You can even send ads that target the friends of your connections:
One step further than connection targeting, you can also target friends of your connections. For example, let’s say that Sally is a fan of your hotel Facebook page. When your hotel sends an ad, you can select the ‘friends of connections’ option, and all of Sally’s friends will receive your ad. Even more exciting, the ad will also announce that their friend Sally is a fan of your hotel Facebook page. Sally’s friends are more likely to click on your ad because they trust Sally, and they will be curious about your hotel.
Facebook users who fit a specific profile will welcome your ad
There has been some controversy whether ads should appear on Facebook, because it is mainly a place to socialize, not shop. However, the Facebook ads targeting options allow you to target people who have already proclaimed an interest in things related to your hotel or to travel. For example, they may have expressed an interest in your city, an interest in an activity your city offers, an interest in dining out, or an interest in leisure travel. These are the people who will see your hotel ads, and they will welcome the opportunity to learn about a special offer at your hotel.
Another benefit to using Facebook ads is that your ad will gain a lot of exposure, which will build more awareness about your hotel. Every time your ad appears on a page it is called an impression. Even if your ad doesn’t receive many click-throughs, it will still be effective because the impressions will generate awareness.
Facebook ads can affect search behavior
Studies have been conducted that explore the impact of a brand’s exposure in social media on users’ search behavior. One such study, conducted by GroupM, revealed that searchers who engage with social media, especially those exposed to a brand’s influenced social media, are far more likely to search for lower-funnel terms compared to consumers who do not engage with social media.2 (Lower-funnel terms express action and loyalty including campaign brand terms and brand product terms. Upper-funnel terms express awareness and consideration such as industry relevant terms or general product attributes.)
You have less competition (if you advertise now)
Facebook ads are still relatively new, and many hotels haven’t figured them out yet, but they will. Some businesses are afraid to advertise on Facebook because they believe some of the other ads appear spammy or low quality. The flip side of the coin are the large corporations who also advertise on Facebook. If you create a well-designed ad with an attractive image and clever copy, your ad will stand out, and you won’t be competing with hundreds of other hotels.
It is wise to start advertising on Facebook now while you have less competition. Businesses are becoming more aware of the opportunities that Facebook ads present. Tim Kendal, Facebook’s Director of Monetization, stated in a September article from ‘Daily Finance,’ that the number of advertisers on the platform has more than tripled over the past 12 months.1
FACEBOOK AD TIPS
Set up a Facebook business page
Regardless of whether you are using Facebook ads or not, you should definitely set up a Facebook page for your hotel. Encourage your guests to become fans of your page. Any action a fan takes on your page will go into the news feeds of all their friends’ pages. For example, if Sally signs up to become a fan of your page, all of her friends will be notified. They will also be notified if she takes some action on your site, for example if she RSVP’s to an event. You can also create ads to promote your Facebook page where users can sign up to become a fan without even leaving their own page.
Set measurable goals
Outline your goals. What do you want to achieve from your ads? Once you have identified your goals, you will have something to compare your ad campaign performance to.
Create compelling ads with relevant landing pages
Create copy and images that will stand out and capture attention. Specify what makes you different from your competition, and have clear calls to action that will tell users what they can do when they arrive at your landing page, i.e. ‘Book Now!’ It is also smart to include a special offer or promotion.
Facebook has outlined some suggested best practices you can follow. Make sure that your landing page is relevant to your ad, and allows users to follow through on your calls-to-action. You should also change your creative often to keep users’ interest. Don’t forget to optimize your ads and landing pages with your keywords..
Test, Test, Test!
As with most online advertising, you can greatly increase the effectiveness of your Facebook ads through testing. For example, you can send two different ads to the same audience to see which one performs the best. You can test ad copy, imagery, landing pages, and experiment with different targeting options. A trick of the trade is a tool called Facebook Ads Manager, and it can help you conduct split testing and multivariable testing. It can also help you automatically create thousands of Facebook ads.
Start big, narrow down
Start out by creating many ads, and then narrow it down to the ads that are most effective. You may also want to experiment with bidding by cost-per-click and cost per thousand impressions to see which option is most profitable for your ads.
Track your results
You must monitor your ad campaign’s performance. With your account, you can analyze data about your click-through-rates, impressions, and average cost-per-click or cost per thousand impressions. You will start to notice what works well, and what doesn’t, and then you can decide what action you need to take to improve your campaign. You can also integrate your ads with Google Analytics so you can track conversions on your website.
The best way to learn if Facebook ads are right for your hotel is to give it a try. Here at O’Rourke, we believe that Facebook ads are an effective way to build awareness about your hotel, and generate new business. It is an inexpensive platform to use, and if you test your ads, and follow best practices, you could have a lot of success with Facebook ads. According to the Facebook statistics, there are more than 550 million active Facebook users. That is a large audience that your hotel could tap into. The targeting options available, and the popularity of the site, make it a perfect advertising platform. Start advertising now to get ahead of your competition, and as the Facebook ad slogan states, ‘Find your customers before they search.’’
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