How Facebook is influencing hotel loyalty programs

Facebook and Loyalty ProgramsAccording to PhoCusWright’s “Social media in travel: Mayhem, myths, mobile and money” study, almost 50% of hotel brands have a booking application on their company Facebook page. However the success of a Facebook page isn’t usually measured in the number of direct bookings generated (which is a good thing as they average out at less than 1% of total bookings).

Facebook is not a destination that consumers visit when they have done all their research, made up their minds about where to stay and are ready to book; instead consumers tend to visit a hotel’s Facebook page at the later stages of their travels (the Experience & Sharing Stages). Therefore, Facebook is not an ideal platform to promote bookings, but it is still a powerful tool for communicating with guests and potential guests.

Using Facebook to promote loyalty to current guests

The sense of community and affiliation with a particular hotel or hotel brand make Facebook the ideal medium for promoting your hotel loyalty program. Those guests that have enjoyed their stay at your hotel or resort will be keen to share their experiences with their friends and followers on Facebook, often tagging or mentioning your hotel in order to draw in the attention of others. This is especially the case when hotel loyalty programs offer an incentive, no matter how small, to guests for sharing their experiences on social media.

Using Facebook to promote loyalty to future guests

When savvy consumers are shopping for hotel rooms, one of the top ten influences on their decision will be the hotel’s rewards and loyalty program. Having details about your hotel loyalty program on your hotel’s Facebook page allows them to view content created by both the hotel and guests.

It’s an ideal place to show off the value of your hotel loyalty program such as competition winners or VIP loyalty experiences. As long as there is no requirement to join the program, even potential guests would consider signing up before they’d even book a room.

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Even after guests have shopped, browsed and booked their stay at your hotel they will often be excited and want to learn more about their impending stay. One of their first stops will be your hotel’s Facebook page (especially if you include a link both on your hotel website and in your guest’s confirmation of booking email) so including details and links that make it easy (and free) for viewers to join your hotel loyalty program can not only endear them to your hotel brand, but provide you with valuable contact and marketing details for the future.

About the author

Nick BakerNick Baker is the community manager for Appy Hotel, a hotel digital marketing startup based in SE Asia, that provides mobile applications and digital marketing technology solutions to hundreds of hotels across Asia and around the world. Reach him at [email protected] or linkedin.com/in/nicholasmarkbaker.
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