mentioned other networks. And you will be right, there are many of them in the market. We should be present everywhere, ideally (Google+, Odnoklassniki, LiveJournal, LiveInternet, Moi Mir, Professionali.ru, Moi Krug, Mir Tesen, Ya.ru, YouTube etc.), it will only be better. The problem lies in the resources and promotion methods: if you have created a profile/page/account in a social network, it should be full of life, updated regularly and should not make an impression of an abandoned house. A page in social networks is your face and youd better not have any then an ugly or a lifeless one.
The work in social networks should reflect the life of the hotel properly. Ideas, specials, offers, opinion polls, articles, photos and videos all this should convey the spirit of the hotel. Any social network user is your prospective customer and it is important for the hotel to meet his expectations that appeared after he visited your page.
You should take into account the following key moments:
1. Interconnection between the hotels site and its account in social networks. You should decide whether they are separate or the page in a social network has been created to attract visitors to the site.
2. Interaction of hotel staff with social network users. Your staff working with hotel guests should be aware of all the offers and discounts offered in the Internet. In the opposite situation guests have an impression of being deceived if the reception denies them the discount or the restaurant does not offer them a free coffee that was promised for a like or a comment.
3. Reviews in social networks. It is very important to monitor and to answer any reviews and comments in social networks.
4. Brilliance and individuality. Pages, accounts, offers should be bright, but easy to understand at the same time.
5. Motivate your audience by specials, discounts, presents and they will raise your ratings and account popularity.
Everyone follows his own way, has his own ideas and thoughts. You should not be afraid of using the maximum number of tools, trying something new, experimenting and achieving success!